Choosing the Right Finish for your Walls

There are different types of paint finishes to choose from when painting your walls. And choosing the finish depends on which room you’re painting and how the room is used. Depending on the room you’re painting or how much traffic you have in the room, it’s best to know which paint to choose to avoid having to repaint. Let’s take a look at the different options and see what are the differences. 

First, they say that the more shine a paint has, the more durable it’s going to be. But it’s not necessarily true that gloss paints durability is necessarily what you need or want. 
Paint that lacks shine is sometimes called either Flat or Matte. These paints diffuse light, which means they bounce light off the surface in many different directions. So, ultimately they appear to be flat because they lack shine. Whereas paint that has shine bounces light more directly, so they appear glossy or shiny. 

Although almost any paint sheen can be used anywhere around the home, if that’s what you prefer, just keep in mind that some paint sheens are better suited for specific parts of the home.

The three main types of paint sheen can be grouped into three main categories: Matte, Semi-Gloss, and Gloss. And we can take a look at a couple more types within those categories such as satin and eggshell. 

Matte, or Flat, has two main qualities. It diffuses light very well, so it makes imperfections on your drywall blend in the best. Matte paints can cover larger surfaces areas with less paint because they have the most pigment in them, which makes this finish the most economical. Matte finish unfortunately, can absorb dirt also, which makes it more difficult to clean at times without scrubbing some paint away. It’s perfectly suited for low traffic areas such as adult bedrooms where traffic is lower. This is definitely not recommended for a child’s bedroom, otherwise you may have to repaint again sooner. 

Eggshell. Imagine, well… an actual chicken egg. And look at the shell. It looks matte, but has the slightest and minimal shine to it. It is opaque like matte, so it is also economical because it also has more pigment and covers walls with less paint. It is a tad more durable than matte, so it’s perfect for dinning rooms and living rooms where walls won’t get any scuffs.

Satin starts to have a bit more sheen to it, but it is known for its velvet appearance, which isn’t exactly a glossy look. It is more durable than eggshell and matte, but has it’s drawbacks. Once painted, imperfections in the drywall or brush strokes can show through. Touching up satin paints is trickier to do. Satin is great for higher traffic areas such as living rooms, children’s bedrooms, guest bedrooms, and workout rooms. 

Semi-Gloss is a mixture in between both matte and glossy paints. And it is more durable  the previous finishes. Semi-gloss is ideal where grease can splatter, such as in kitchens or dinning rooms, or in higher moisture areas such as in bathrooms. It is usually used on chair rails, trims, bathrooms, and kitchens because it can handle a bit more abuse. And because of its sheen, any brush strokes or imperfections show more, and also make touching up more difficult. 

High Gloss is the most durable of the lot. It cleans up easily, and holds up the best to high traffic. It is also the highest sheen, and it reflects light, which gives it an almost mirror-like surface at times. High gloss doesn’t look so well on interior walls, but it’s perfect for doors, which get heavy traffic. Also, it’s great on window sills, which get some moisture, as high gloss tends to repel moisture the best. But as the most durable, it’s also the worst at showing imperfections, so don’t skimp on prep-work with gloss finishes. 
Whichever finish you do choose, ask your contractor any questions or concerns that you may have. And always hire licensed professionals to get quality craftsmanship so you don’t waste your money and have to re-do your project. 

Gabriel Hernandez