Things to consider when choosing an interior paint finish
Choosing the paint colour is hard enough. Once the perfect shade is chosen, though, what finish should be used? The reality is, that there isn’t one finish that’s best for any part of a room or for a specific room. Choosing the right finish involves a number of factors, all of which need to be considered together. Read below to learn more about the different things to think about when choosing an interior paint finish.
Location of the Paint
What’s being painted? Paint for walls can vary from matte to semi-gloss or gloss, while paint for cabinets should be somewhere between satin and gloss. Doors will often be painted with an eggshell or a low lustre finish, while trim will be pearl, semi-gloss, or gloss. A lot of the decisions for what to paint different items in the house come from considering the following.
Amount of Sheen
How much sheen is desired? With most areas in the home, there are a few different finish options that will look great and work well. This provides homeowners with the opportunity to choose a sheen they prefer. If a shiny, bright look is desired, opt for a finish with a higher amount of sheen. If a dull, flat finish is preferred to showcase the colours or work with the lighting in the room, opt for a matte or eggshell finish, as these have less sheen.
Durability Over Time
For walls, cabinets, or other items that might be painted frequently, durability isn’t a high priority. In most cases, however, homeowners will want to opt for a finish that is more durable. Most people aren’t going to want to paint all of the walls or the cabinets every few years, so a more durable paint is desired. The higher the sheen the finish has, the more durable it’s going to be since it has protection to help it hold up better over time.
Traffic in the Area
A lot of traffic through a room can lead to fingerprints, dust, dirt, and more getting on the walls, cabinets, and other painted surfaces. These rooms often benefit from more gloss paint, though not necessarily gloss, as the higher sheen helps make it easier to clean and can help hide any imperfections in the paint. High-traffic areas include entryways, family rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms, as these areas see more foot traffic compared to other parts of the home.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning may be a concern, especially in rooms that are used more frequently. It’s also a concern in children’s bedrooms or playrooms, as they may end up colouring on the walls or getting the room messier than other rooms might get. While there are plenty of tips for how to clean walls, using a finish with more sheen can make cleaning easier to do. For areas that are likely to get really messy, opt for semi-gloss or gloss, as these are the easiest to clean.
Along with ease of cleaning, how resistant the finish is to staining can be important. Even if the surface is easy to clean, stains can be difficult to remove. Areas that have a higher potential for staining, like kitchens, can benefit from a finish with more sheen. Semi-gloss and gloss have the most stain resistance, while matte or eggshell finishes can potentially stain a lot easier. If stains aren’t a concern, any finish may work for the room.
Potential for Flaws
Homeowners make mistakes when painting cabinets or walls, especially if they don’t have any prior experience. There are also flaws in the wall itself, like dents or scratches in the drywall. While it’s important to make sure the surface being painted is as clean and flawless as possible, flaws will appear. When they do, a finish with a lower amount of gloss or sheen can help hide the flaws, making them far less noticeable. Flat or matte paints tend to hide flaws easier than other finishes, but anything with a lower sheen will help.
Some areas in the home have more moisture than others. Kitchens and bathrooms, for instance, are prone to moisture issues because of the amount of water used in the rooms. In the bathroom, for instance, hot water from the shower can cause fogging in the room. This eventually leads to condensation, which can settle on the walls and run down them. A higher gloss is going to help protect the paint from moisture, keeping it in good shape for a lot longer.
Choosing the right finish can be a matter of preference, but it often includes a lot more. Take time when picking out paint colors to choose the right finish, too. With finishes ranging from matte to high-gloss, there are tons of options to pick from, and there may not be one right answer for a particular room or surface. Use the information here to narrow down the options and pick out the right finish for any painting project.