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Types of Interior Paint Finish


A majority of interior paints are latex with the exception of some oil-based paints. Latex is by far the most popular paint choice nowadays due to it's ability to hold color, ease of application, and durability. Latex also doesn't have the heavy odor of oil and latex dries faster as well. Cleanup is very easy with latex paint if you clean the areas while the paint is still wet. Latex paints with 100% acrylic are the best option due to their superior durability and long lasting effects, although they are more expensive. There are a variety of different latex paint finishes to choose from and listed below are the most common.

  • Matte aka Flat - Matte finish doesn't offer much gloss nor reflect light well and are best suited for ceilings or walls with imperfections since the flat finish tends to hide any bumps on the surface. Matte surfaces are slightly harder to clean than your typical gloss finish so it's best used in areas of relatively low to moderate traffic.
  • Eggshell - Eggshell is a mellow paint with a slight hint of gloss and light reflection. This finish is used high traffic areas because it is very easy to clean and also comes in many neutral colors.
  • Satin - Satin finish has a very smooth silky look to the paint. Satin can be used in both low traffic and high traffic areas because it is relatively easy to clean. Many satin paints are used in kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and any other parts of the home.
  • Semi-Gloss - Not nearly as glitzy as the full blown gloss paint, but somewhere in between a gloss and satin. Semi-gloss has a very appealing look to it because it reflects light well and makes the room shine although it is harder to clean than a satin or eggshell finish. Semi-Gloss can also be used to bring out the color of your wood banisters, railings, steps, stairways, and high traffic areas.
  • Gloss - You guessed it-- this finish reflects light very well and thus generates a glossy effect for the room. If you are looking to add a real shine to your room then go with gloss. Many people also use a gloss finish to accent their architecture, railings, steps, banisters, and any other areas of the house that develop an impression with guests. Gloss will show any bumps or scratches on the walls so be careful to completely sand the wall before applying a gloss paint.

Durability, ease of cleaning, and color are the three major factors in choosing an interior paint for your walls, windows, doors, accents, and every other area of your home. The best way to choose an interior paint is to get quite a few different samples of paint styles and colors and then put them up against the area you wish to paint to see how they could like. Next, purchase small samples of the paints you are interested in and physically apply them to the wall and allow a few hours to dry to really give you an idea of how the paint looks. Once you made the decision on paint selection you can either hire a professional painter or do it yourself. Be sure to put plastic on the floor and along the windows and electrical outlets if you paint yourself, or just hire a painter to take care of the hard work for you!

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