May 2013

How to Choose a Paint Finish

The proper paint application can dramatically change the look of a room with very little cost. Paint influences the mood of your home, and even camouflages unwanted imperfections.

But how do you know which finish to choose? This guide will help you decide.

flat finish has no shine. It is great for walls with nicks and blemishes, as it tends to hide them and make the wall look smoother. A flat finish doesn’t reflect light, so it isn’t the best choice if you want to brighten your room.  It is also difficult to clean, so it is best suited for low traffic areas.

Some paint companies offer a matte finish, which resembles a flat finish. It is slightly more durable and easier to clean. It’s still good for camouflaging minor bumps and other small imperfections.

If an area has a little more traffic, you can consider an eggshell finish, which has a slight hint of shine.

For brightening up a room, choose a pearl or satin finish. They are more glossy than eggshell and will reflect light back into your room instead of sucking it up. Pearl finishes are highly washable and stand up to high traffic. But imperfections in the wall will stand out.

Semi-gloss paint is used most often on trim, doors, and cabinets. It has a nice, subtle shine, and washes easily. Extra care must be taken with wall preparation, since imperfections are highlighted by a semi-gloss surface.

High gloss paints offer washability and durability with their reflective, shiny finish. Glossy paints are not often used on interior walls, but they are a dramatic look for cabinets, trims, and even furniture. A high gloss finish will exaggerate and magnify surface imperfections, so careful preparation is essential.

Whether you are updating one room or redecorating your entire house, paint is a simple, inexpensive way to achieve a striking new look.

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