A Beginner’s Guide to Painting Finishes

January 22, 2024

A Beginner’s Guide to Painting Finishes

Redoing a home’s interior with a fresh coat of paint can make a miraculous change and it does not require much capital. It is one of the cheapest ways of making some serious changes to a room without venturing into heavy-duty renovations. Note that selecting the proper kind of paint finish or sheen counts the most towards obtaining an elegant, long-lasting outcome.

What are the Various Types of Paint Finishes?

To summarize, the glossiness of paint finishes correlates with how long it stays on and how easily you can clean it. On the other hand, porous finishes are generally more difficult to clear, while flat finishes are smooth. However, there are trade-offs to consider. Note that finishes with higher sheen highlight imperfections and may not accept touch-ups as effectively as those with lower sheen. Understanding the terms in the glossary specific to paint finishes is essential before making your purchase decision.

Flat: This low-gloss choice offers a non-reflective surface, making it superb for touch-ups and effectively hiding minor imperfections. It is most suitable for areas with minimal foot traffic, including spaces like ceilings with no traffic.

Matte: Featuring a low sheen and a subtly reflective look, matte finishes boast durability, ease of cleaning, and proficiency in touch-ups. Slightly more glossy than flat finishes, they are a great for spaces with low to moderate traffic. Examples include hallways or bedrooms.

Eggshell: This selection showcases a gentle, velvety appearance with a touch more sheen and better stain resistance compared to matte finishes. It surely stands out as a favorite choice for areas having moderate to high traffic such as kitchens, bathrooms, and children’s bedrooms. Note that in these places, durability is the concern along with cleanability.

Satin: Especially a satin finish achieved by giving something relatively a pearl-like appearance is appropriate when painting areas where there is moderate to high traffic or where moisture is an issue. Examples of such places include kitchens, children’s bedrooms, etc.

Semigloss: This selection gives an even, luminous glow that is perfect for all cabinets, trim, and high-traffic areas. Additionally, it is for any portion of the home where there is a high moisture percentage. Examples of such places include the bathrooms or crown molding.

High Gloss: High gloss finishes such as gloss finishes are bright and shiny and provide glass-like finish to the surfaces of cabinets, doors and trim thereby brightening up their aesthetics.

How to Choose the Appropriate Paint Finish?

When picking the loftiest wall finishing for the room, you should put emphasis primarily on the future of this room. Is it going to be a humid and moist place like a bathroom? Instead, evaluate whether it has a high demand for your family and pets, such as an entranceway or mudroom that experiences a lot of traffic. In either case, selecting a wall finish that is easily cleanable and moisture-resistant, like eggshell, would be a prudent choice. Satin is also a good option for active rooms like a child's bedroom. Note that it provides effortless cleaning and a gentle finish that effectively reflects light.

Exploring Paint Finishes for Ceilings

Once you've decided on the ideal color and finish for your walls, it's time to turn your attention to a significant element – the ceiling. Professionals often recommend a flat finish for ceilings, a common choice in ceiling paint options.

Opting for a flat finish contributes to a non-reflective surface and typically minimizes splatters during application. Moreover, a flat finish can help preserve the acoustical properties of a room or space. However, you can also use another sheen like semi-gloss to introduce a touch of drama and interest to the room.

Adding the Final Touch

The choice of finish for a room's walls is crucial, but equally important is the finish selected for the trim. The trim serves as the frame for the room, providing a polished finish. Considering that trim often faces wear and tear, it's essential to take this into account. Consequently, professionals commonly opt for an eggshell finish for trim. This finish offers a subtle shine. Additionally, it is resilient enough to withstand scuffs and dings from activities like vacuuming or children playing. Moreover, it is easy to clean with a simple scrub.

That being said, one may contemplate using semigloss or even high gloss if the room is more of a showcase and is not expected to experience significant foot traffic. In such instances, a glossier finish can enhance the appeal of intricate trim, like crown molding, making it stand out.


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