When it comes to painting, whether it is the walls in your home or an old piece of furniture you want to bring back to life, it seems as if color is the shining star. But as much fun as it is picking out that perfect hue, there is more to consider. Paint comes in many finishes and it is important to choose the right one in each situation.
Let’s begin with “flat” paint. This paint will produce a matte look on your surface. This style is considered the most forgiving of the bunch. If you have textured walls, or small imperfections like patches or joints, flat paint will absorb light to hide any flaws. The downside of flat paint is that it does not hold up well to cleaning, as its porous texture can trap dirt and debris.
Best places for flat paint: Ceilings, accent walls, closets, low-traffic rooms, console tables, and bookcases.
This style has a little more sheen than flat paint and gives a greater depth of color. Looking straight on it may seem matte, but if you step to the side you can see the shine. It also touts more cleanability as you can easily wipe up marks with a damp cloth.
Best places for eggshell paint: Living room, bedroom, dining room, dressers, and bedframes.
This paint is similar to both eggshell and semigloss, but it has a tendency to give out a warm, pearl-like finish. Its durability makes it a little easier to clean than eggshell.
Best places for satin paint: Hallways and children’s rooms.
If you are looking for a paint that will reflect light and look bright, then choose semigloss. It is best used in places that you clean frequently, as it is more durable. It is great to use in high-moisture areas as well, just make sure to ask for a mildew-resistant paint formula.
Best places for semigloss paint: Bathroom, kitchen, mudroom, doors, baseboards, tables, chair, and children’s furniture.
The higher the sheen, the more vivid the color. If you are looking for both, then high-gloss paint is the perfect choice. This paint is ideal for rich colors such as reds, woodsy greens and navy blues. If want to highlight a great architectural detail in your home, you can do so with high-gloss paint.
Best places for high-gloss paint: Cabinets, doors, and baseboards.
If you are ready to give one of the rooms in your house (or anything else) a refresh for the New Year, just remember that not all paints are alike. Make sure to consider the state of your surface, how much use it might get or damage potentially done to it, and pick the right paint finish for the job.