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  • Writer's pictureMatt Kowalski

Choosing the Right Paint Finish for Your Home

When picking out the right paint colors for your home, there is quite a bit to consider outside of just choosing the color itself. Another important factor is the paint finish, and each finish provides an entirely different type of look. It can make all the difference when making a decision between semi-gloss, flat, or eggshell.

It all breaks down to the chemistry of paint. Paints that are considered to be high-gloss have a larger ratio of resins (the binder that holds the pigment particles together) and less pigment volume concentration (PVC.) Flat paints have a much larger ratio of pigments and a lower ratio of resins. That’s why you’ll find glossy paints needing several coats whereas flat paints may only need one or two.

All paint finishes are available in both latex and oil-based (alkyd) paints. What we have discovered is that most people lean towards latex paints because they are easier to clean up and have lower levels of unpleasant fumes compared to oil-based paints.

Here are the different types of paint finishes to consider:

  • Flat Finish- This is completely matte with no shine at all and it’s usually used on interior walls and ceilings. It’s highly effective for touching up a paint job, so be sure to keep some on hand for quick fixes down the road.

  • Flat enamel (matte)- this is a durable flat finish paint, but it forms a slight shiny film as it dries. It can also withstand occasional cleaning.

  • Eggshell- this finish has a very low sheen, similar to what you would see on the shell of an egg (hence the name.) This is a great choice for walls in family homes as it can be cleaned and it hides flaws.

  • Satin- this combines a smooth velvet look with the slightest bit of shine. This finish works best for windows, trim, and ceilings and it can hold up to some solid cleaning and scrubbing.

  • Semi-gloss- This finish provides the perfect amount of noticeable shine without being too over the top. It works great for doors, trim, and cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens.

  • Glossy (high-gloss)- this type of finish is as high shine as you can get and has more of a reflective quality to it. It’s not super popular for home interiors, but if you’re seeking a more dramatic look this is the way to go. This type of finish also requires careful preparation and sanding as it will magnify any imperfections.

When selecting the right paint finish, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons of each type and figure out what works best for your lifestyle and the use of the room. For instance, do you prefer to have a paint type that is highly durable and washable because you have kids in the house? In that case, you’ll want to go for a shinier finish because it’s easier to clean. If your paint is going to be exposed to water or steam, you’re better off going with a semi-gloss paint as it holds up to the elements much better than any other type of finish.

If you have any questions about what type of paint finish to go with, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re always happy to help provide direction.

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