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Pro Painting Tips and Tricks: Paint Sheen

Marshall’s Home Pro Painting Tips and Tricks: Paint Sheen. What are the different kinds of paint finishes, and how would you select them for each room?

First I would like to say “There are no rules, It’s your living space, be happy and do what feels good to you!”

Paint finish comes in three general categories:Flat Finish – also known as matte finish. Satin Finish – also known as eggshell or low luster. Gloss Finish – also known as semi-gloss and high gloss. Flat or Matte Finish. Flat enamel is a paint with a durable flat, matte finish.

A downside to flat paint is that stains are more difficult to remove because unlike paints with a higher sheen, their non-reflective surfaces and have a porous texture which can trap dirt and make cleaning more challenging.

While some flat paints are advertised as washable today, you may need to touch up scratches or marks by covering with a bit more paint. So be sure to keep some on hand after you’ve finished painting. Since flat paint absorbs light touch up s will not be as noticeable. A good question to ask is, “When was the last time you actually scrubbed your walls?”If you have poorly finished walls, this would probably be the best finish to use. As it tends to show less flaws. I think the color is truer with a little more depth to the tone. It used to be the rule that when painting a ceiling always use a flat paint, but who likes rules anyway?

Eggshell Finish. When you look at an eggshell it does not have much of a sheen (but there is one). This finish has only a slight hint of shine or gloss so it’s a good choice for walls and holds up better with cleaning than flat finish paint. This tends to be the default sheen selection because it presents the best of both worlds –good color saturation and the ability to wipe down the wall around the light switch without changing the wall texture. I think it’s great on ceiling, giving it just a touch of reflection to the lighting.

Satin Finish. Satin finish paint has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more gloss. It is often used for windows, doors, and trim but on rare occasions can also be used as wall paint. This is particularly suitable for kids’ room walls, kitchen or bathrooms (spaces of high humidity or at the risk of getting wet), areas which get a lot of traffic. Paint with a satin finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing.

Semi-Gloss. Semi-gloss paint is most often used on doors, trim and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. It is easily cleaned and lays down a nice, subtle shine, without being too slippery looking. Take care with pre-paint preparation work, as poorly prepared surfaces will show everything.

High Gloss. High gloss paints have an almost reflective quality, as their shiny finish mimics the look of enamel or plastic. Though not widely used in home interiors, it is becoming more popular for a dramatic look on cabinets, trim and furniture in very formal and very contemporary settings. This finish will magnify any and all surface imperfections, so thought and careful preparation and sanding is essential before painting with high gloss paints.

Keep in mind that if that speck of dust floating through the house lands on the surface – you’re screwed because it will be obvious to everyone. Lighting, architecture and room decor are three factors to consider when choosing a paint color or sheen.

An ideal paint color is one that considers all three elements and provides balance to the space.To ensure that you’re interior paint job last as long as possible wipe away any spots that accumulate, before the dirt becomes trapped in the paint. Dirt spots are most likely to occur in areas near where you’re cooking. Cooking oil, once airborne, can land on the nearby walls.

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