Taking the Mystery out of Paint Finishes

You’ve thought about the best color for the design of your living room, and finally – finally – finally chosen the perfect shade. Thanks to the wide variety of paint finishes available, you’re only half way to the final paint selection. So, what’s with all those finishes and how do you know which to choose? Here’s a quick guide:

Flat Enamel This is just one of three main no-gloss or low-gloss finishes. This option holds up to some cleaning but still offers the popular matte finish. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel on occasion and can also stand up to the moisture of a bathroom or kitchen. This paint is more durable than a traditional matte finish, but offers the same desired no-shine look.

Eggshell This is a finish that is easy to understand because it’s named aptly for how it looks. Imagine the shell of an egg – it’s like that. Offering just a slight sheen, it works well on walls and holds up better when wiped than a straight matte finish. This finish will highlight wall imperfections though, so wall prep is key for a beautiful final product.

Satin Finish With a smooth, slightly shiny appearance, paint with this finish is most often used on trim, ceilings, doors and around windows. It resists moisture well too. While not used on walls as often it’s a good option for highly trafficked areas or rooms at risk for wall marks that would need to be regularly cleaned. This paint can be wiped down over and over again, even scrubbed on occasion, while still maintaining its original beauty.

Semi-Gloss and High-Gloss finishes offer a bright look for any room. They boost light and the walls literally shine, while offering an impactful look when used in the right space. A word of caution though, these paint finishes are unforgiving. They highlight any imperfection on the surface, so proper wall-prep is an absolute must. These finishes offer extreme durability and stand up to seemingly anything. They can be washed, wiped and scrubbed regularly. They also perform well in high moisture areas. Walls or accent features painted with this finish will offer the look of being coated in plastic or enamel.

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