Each room in the house has its own purpose, and remodeling should reflect that. While it wouldn’t make too much sense to put an overstuffed chair in the bathroom, it can be done—but the same can’t be said about paint finishes. Here’s everything you need to know before uncapping the can.
When it comes to painting, there are about a half dozen different types of finishes, each with their own specialized purpose. The amount of shine and durability differs from room to room, with some rooms requiring very specific finishes.
The main difference between matte and flat enamel is the amount of shine: matte has a little bit of shine in it, while flat enamel doesn’t. It’s just as durable as matte is, but also not very easy to clean and therefore should be used in powder rooms or hallways.
Also known as a flat finish, this type of finish is for interior walls that call for a matte (low-shiny) appearance. It’s also only available in latex paint, and is good to cover up imperfections like bumps and cracks because it doesn’t reflect a lot of light. Some matte finishes are advertised as being washable, but they’re generally hard to clean and shouldn’t be used in high-dirt areas like kitchens or bathrooms.
There’s just a bit more sheen to eggshell than there is to matte or flat, but not much—just like the surface of an egg. It cleans up okay, but not well, and is good for walls in low-traffic areas or used as a decorative touch. Eggshell finish is not a good idea for kitchens and bathrooms.
Getting up the gloss scale, a satin finish has more sheen than eggshell and matte, with a smooth velvety appearance. Although it’s not very scrubbable, it can stand up to a bit of it, and can be used in areas with more traffic to them (windows, door, trim, ceiling, dining room, non-child bedroom.)
This finish has a shine to it, but a subtle one. It’s also good for scrubbing and cleaning, and suitable for doors, trim, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens and moldings. Just make sure to prep the area with pre-paint work first because semi-gloss paint can highlight imperfections.
The finish with the most amount of shine, high-gloss has a polished look to it, which also makes it very amenable to being cleaned and scrubbed. It’s also quite stain-resistant, which means it’s an excellent choice for high-traffic and high-humidity areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and children’s rooms. Even something like crayon can be cleaned off easily with high-gloss finish.