How do I choose the right paint finish?

Author: Hertha Murazik Jr.  |  Last update: Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Paint Sheen Quick Tips:
Satin or eggshell paints are good at hiding imperfections, whilst still being durable making them perfect for higher-traffic areas like hallways. Matte or flat paints are not very durable making them best for areas that have little traffic and don't require much cleaning.

What paint finish do professionals use?

Matte Paint

Regal® Select Interior Matte (N548) is a professional painter favorite for its ease of application and smooth feel after drying. Matte finish paint also withstands frequent washing, even when applied in busier areas like hallways and family rooms.

Do designers use flat or eggshell paint?

From the perspective of a Color Designer/Consultant, I typically specify eggshell on walls for multiple reasons that benefit the people who are dwelling in the home. Eggshell paint cleans easier, covers better, wears better, and lasts longer than flat paint.

What is the most common paint finish for walls?

Satin: Satin finishes are the most common interior paint finish. They have a velvety sheen and are easier to clean than flat and eggshell paints, which makes them a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, playrooms, family rooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Which paint finish has best coverage?

"Flat finishes provide a uniform matte look, so furniture, fabric, and accessories can pop. They also offer the most coverage because they have the most pigment—just remember that all matte finishes are not the same." Stevens likes to use flat-finish paint on ceilings because it can hide imperfections.

How To Pick The Right Paint Finish! | House Paint Finishes Explained

Is eggshell or satin better for walls?

The lower-gloss finish of eggshell paint makes it better at hiding imperfections like uneven brushstrokes on the surface of your walls. The higher-gloss finish of satin paint makes it the best paint for highlighting the definition of decorative surfaces such as cabinets and moldings.

What sheen hides imperfections?

The flat sheen is good at hiding surface imperfections, such as dents, nail holes, patches and other surface flaws in new construction. It is also a good choice for ceiling painting. Flat finishes often require fewer coats than semi-gloss and gloss paints.

What wall paint do professionals use?

It seems that latex paints have won over even the most finicky painters. “Though we still use oil-based paints for restoration work, latex paints are fine for interior walls and new trim,” says Toto, “as long as you don't go cheap on the paint.”

What is the easiest wall paint finish to clean?

That means that Satin, semi-gloss, and High Gloss will be the easiest to wipe away blemishes without harming the surfaces. That being said, not many homeowners want their interior walls to shine at that level. Usually, Satin, Semi-Gloss, and High Gloss are left to cabinets, trim, and doors.

Is flat or satin better for walls?

It depends on the surface you are painting. For interior walls in high-traffic spaces like a mudroom, satin or eggshell finishes work best. Flat or matte finishes work best for most ceilings and semi-gloss is recommended for interior trim and doors.

Why is eggshell paint so popular?

Eggshell paint sheen is popular for many good reasons. It is an attractive, one-size-fits-all paint sheen that draws out the best in a paint's color. At the same time, eggshell is cleanable and somewhat resistant to wear and tear.

What finish is best for interior walls?

Flat, eggshell and satin paint are best for interior walls, whereas semi-gloss and gloss paint are best for trim and woodwork. An eggshell finish has a subtler shine to it, so it's a great choice if you're not ready for satin.

Should living room paint be flat or eggshell?

We recommend matte paints for bedrooms and as living room paint finishes where the walls are exposed to less moisture, choosing a glossier eggshell finish for kitchens and as a paint finish for bathrooms, which are more prone to moisture, as well as children's rooms, which might need more regular cleaning.

What is the best paint finish for living room walls?

In the living room and dining room, opt for an eggshell or satin finish. It hides flaws and imperfections — especially on uneven walls — and makes the room look more high-end, which you definitely want when you're showing your house.

What are the 5 levels of paint finish?

5 Types of Paint Finishes and Where to Use Them in Your Home
  • High-Gloss Paint Finishes. High gloss paints are the most light-reflecting and shiny of all of the types of paint sheens. ...
  • Semi-Gloss Paint Finish. ...
  • Satin Paint Finish. ...
  • Eggshell Paint Finish. ...
  • Flat / Matte Paint Finish.

What is the best paint finish for living room and kitchen?

Best for: Family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. Satin, which is a little more hard-wearing than eggshell, works well in those rooms and also in kitchens, dining areas, children's bedrooms, and bathrooms. Many satin finishes are tough enough to use on trim as well.

Should you wash walls before painting them?

Cleaning walls and trim will remove grime, cobwebs, dust and stains that can prevent your paint from adhering. Use a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap, gently rubbing in a circular motion. Rinse your walls using a slightly damp cellulose sponge.

Can you wipe down eggshell paint?

Eggshell- and satin-finish paint types tend to be easier to clean than flat finishes but require a gentler touch than semi- or high-gloss paint. Use a mild cleaning solution and a soft, warm cloth. Test a small area first. If the spot doesn't come out, it may be best to cover it with some of the original paint.

What do professional painters use to clean walls before painting?

Professional painters use mild detergent and warm water when washing walls prior to painting for the best results.

What is the most common type of paint in residential use?

Latex paint is still the most common option for indoor paint jobs, and is also the most environmentally responsible option. It dries faster than oil-based paint, and it is easier to clean—soap and water does the job.

Why is Benjamin Moore paint so expensive?

Benjamin Moore has the upper hand in terms of quality, which is why it costs slightly more than Sherwin-Williams house paint. Both manufacturers have multiple lines of interior and exterior paint, such as Cashmere, Emerald, or Duration.

How many coats of paint do professionals use?

The layperson may think they can save time or money by using just one coat of paint, or that they've chosen the thickness or sheen that will perform up to their standards – but it's quite likely they'll be disappointed with the long-term results. So, back to the first answer: always use two coats.

What is the most forgiving paint sheen?

Flat paint is the most forgiving finish with the best color payout. If you need to cover imperfections, patching or joints, flat paint can absorb light, making your dings and flaws less noticeable.

What is the easiest paint finish to touch up?

Flat / Matte Paint

The good news is that flat paint is easy to touch up. Matte paint is not recommended for bathrooms and kitchens, but it is ideal for living room walls, ceilings, bedrooms, and walls which have many imperfections.

What sheen is most durable?

The best paint finish for exterior walls is a toss-up between eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss paint. All three choices offer more durability than matte finishes while still hiding blemishes or imperfections on your home's exterior.

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