Since there are a variety of paints on the market, choosing your paint may seem overwhelming at first. Don’t worry; this article will try and help sort through the choices so you can be confident about your choices.
Paint sheen refers to the shine (or gloss) that the paint type exhibits. High gloss paint will make your walls shine, but a flat paint won’t reflect light is creating that shine reflection. Each is important, for example, a flat paint hides scratches and other wall imperfections, but a high gloss would highlight those imperfections.
Here is a breakdown of the various sheens of paint you may run across and the proper application for each of them!
Flat: excellent for walls especially if the walls are rough or have blemishes (drywall joints) flat paint hides imperfections and does give a nice looking finish. Flat paint is the easiest to apply, and you will get a nice even looking finish when dry. Flat paint also touches up the best. Flat paint, unfortunately, does not wash well and scuffs more easily. Always use flat on ceilings (except in bathrooms and maybe kitchens) and never use flat on the trim.
Matte has a bit more sheen than flat making it slightly more washable and scuff resistant. Great on walls. Very similar in most ways to flat paint.
Satin/Egg-Shell: these sheens are not identical but very close. For most paint companies Egg-Shell has a bit more sheen than Satin, although the difference is minimal. Very durable paint to light washing and scuffing. Great in almost any room due to its happy medium type properties (washable yet easy to apply and a nice finish). Can be used on trim if you don’t want a shiny trim. Does show more imperfections than flat paint and is harder to touch up well.
Gloss: typically only used on door, railings, and trim. Very high sheen with nice leveling properties.
Many homeowners choose interior paint colors quickly without considering various shades and other factors. While this may achieve acceptable results, it does not maximize the potential of the space.
The Power of the Color Wheel
The color wheel groups color into families and align them with each other. Paint swatches are usually arranged in displays or in hand held collection of swatches that are organized with complimenting colors across from each other for easy viewing. This is a great way to choose coordinating colors or to pick out a color for an accent wall.
Most paint retailers wield exceptional technology in matching paint colors. While most people find just what they are looking for by using the color wheel or another arrangement of swatches, a clipping from a magazine or a piece of fabric can often be matched for the color to achieve the desired result.
The World of White Paint
One may be surprised with the number of available shades of white. Whites can offer the hints of other colors which will often make coordinating a white into the scheme easier if you have decided on the bolder colors already.
The paint sheen will also dictate the effect that is cast over a room by the paint. A glossy sheen is often reserved for trim work and bathroom walls or other areas that experience a great deal of moisture. Walls in bedrooms and living areas are most commonly painted with flat or eggshell finishes.