Narrowing down a paint colour can be a monumental task. However, many people don’t realize that there is one more big decision they’ll be faced with at the paint counter: What kind of finish?
“Choosing a paint finish is as important as choosing the perfect colour,” says interior stylist Sarah Gunn.
There are several different paint finishes or “sheens” to choose from. All finishes are valid options, depending on the look you want to achieve. It all comes down to personal preference.
One thing to keep in mind is the sheen you choose could have a dramatic effect on the shade you’ve chosen. Also, some brands may name their sheens differently, so be sure to ask about their differences before your paint is sent to the mixer.
Here we explain the most common finishes, from matte to high-gloss, that you’ll encounter when you’re shopping for paint.
Flat/matte: This is probably the most forgiving paint finish. Because it absorbs the light, paint with a flat finish does a great job at hiding imperfections on walls and ceilings. This may be the most suitable finish to apply in an older home where the walls have been patched multiple times throughout the years.
Eggshell: This sheen is often described as soft and velvety in appearance. “A matte finish works well on walls to help hide imperfections, but eggshell is a better choice for walls in high-traffic areas as it resists stains and is easier to clean,” says Gunn.
Satin: A satin finish has a bit of a pearl-like appearance and works well in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. It also does a good job of resisting mildew, dirt and stains. Gunn compares a satin finish to a semi-gloss and recommends using it in children’s rooms, as well.
Semi-gloss: A semi-gloss finish has a sleek lustre to it and works well in high-moisture areas, like the bathroom. “When painting furniture, choose semi-gloss for its durability and slight sheen,” recommends Gunn.
High-gloss: Traditionally high-gloss was the finish you wanted for high-traffic areas because it’s very easy to scrub clean, but now many paint companies offer this feature for all their sheens. High-gloss is the shiniest finish. Gunn says it is ideal for trim and mouldings. Yet, this finish is not forgiving and it will make imperfections more visible.
“It should only be used on very smooth surfaces as it's reflective surface shows imperfections easily,” says Gunn. Be sure to use a thinner roller cover to apply paints with shinier finishes. High gloss is typically used on trim or moldings.
Here are some common finishes that you might use throughout your home
- Walls and ceilings: matte/flat or eggshell
- Trim and doors: pearl, satin, semi-gloss or high-gloss
- Kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms: high-gloss
courtesy of http://www.thestar.com
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