Yay! You’ve finally settled on the perfect color for that room you want painted. But wait, you’re not finished yet. An equally important decision is choosing the right paint finish. Interior house paints essentially come in three finishes. Depending on your paint supplier, those finishes are called flat or matte, eggshell or satin, and semi-gloss or high-gloss. Each finish has its pros and cons, serves a specific purpose, and is best suited for specific areas of your home. The paint finish you choose will have an impact on the look and feel of your finished room.
Flat or matte paints give a simple, smooth finish to your walls. Because this finish doesn’t reflect light, it tends to hide surface imperfections. On the other hand, flat paints don’t clean up has easily as other finishes, so it is better to use them in low-traffic areas – bedrooms, studies, formal living or dining rooms.
Eggshell paints have a soft luster like, well, an egg shell. This slight sheen reflects light, so it tends to reveal stains and scuffs that result from everyday life. On the positive side, eggshell paints are durable making this finish a good choice for those rooms that see more activity – hallways, family rooms, and other spaces where kids live.
Semi-gloss or high-gloss is the glamour finish of paints – shiny and chic. This is a great finish for highlighting details; however, it reveals every brushstroke and flaw your surfaces have. This finish is most often used for smaller surfaces, like moldings, trims and stair railings. Because this finish is resistant to dirt, stains and mildew, it is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.
The right interior paint finish will make a big difference in the look and upkeep of your newly painted room. Choose wisely!