Paint finish types- By far, the most important classification of paint is the one that provides information about the type of finish. With the traditional application of paint, the finish reveals how the paint reflects light once it’s dry. An exception is when special painting techniques (e.g. faux painting) are used, since these lend a completely different finish. Generally speaking, in commercial buildings, the finish paint depends solely on the type of the paint used. Certain finishes are more appropriate for certain rooms; this is because each paint finish has certain properties, apart from the way it looks, that distinguish it from the other finishes.
Flat finish paint colours reflect light poorly. It’s a rough finish that’s generally considered to be warm and comfortable. Flat finishes are not slippery; therefore, they don’t wash very well. For this reason, it’s not recommended to use a flat finish paint on walls in rooms that have less traffic (e.g. Living room, dining room, master bedroom etc). Flat paint colors are usually used in rooms with only a few people and the chances of dirtying are less than high traffic areas. Flat finish colour is great for hiding imperfections in the walls because highly reflective paints draw attention to imperfections by creating a crack in the uniform light reflection. Flat paints inherently avoid this problem. Unfortunately, paints with enamel finishes contain extremely stronger chemicals and can exude an odor for several days. If you are choosing a flat finish be sure to choose a reputable manufacturer to avoid this odour problem since many of the newer paints carry low VOC properties. Some manufacturers carry flat paints that are more washable than others. For example, Behr Paint has a good flat paint that is very washable and low VOC as well.
The next paint on the curve of reflective/shininess properties—the eggshell finish—has a decent amount of sheen. If you can imagine looking at an eggshell in the light and seeing how the light bounces off of it, you’ll have a good idea about what this finish will look like. As expected, the eggshell finish is easier to clean because of its slight gloss. Eggshell finishes are usually used in common areas such as halls, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.
A satin paint finish is glossier than an eggshell finish, and it’s even easier to keep clean. Due to their dirt resistance and ease of cleaning, the usual choices of location for satin finishes are halls and stairways. The finish gives a velvety shine to the surface and will not hide imperfections. Satin finishes are usually used in kitchens, bathrooms, trim and doors.
Semi-gloss paints have a high durability and a good amount of sheen. They are best used on surfaces like doors and trim. Due to their high water resistance and ease of cleaning, they are also an excellent choice for painting the walls of kitchens and bathrooms.
At the high end of the reflective gradient are glossy paints, which are rarely chosen for interior walls due to their extreme shine—any imperfections will glaringly stand out. It’s best to use them when painting floors, doors, and trim; the finish is extremely durable. Gloss paints are usually used on trim and doors. Sometimes it can also be used in a very high traffic commercial area where appearance is secondary, and durability is more important (ie. factory workhouse, floors etc).