While the sheer volume of paint types available can make selecting the right one seem like a minefield, it really doesn’t have to be a daunting job. When painting an interior living space, the paint finish you choose will have a direct impact on both the amount of shine to expect and its overall durability.
There are several standard paint finishes – aka paint sheen – that are readily available and the most commonly-used for home painting jobs. These are flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. Technically speaking, there’s no right or wrong paint finish for any job – it all comes down to your personal preferences in terms of ambiance, durability and the look you want to achieve.
The most common paint finishes available to you include:
- Flat Finish – One extremely popular latex paint type is that with a flat finish. Flat finishes are extremely elegant and sophisticated in appearance, with an opaque finish that looks great on ceilings and walls alike. However, it is the least shiny of the paint finishes available and therefore can be nigh-on impossible to clean. As such, it’s not the best choice for use in kids’ bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms or family rooms in general. If it gets messy, the only option you have is to paint over it.
- Eggshell Finish – With its low lustre appearance, paint with an eggshell finish is popular for use as a decorative touch or accent, as opposed to the whole room. Once again, it isn’t quite easy enough to clean for it to be a recommended paint of choice for bathrooms or kitchens, but it certainly cleans better than flat finish paints.
- Satin Finish – With much easier cleaning properties and a good deal more sheen than eggshell finish paint, satin paints are perhaps the most popular of all. More often than not, satin finish paints are recommended for use on walls, ceilings, doors, frames, in hallways and on decorative woodwork. It might not be the best for use in a kind’s bedroom however, as while it’s capable of withstanding a good wipe, it’s not a paint finish you can scrub at.
- Semi-Gloss Finish – Providing your walls and decorative accents with a gentle yet distinctive shine, semi-gloss paints come highly recommended for most rooms of the home. As a semi-gloss finish can withstand a pretty hefty scrub, it’s a good choice for use in bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ bedrooms and on moldings.
- High-Gloss Finish – Last but not least, the shiniest and most scrub-proof of all paint finishes is the high-gloss finish. As the name suggests, it leaves whatever it coats with a supremely polished finish, which in turn means that most everyday stains can be removed with ease. High-gloss paint is usually used for decorative accents and where extra protection is required, as opposed to across an entire room.
In addition to the above, it’s important to remember that the color of the paint you choose will be affected by the paint’s finish. The lower the sheen, the less bright and intense the color itself will come across. In addition, don’t forget that high-gloss paint has a habit of highlighting each and every imperfection on the surface it covers, meaning a good deal of prep-work may be necessary to get the job done right.