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Interior Paint Finish Options

August 3, 2012 · Print This Article


YOLO Colorhouse Eggshell Interior Paint

When you use paint on an interior space you have to be concerned about more than just color. The finish refers to that subtle, yet potent quality, whereby the surface of the paint is flat or shiny when exposed to light. This will determine not only how it sits in the room, and what style it will evoke, but also how easy it will be to keep clean, and how well it will hold up under repeat washings.

Flat Enamel: This is a very neutral, dull, solid colored finish that does not have the glossy sheen that many other selections have. Perfect for very basic, or rustic interiors , paints with a flat enamel finish do not seem as glitzy and plastic as some of the other, shinier looks available. Unfortunately this finish is also the least resistant to cleaning, and will only be able to hold up to a moderate washing schedule.

Eggshell: This is slightly shinier than flat enamel, with just the softest hint of sheen glancing off the surface of the paint. It gets it’s name because the level of gloss is actually very similar to that found on the surface of an actual egg’s shell. This finish tends to hold up to cleaning slightly better than flat enamel paints do, and is very popular for walls in low traffic areas.

Satin Finish: A slightly shiny finish that doesn’t glow with glistening distracting light, satin finish paints are often used in high traffic areas such as hallways, or kids rooms, because they stand up well to repeated cleanings. It is also often used on featured elements such as doors, or window frames, to give them a little bit of a ‘pop’ against a flatter eggshell or enamel finish on walls.

Semi-Gloss: This is a shiny finish that is usually reserved for elements that get a lot of use, such as doors, cabinets, and windows. While it can be applied to walls it is generally a little bit too shiny, and can end up making a room feel uncomfortable and plastic if used too sparingly. Instead it is often reserved for accent elements which contrast with a flatter paint applied to the broad surface of the walls themselves.

Glossy: This is the highest gloss paint finish available. Because it is so shiny and shimmering, it is rarely used in interiors where it would be distracting. However in some ultra modern settings it can be used to create a striking effect on furniture pieces or cabinets. While it stands up well to cleaning, it also tends to enhance any imperfections in a surface, making preparation of the piece itself vital before paint is applied.

Generally speaking glossier paints will work better in more modern settings, while flat paints will be more appropriate in rustic, cabin, and understated d├ęcor arrangements. The shinier finish paints also tend to hold up better under repeated cleanings, while their counterparts may start to fade away over time. It is important to understand how the feature being painted will be used on a regular basis, in order to determine which finish is appropriate.

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