Choose the wrong paint finish and it could be disastrous. Ok, well maybe not a full-on disaster, but if you have to re-do the job it could cost you double the time, effort and money.
If you thought paint is just painted then we’re here to help. Not all paint is created equally. In fact, paint is created for specific applications. The finish on the paint, also called the sheen, is an important consideration when choosing paint.
Paint Finish – What Does it Mean?
The basic rule to go by when it comes to choosing a paint finish is the higher the sheen, the higher the shine. The higher the shine, the more durable the paint will be.
High-gloss paint is all shine while flat paint has no shine. Both can be beautiful and both serve a purpose.
In between high-gloss and flat you will find eggshell, satin and semi-gloss finishes. Each of these also looks beautiful and serve their own practical and stylish purpose.
So, what paint sheens are right for what purposes?
Should You Paint Your Entire House in the Same Paint Finish?
Ever hear the term ‘builder’s beige’? It’s that standard neutral colour that can be found in new homes built for speculation. Generally speaking, these standard homes come painted in one or two colours in one or two sheens, usually a flat or eggshell paint. Builders select this paint finish because it can hide drywall imperfections well and they aren’t too concerned about how well the paint stands up in the high traffic areas of your home.
If you are painting your entire house, or just a room in it, you do not need to paint everything in the same finish. If you are using one colour then you will want to look at where walls and rooms meet. For instance, you wouldn’t paint a hallway in a flat paint and then the entryway it leads to in high-gloss. But, there’s no reason why you couldn’t select a different paint for the bathroom, the bedroom or the kitchen that leads off the hallway.
When Choosing A Paint Finish it’s Important to Understand the Purpose of the Room
The Bathroom – The bathroom is a high traffic area with humidity changes. Paint on bathroom walls needs to be durable and easy to clean. A high-gloss or semi-gloss finish is perfect for bathrooms.
The Kitchen – Kitchen walls need to be easy to clean. A high-gloss or semi-gloss paint in the kitchen is the right choice.
Family Room – A high-traffic family room will look great in a satin finish paint. It’s easy to clean and can stand up to the use.
Dining Room – Eggshell is a great choice for a dining room. Eggshell provides a smooth look which looks beautiful in this space.
Bedroom – Flat or matte paint is a wonderful choice for adult bedrooms. You may want to look at satin or semi-gloss for a child’s room if you think you’ll need to wash the walls more often.
Another Look at Paint Finishes
High Gloss – it’s shiny. It can be really shiny in a big space. But it’s a great choice for places where there could be a lot of touches, and could need a lot of cleaning. It’s a great application for cabinets, doors and trims. When using high gloss paint you want to make sure you properly prepare your surface as every mistake will show. If you want your high gloss painted walls and surfaces to look their best, consider using a professional painter.
Semi-Gloss – it’s not as shiny as high gloss but is still really durable. This makes it great for kitchens and bathrooms.
Satin – Satin has is a beautiful paint finish. It has a lustre that, when applied well, really makes a colour look it’s best. It looks great throughout the house in hallways, bedrooms and family rooms. If you are a beginner painter, satin may not be the best paint finish for you to try. When not applied correctly, you will often notice brush strokes and flashing. If you like the look of satin paint, consider having a professional take over the job.
Eggshell – Eggshell paint has a flat-ish finish with a little lustre. It covers imperfections and mistakes well and is great for living spaces such as living rooms and dining rooms.
Flat – Matte paints in a flat finish soak up the light instead of reflecting it. They have the most pigment and provide great coverage in a space. It’s a great paint finish for adult bedroom walls that won’t need to be cleaned as much.