Painting 101: How to Pick a Paint Finish

How to pick a paint finish

You’re embarking on your interior paint project and have the color all picked out (or maybe you’re still doing research in that department as well…hey, it takes time!). Either while or after you’ve figured out your paint colors, think about what kind of finishes you’d like to go with for each one. What does eggshell, semi-gloss, matte and glossy mean exactly, though? Here, we’ll lay out how to pick a paint finish for you so you can get a move on with prettifying the inside of your home!

How to pick a paint finish

Eggshell paint finish
This is also called “satin finish.” This type of paint finish has a lovely, subtle sheen to it (think of a real eggshell), and it’s the most versatile. When in doubt, go for eggshell! A satin finish is also easier to wipe down than matte when cleaning is in order.

How to pick a paint finish

 Photo courtesy of the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Matte paint finish
This is also called “flat finish.” It’s the paint finish that has the least amount of shine. It’s matte! If you have cracks or bumps or any imperfections on your wall, this paint finish will keep it hidden better than other types.
A matte finish is not a good choice for a highly trafficked area, such as the kitchen, though, because it’s the toughest to clean if it gets marked up. (Therefore, also not a good pick for the kids’ rooms!)

How to pick paint finish

Semi-gloss paint finish
This paint finish reflects more light than the eggshell. Tougher than eggshell, it will show less wear and tear over the years, and is typically a good choice for a kid’s playroom, bedroom and bathroom. However, just know that if there are any divots or bumps on your walls before you paint with it, they’ll stand out more. Also consider a semi-gloss finish for furniture, trim and doors.

How to pick a paint colorPhoto via Segev Photography

Gloss paint finish
If you like a glamorous or dramatic look, gloss paint on the walls may be for you! Otherwise, save this shiniest of options for your trim and furniture. This paint finish will obviously draw the most attention wherever it ends up.

Lastly, don’t forget to factor primer (the cost and time) into your painting project. Using primer will prepare your surfaces for the paint and make the final product look smoother and more accurate as far as the exact tone of your paint color is concerned. If you’re painting over a bold color, like orange or turquoise, ask the person who is mixing your paint at the store to tint your primer slightly so that it matches your new paint color for better coverage.

Have a question about your painting project? Don’t want to deal with it yourself? Naturally, we are here to serve and take it off your plate. Just give us a ring and we’ll get it going ASAP.

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