I have previously discussed the importance of paint color for interior painting and redecorating. This is typically the prime motivator when seeking to upgrade one’s paint scheme. Typically, however, homeowners are less aware of the impact and importance of the paint sheen they select. Also, businesses and commercial locations need to consider the impact of the type of paint finish on durability and maintenance as well as creating a relaxed but productive environment for their employees.
There are a wide range of paint finishes such as flat, matte and egg shell on the flatter end of the spectrum to satin, semi-gloss, and gloss for glossier finishes. There are benefits and disadvantages to each type of paint finish and they all have distinct applications. Your choice of paint sheen matters and we at Matthews painting have the knowledge and experience to help you figure it out.
One of the considerations is your lighting and the reflective qualities of each sheen. A shiny glossy paint has practical benefits for cleaning and maintenance, but can feel cool. Flatter paint finishes are less practical for maintenance, but can have a warmer feel in filtered light.
Look around your house and determine the areas that are heavily trafficked and require frequent cleaning. Durability and ease of cleaning is one of the main considerations in selecting a paint sheen. Though many contemporary manufacturers now make paint of all finish types with good cleaning qualities, a rule of thumb remains that the shinier the paint finish, the better it will stand up to washing and cleaning. This is a helpful consideration when painting areas that the kids use. That is why a satin paint may be appropriate for the walls of a kids room, whereas a flat or egg shell may be preferable for the master bedroom or accent wall.
Kitchens and bathrooms that have heavy usage, splashing and steam may require a semi-gloss paint. While this will be especially true of cabinetry, satin may suffice for some of the walls.
For textured walls or if you need to conceal surface imperfections, you will want to use the flatter finishes such as a flat or matte, which are less reflective of light. A corollary to this is that any surface in which you use a glossier finish needs to have the drywall well prepared because the gloss will highlight the slightest drywall imperfection.
The standard for interior walls is a satin finish, though a flat enamel or eggshell are good options as well. Satin finish has a smooth, velvety look and a bit more gloss. It is often used for doors, windows, trim, and walls where you anticipate frequent cleaning such as heavily trafficked hallways and the kid’s play room.
Semi-gloss or gloss finishes have limited interior applications in a home, but some people will use this for a special accent on certain trims, cabinetry and doors or in certain commerical locations like a lobby or waiting room. Most ceilings are painted with a flat sheen, but an eggshell can work as long as the ceiling surface is flawless.
It is not unusual to use 2 or 3 different paint sheens for an interior paint job and sometimes a color that works well with an eggshell finish will be less appealing with a glossier finish. It simply is not enough to select your interior paint scheme based on color alone.
At Matthews Painting, our experience is that the choice of which sheen to use needs to be made on a room to room basis, and we will help you work it out. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation on which paint finishes will work best in your home or business.