The Different Types of Interior Paint Finishes

There are several types of interior paint finishes, however all refer to the finishes reaction to light. Because latex paint is the most commonly used type of interior paint, we will only talk about latex paint in the article.

Flat paint finishes have no sheen once the paint dries. Flat paint absorbs light and does not reflect it. Flat paint finish is great at hiding any imperfections that you may have in your walls and also looks good in many tones. The best rooms to use a flat finish is rooms that usually receive little traffic, for example, bedrooms or closets. Do not use flat paint in a room that will require a ton of cleaning because it is hard to clean when it gets messy.

Interior Paint Finishes

An eggshell paint offers about as much sheen as an actual eggshell, hence its name. It is generally flat yet does have a small amount of luster. It is also easier to clean than flat paint so it would be better suited for areas of your house that have higher traffic, for example, a living room or a hallway. Another benefit of eggshell paint is that like a flat finish it also looks good in a variety of tones.

A satin paint finish is a lot easier to clean than flat or eggshell paints, simply be careful not to scour too hard because you might actually remove some of the sheen which will leave an uneven finish in your wall. A satin finish would not hide imperfections in your walls as well as flat or eggshell finishes will. Since satin paints stand up better to cleaning they are a great choice children rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.

Semi sparkle paints are a step up from satin and reflect more light. It is a good choice for painting trim yet could be used for a kitchen or bathroom because it does not absorb kitchen greases or bathroom condensations as much as the other paint finishes do. It could also be used in playrooms since it is a lot easier to clean up in Semi sparkle paints generally look better in a lighter shade of paint.

Sparkle paints offer the most sheen of all of the other finishes and is also the easiest to clean. Gleam paint is generally used for painting trim and is usually not a good choice for walls. Gleam paint is also commonly used to paint cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms.

Choosing a paint finish i a matter of personal preference, simply remember that the more sheen a paint has the more durable it will be. In general, you get what you pay for. Purchase the best quality paint you can afford. Using quality paint will make your paint job last longer, is less likely to yellow, goes on easier and also leaves a smoother finish.

It would be a good idea to purchase several quarts of paint to test on the off chance that you are not sure of what sheen or shading would be best for the room you are painting. Many of the large retail paint outlets even sell small sample containers of paint which are great for testing different sheen’s and tones at a small price.

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