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How To Choose The Right Paint Finish

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When painting an object, decorative piece, furniture, or wall, two aspects stand out. One is the color or tonality that has been chosen for the painting, and the other is the gloss, also called the paint finish. There are three primary finishes: matte, satin, and glossy. Your choice will depend on the manufacturer, the type of paint, and where the paint will be used.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: House Beautiful
How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Realtor Tan
How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: BHG

Let’s check out the main finishes you’re most likely going to be choosing from:

  1. Ultra-gloss (High Gloss)
  2. Glossy
  3. Satin (Semi-gloss Or Satin)
  4. Velvety (Semi-matte Or Eggshell)
  5. Matte (Opaque Or Flat)

Choosing the Right Paint Finish

Ultra-Gloss Finish

The ultra-gloss finish is used only in some specific cases, where the gloss becomes more of an aesthetic than a practical issue.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Elle Decor

Furniture or pieces painted with an ultra-gloss finish product generally require a pre and post-application treatment to achieve the desired effect.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Good Housekeeping

Use it on accent furniture, tabletops, or counters, and also in small decorative pieces.

Glossy Finish

The glossy finish is more washable than lower gloss ones and is less susceptible to stains, so it is used on doors, windows, or furniture.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Elle Decor

However, it is also usually used on walls in a decorative way. It is also one of the best options for hardwood floors.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Pinterest

Satin Finish

Satin stands out for its delicacy. A semi-gloss is an intermediate point between shiny and matte when the paint dries. It is also still washable, at least much better than matte paint.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: The Spruce

In the case of painting with a brush or roller, satin is the best option if you want some shine without showing the marks of the bristles.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Homeyou

Use it on doors and windows, wooden ceilings and floors, and wrought iron furniture or rustic wood. It is also a  good option for kitchen and bathroom walls.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source from: Pinterest

Eggshell Finish

The eggshell finish, also known as the velvety finish, is not entirely opaque or satin; it is a middle ground.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Martha Stewart

It is much less washable than the previous options, but that does not mean it should be disregarded. Use it on walls throughout the house; it looks pretty lovely because of its soft reflection of light.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: The Spruce

Matte Finish

The matte paint finish without any gloss is one of the most common options for painting walls, ceilings, and exteriors.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Decor Aid

It is tough to clean unless it is washable paint.  That is, it is formulated to withstand washing with detergent products and water. Matte is the finish that best hides imperfections, though.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Real Simple

Use it on walls, as it’s significantly less likely to stain. Avoid children’s rooms, workplaces, or places where crowds gather or pass through.

How To Choose The Right Paint Finish
Source: Decor Aid

In the case of matte finish varnishes, the best use is achieved on rustic wood furniture and any objects you want to look natural but with protection.

Knowing the right paint finish to use – and where – is a great skill and will go a long way to bringing out the beauty of your home decor.



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