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Do I Need To Pay Attention To Paint Finish??

Yes!! When you’re ready to refresh, knowing what style and finish of paint to use will extend the life of your project, protect against damage, and keep your sanity intact.

So many clients ask what finish is best for their project and I get it - choosing a paint finish can be overwhelming. When in doubt, defer to the professionals. But if you are tackling a new DIY project here are some tips to help you get started!

Things To Consider When Selecting A Paint Finish

Aesthetic: Different paint finishes, such as flat, satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss, have unique visual characteristics. Choosing the right finish can significantly impact the overall appearance of your project. For instance, a glossy finish can make a surface appear vibrant and reflective, while a matte finish offers a subdued, elegant look.

Durability: Paint finishes vary in terms of durability and resistance to wear and tear. In high-traffic areas, like hallways or kitchens, a durable finish like semi-gloss or satin is preferable because it is easier to clean and more resistant to scuffs and stains. Understanding the intended use of the painted surface helps you select a finish that will stand the test of time.

woman crouches down near a white wall to inspect it

Imperfections: Paint finishes can conceal or emphasize surface imperfections. A glossy finish, for example, highlights flaws like uneven texture or bumps, while matte finishes tend to hide them. Assessing the condition of your surface and choosing an appropriate finish can save you from having to invest extra time and effort in surface preparation.

Lighting: Paint finishes can influence how light interacts with your space. Glossy finishes reflect light, making rooms appear brighter and more spacious. In contrast, matte finishes absorb light, creating a cozier ambiance. Considering the lighting conditions in your space and your desired mood can guide your choice of finish.

Maintenance: Different paint finishes require varying levels of maintenance. Glossy finishes may show fingerprints and smudges more easily, necessitating more frequent cleaning. Matte finishes, on the other hand, are more forgiving in this regard. Your lifestyle and willingness to maintain the painted surface should inform your finish choice.

lime green, red, orange, and sky blue paint on 4 different rollers

Functionality: The function of the painted surface should guide your finish selection. For instance, exterior surfaces exposed to the elements benefit from a durable, weather-resistant finish. In contrast, an accent wall in a bedroom may benefit from a finish that enhances the room's ambiance.

Personal Preferences: Ultimately, your personal preferences play a crucial role in the selection of paint finishes. What you find visually appealing and comfortable matters. Considering your tastes and preferences ensures that the finished DIY project aligns with your vision and satisfies your expectations.

Quick Tips

Looking for some quick and easy advice to go by - here is what I would do in my own home! Flat: great on ceilings or low traffic areas

Eggshell: low sheen, smooth finish, easily washable and pretty good at stain fighting. Use in hallways, dining rooms, and living rooms. Anything non-moisture rooms with high traffic!

Satin: soft sheen and high durability, resists mildew and fading, and easier to clean than flat or eggshell. Best for rough and tumble family rooms, play areas, and damp spots like the kitchen or bathroom.

Semi-gloss and High-gloss: perfect for doors, cabinets, and trim.

What About The Paint Base?

I turned to Forbes for some great advice on this topic!

couple holds hands while covered in paint and carrying paint brushes

“When deciding between oil-based or water-based, consider this important factor before you start: You can put water-based paint over oil-based paint but not the opposite, so the surface that you’re starting with matters.

If you’re painting a surface you plan to change frequently, water-based is a better option. If longevity is the goal, then oil-based is worthy of consideration. If you’re new to DIY painting, oil-based can hide application errors (brush and roller marks, for instance) better than water-based paint, but it also has a more pungent smell, takes longer to dry, and needs special solutions for cleaning tools.”

Need help deciding on paint colors? Give me a call!

We offer paint consultations virtually and in-person!


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