open can of paint

The Many Different Paint Finishes

Painting is one of the best ways to change the look of your house or a room. It’s relativity inexpensive to do and it doesn’t take very long. You’ll find different types of paints for painting the inside and outside of your house, as well as different types of paints for each use. Most of your paint selection options will focus on interior paint, many of which will be latex paints.

Interior paint finishes come in a few distinguishing style, including semi-gloss, high-gloss, satin, matte, flat or eggshell.

Flat Paint Finishes

This paint type reflects the least amount of light, and it dries with a soft look that won’t draw too much attention to the surface. This makes it a great paint option for areas with surface damage. Flat paint is less forgiving to new marks and scuffs than other types of paint, which is why you should only use it in low-traffic areas. One of the best areas to use flat paint is the ceiling.

Matte Paint Finishes

Matte paint finishes often offer the same benefits as flat paint finishes. In fact, some paint manufacturers use the term matte instead of flat. If a paint manufacturer lists both flat and matte paint finishes, the matte paints will have more shine in the finish than the flat paints, but not by much. Use matte paint in the same places as flat finishes.

Eggshell Paint Finishes

This type of paint finish gets its name from the fact that light reflects from the painted surface about as much as it does off an egg’s shell. The subtle sheen holds up better to washing than flat or matte finishes, making it more appropriate for areas with higher traffic levels. Professional painters and contractors in Southern Suburbs recommend eggshell paint in the following areas:

Satin Paint Finishes

The satin finish is the most commonly used paint finish. This style reflects enough light that is gives a soft glow, looking similar to a piece of satin. It has more durability than the aforementioned types of paint, and it maintains its luster after washing and light scrubbing. Often, this will be the finish for trim and rooms with more traffic, as well as kitchens. It does not hide blemishes as well as the earlier styles, so be sure to fix defects in the wall before painting.

different colors of paints

Semi-gloss Paint Finishes

Semi-gloss paint holds up very well to traffic and moisture, which is why many painters use it in bathrooms or kitchens. The shine also helps a room feel clean, and it maintains its appearance if you need to wash the surface or scrub it. While this paint is durable, it will usually show brush strokes if you don’t know how to paint a room.

High-Gloss Paint Finishes

Many paint manufacturers call this type of paint “gloss,” which is appropriate for the glossy surface it creates. The paint always looks wet when the light reflects off it. Professional painters use high-gloss paint for trim and accents. It also holds up well for furniture and fixtures, since it is very resistant to moisture and the abrasiveness of cleaning.

Avoid using high-gloss paint on a large surface, such as a wall, because it can be visually distracting. Keep in mind that as high-gloss paints age, they will become more brittle.

Improve Your Paint Job

Regardless of what type of paint finish you use, always prepare your surface before painting. Fill in and repair cracks, dents and holes. Sand down old paint drips and any new repairs before you paint. Getting ready to paint will improve the appearance of any paint job, but it is essential when you use certain paint finishes.

For the best results, use the type of paint recommended by professionals for the area you plan to cover. Find more information about the top paint brands at our DIY blog.

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