How to Pick the Right Kind of Latex Paint for the Job

So, you’re going to have your favorite painters come in to spruce up your house. That’s great! It’s in your best interest to know a little about the kinds of latex paint available and where it is best used in your home before you get started. In this post, we’ll go over the five different kinds of latex paint finishes available so you can make the best choice for your new home makeover.

Flat/Matte Paints

If you have walls that aren’t perfect, flat or matte finishes are probably your best bet. Often times professional painters will suggest that flat paints be only used on walls in areas with very little traffic or only used on ceilings. Matte paint finishes will tone-down harsh lighting and spread the light more evenly, giving the room a warmer, more inviting feel.

Suggested areas to use flat/matte paints are in the bedrooms, the dining area, and in the living-room. Flat paints aren’t the best for the kitchen or in bathrooms due to the fact that flat and matte finishes are not moisture resistant and can be very hard to clean. Newly formulated premium flat paints do clean up better, however, the longer it’s been since the room was painted, the harder it’ll be to touch up spots inconspicuously.

Eggshell Paints

Eggshell is a low-sheen finish. Much like flat finishes, eggshell is a perfect choice for living-rooms and bedrooms. Although they are more durable than flat paints, eggshell finishes are still not particularly suited for high-traffic areas such as entryways and hallways because they are easily damaged.

Eggshell paints do have a more washable finish than flat paints. However, like matte finishes, they can still be less suitable for high moisture areas like bathrooms. With that said, they are fairly easy to clean and can be touched up much the same as flat paints.

Satin Paint

Satin paint has a silky sheen to it and is a good choice for woodwork that gets a bit of traffic such as around window and door casings. Satin paints are often a good choice for family rooms. Other places that satin paints work very well are children’s bedrooms, laundry rooms, utility rooms, your kitchen and in bathrooms. The benefit of satin paint is that it offers much more durability than either flat or eggshell finishes.

Another good thing about satin paint is that it has a warm finish much like flat or eggshell paints. Satin paints are also more durable and easier to clean than either flat or eggshell. The downside to using this paint is that it’s much harder to touch up than the former choices. This is because the difference in sheen will be noticeable between the old paint and the new unless it is done by a professional painter.

Semi-gloss Paint

Semi-gloss is often used for door and window trims and mouldings. This type of finish is also ideal for kitchen and bathroom walls because it is much less effected by water and humidity. Semi-gloss paints are often used in kitchens, mud-rooms, bathrooms and rear entries because of its durability. It resists staining and rougher treatment better than any of the previous lower-sheen finishes.

Highly durable and very easy to clean, semi-gloss paint is the most versatile paint for homes with children. However, semi-gloss is more difficult to touch up because, like eggshell paint, the difference in paint sheen will be readily apparent unless it is done by a professional painter.

 

Gloss Paint

Gloss paints are almost never used on walls because it will greatly exaggerate imperfections on the wall’s surface. Gloss is typically used on door and window casings, mantles, woodwork, trim and other mouldings. This type of paint tends to work best on surfaces that are very smooth and virtually error-free.

Gloss paint is the most durable finish and by far the easiest to clean. However, it is the most difficult to touch up of all the paint finishes. Much like the semi-gloss and satin paint, the difference in sheen will tend to show up more easily than flat or eggshell finishes.

As you can see, the kind of paint you choose depends most on where you intend to use it. Flat and eggshell paints are best used on ceilings to help disperse light and in low traffic areas where clean-up isn’t an issue. Whereas paints with a higher sheen such as satin, semi-gloss and gloss paints will be easier to clean.

Resource: New Lenox Illinois

 

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