There are different types of interior paint finishes and each one pertain to the finishes response to light. Because latex paint is the more common type of interior paint in use, we’ll only consider latex paint finishes in this blog.
Flat paint finishes have almost no sheen once the paint has dried. Flat paint doesn’t reflect any light but rather absorbs it. Flat paint finish is good at concealing any imperfections that you might have in your walls and also looks good in most colors. The best rooms to use a flat finish is rooms that commonly experience little traffic such as bedrooms or closets. Do not use flat paint in a room that will need a lot of cleaning since it’s hard to clean when it gets dirty.
An eggshell paint provides about as much sheen as an actual eggshell, therefore its name. It’s primarily flat but provides a little amount of sheen. It’s easier to clean than flat paint and so it would be a better option for areas of your house that experience more traffic such as a hall or a living room. Another benefit of eggshell paint is that like a flat finish it also looks good in an assortment of colors.
A satin paint finish is a great deal simpler to clean than flat or eggshell paints, just be careful not to scrub excessively hard since you could potentially get rid of some of the sheen which will leave an spotty finish in your wall. A satin finish won’t conceal imperfections in your walls as well as flat or eggshell finishes will. Because satin paints hold up better to cleaning it is a good option for kids rooms, kitchens and baths.
Semi gloss paints are a step up from satin and reflect more light. It’s commonly a great selection for painting trim though it could also be used for bathroom or kitchen walls because it doesn’t absorb kitchen greases or bathroom condensations as much as the other finishes. It could also be applied in playrooms because it’s so much easier to clean up. Semi gloss paints normally look best in a lighter shade of paint.
Gloss paints provide the most sheen of all of the other finishes and is also the easiest to clean. Gloss paints are commonly used for painting trim and is normally not a good selection for walls. Gloss paint is also generally used to paint cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms.
Selecting the right interior paint finish is a matter of personal taste, just keep in mind that the higher the sheen the more durable the paint will be. Generally, you get what you pay for. Purchase the best quality paint you are able to afford. High quality paint makes the paint job last longer, is less inclined to becoming yellow with age, goes on smoother, and is also less likely to leave behind brush marks in the finish.
Whenever you’re not certain of what sheen or color will be best for the room you are painting, it would be a good idea to purchase a few quarts of paint to try out before you buy the entire amount of paint that you’ll need. A few of the bigger retail paint companies even sell small sample containers of paint in order that you are able to test many different colors and sheen’s at a low cost.