Paint Finishes 101
The color on your walls can make a big impact on your home decor. Choosing whether to let the color pop or blend in with the interior design is the first step, but sheen plays a big role in perfecting your home, too. So where do you start? Here's a primer on different paint finishes and how to best use them.
High-gloss paint is durable and easy-to-clean and reflects light well. High gloss paint is perfect for places that need frequent cleaning - cabinets, door and window trims are a good place to start. This is definitely not your best choice for interior walls. The shine is a bit overwhelming. If you're painting with a darker color, choose a lower sheen.
Semi-Gloss paint is durable, though not as durable as High Gloss. Still, it's a great choice for high traffic areas like bathrooms and kitchens. And, since it reflects light, it will make those rooms look even brighter.
Satin paints have a lovely, sometimes velvety look. Satin paint is easy-to-clean and perfect for rooms like hallways and playrooms where they'll be able to handle some wear and tear. The finish can be a little unforgiving, showing every brush stroke, so you'll need to be very thorough in your work.
Eggshell paint falls right in between Satin and Flat paints for durability. There is no shine to the finish, but has, a smoothness like you'd see on an egg shell (no surprise there!). Eggshell is a perfect choice for hiding little imperfection in your wall, but would be better to use in moderately used common areas than in high traffic areas like hallways and children's rooms. Otherwise, you'll find yourself touching up bumps and scuffs throughout the year.
Flat or Matte
While not very durable, Flat Paint hides your walls imperfections well, much like Eggshell Paint. It's very difficult to clean, though, so you may want to carefully consider where you choose to apply it. It's matte finish soaks up light, so you'll need to use it in a room that already has good lighting. Use this paint in formal dining rooms or adult bedrooms, where you won't need to make too many touchups.