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description of the difference between paint styles: flat, eggshell, stain, semi-gloss and gloss

So You Chose a Color. Now What Paint Finish Do You Want?

We have talked about planning your painting project in prior blogs but I wanted to touch on paint finishes. Yes…another decision. After deciding on the paint color another consideration will be on the finish. There are several to choose from: varying from a flat finish to a high gloss paint. Luster and durability are basically the differences between these finishes.

A flat finish reflects very little light. It has very little shine to it. It tends to be a more dense paint and therefore the color spreads evenly. Because it also reflects little light it can be effective in hiding little imperfections. It can fill those little holes left behind when removing or rearranging wall hangings. If several applications were needed they will blend well. Flat paint can be a little harder to keep clean, so it may not be a good choice for the kitchen or bathroom or for high traffic areas like hallways.

Eggshell (sometimes called satin) finish on your walls is a great choice for most projects. Eggshell has slightly more luster than a flat finish, but certainly not shiny. It also resists stains better than flat and can be wiped with a wet rag.

Semi-gloss finishes are most often used for trim and doors. It is hardy and can withstand several cleanings so it is a good choice for children’s rooms. Keeping in mind what we mentioned about hiding imperfections….. Semi-gloss since it reflects more light will allow those imperfections to stand out. You will need to take the time to do some repair before applying this paint finish.

High gloss paint is most often used for window and door trim. It is often used for furniture because it has a hard and shiny finish. We have had requests though for gloss in small sections to add a real emphasis to a design or “pop”!!!

Choosing a Paint Finish

We would recommend always starting with a primer. This is especially recommended if a lot of repair is necessary or you are covering a dark color. Most primers these days allow you to apply over whatever finish. Some prep work might be required. You can also tint the primer for even more effective coverage.

If you need advice or want to hire a professional to do the painting for you, please contact us for a free estimate. Our professionals can help you through your painting project and all the decisions you are about to make.