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Everything You Need To Know About Interior Paint Finishes

Deciding to change paint colors on the interior of your home is a big decision. Painting by yourself is time consuming, so you want to make sure you not only select the right color, but you want to make sure you have the right finish for your lifestyle, the amount of natural light a space has. The paint’s finish or sheen effects how the color you have chosen will actually appear. Matte finishes will absorb light and shinier finishes will reflect light. In order for your paint to hold up over time, it has to have a durable finish for the surface and your lifestyle. This will ensure all the time you have devoted to your project will be well invested.
TIP #1: Make sure to do your homework on the finish you want BEFORE you obtain bids from painting contractors/painting companies, so that you can tell them what color and finish you want them to bid. That way, when you compare your bids, they will be apples-to-apples!
TIP #2: Make sure when you’re looking to purchase a home to find out what finish was used to paint the walls. Sometime sellers will use flat paint for walls, that cost them less, but it will not wear well over time.
TIP #3: Rule of thumb is the higher the sheen, the higher the shine and durability.  The goal is to find a happy medium that will work the best for your surface and lifestyle!
TIP #4: If your paint color is dark/rich in hue, but you don’t want a shiny effect, go down one level of sheen. The darker/richer the paint color is, the more saturation it has, which enhances the sheen. So if you’re painting a large, sun-washed, or imperfect wall the higher the sheen, more defects will show.
TIP #5: The higher the sheen is, the more durable the paint is, but also adds to the investment in each gallon of paint.
TIP #6: Asking for help can save you money! Most professional interior designers (google ‘interior designers near me’) charge a minimal fee for selecting paint colors, finishes, and creating a paint chart for you to use when obtaining bids. If you’re painting yourself, they can also share there discount at paint stores to off set the design fee!
Flat: The least reflective finish
Great depth of color and is great for hiding imperfections on the applied surface. Generally hold dirt, which is why we don’t recommend this finish for walls.
Matte: Delivers a smooth, soft look and shows a minimal sheen when it dries. This is because it absorbs light.
Walls in High Traffic Areas and Main Living Areas
Minimizes imperfections on the surface while providing a durable finish that is easily touched up. Some brands state that they are washable making them great for high traffic areas. Some manufacturers, such as Behr, Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, make scrubbable versions that allow for easier cleaning.
Satin: Has a yummy luster that, despite the name, is often described as velvety. It’s easy to clean, making it excellent for high-traffic areas
Family Rooms, Foyers, Hallways, Kids’ Bedrooms
Its biggest flaw is it reveals application flaws, such as roller or brush strokes. Touch-ups later can be tricky.
Eggshell: Smooth paint finish that has an eggshell like sheen when it dries, flat little luster (no-shine). This will reflect more light than your Matte finish.
Dining Rooms and Living Spaces
This sheen washes well, but any touchups down the road may not match up.  You will have to paint the whole area.
Semi-Gloss: A shiny and reflective smooth sheen is what you will get with this finish. This sheen offers a high resistance to moisture and works well in humid areas.
Doors, Trim, Casework, Bathroom, and Kitchen walls.
This paint will reveal every imperfection on your surface, every brush stroke and roller mark.
High Gloss: The most durable and easiest to clean. High-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. Think appliance-paint tough.
Doors, Trim and Casework
High gloss is a good choice for area that sticky fingers touch – cabinets, trim, and doors. High-gloss, however, is too much shine for interior walls. And like a Spandex dress, high gloss shows every bump and roll, so don’t skimp on prep work.
If you are looking for more tips on painting in general check out our top preforming blogs concerning painting in this blog post.  I also encourage you to visit our website for more information on our design service or email us if you have a topic you would like us to cover in our blogs!  We love share our ideas with you.  Be sure to check back next week for new content!