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WHICH PAINT FINISH TO USE?

There are so many beautiful paint colours and finishes on the market that it can be a difficult decision for homeowners to settle on a shade for their home. Many painting contractors have their preferred brands, but plenty of high-quality options exist.

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 paint used. 

The finish of your favourite paint colour can impact the room just as much as the colour. Choosing types of wall paint finishes can change the look and feel of a room entirely, so knowing which finish you want is crucial.

Certain finishes are more appropriate for certain rooms. This is because each finish has certain properties, apart from the way it looks, that distinguish it from the other finishes. 

Typically it’s recommended that you opt for a matte finish for low-traffic areas and a gloss finish for high-traffic areas and bathrooms, as gloss is more durable in a humid environment.

Using paint finish

PAINT FINISH OPTIONS INCLUDE:

FLAT ENAMEL

• 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  recommended to use 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 in high traffic areas.

Flat finishes are great for hiding imperfections.

• Flat finishes are 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.

• Most of the enamel paint brands on the market are oil-based or water-based. Top paint brands have designed their products to have the best possible application and durability.

paint finish - flat

• If you are choosing a flat finish be sure to choose a reputable manufacturer to avoid this odor problem since many of the newer paints carry low VOC properties.

• Some manufacturers carry flat paints that are more washable than others.  For example, Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Behr all have good flat paints that are very washable and low VOC as well.

EGGSHELL

• The next paint on the curve of reflective/shininess properties—the eggshell finish—has a decent amount of sheen. Eggshell paint finish is a happy medium between gloss and flat. As it has a beautiful muted sheen and is a bit more durable than a flat finish.  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, and bedrooms.

Eggshell is universal.

• Eggshell is an excellent option for those who want more of a satin finish versus a full gloss or a flat finish. Eggshell paint finish is one of the most popular because of its versatility and durability.

eggshell paint finish

• Choosing a matte finish can be a bit challenging to care for, and it’s not easy to maintain. Especially in high-traffic areas. Cleaning a matte finish may result in discolouration and burnishing, where the colour begins to fade. Eggshell, satin or gloss paint finishes are much easier to care for and easier to clean.

SATIN FINISH PAINT COLORS

• 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.

• Satin is another extremely popular paint finish, and the top paint brands often offer this finish in their full range of shades.

• A satin paint finish is more versatile than other finishes. With proper lighting, can change the whole look and feel of a room. You can get a smooth and silky look with low light, and with bright or natural light. Your room can achieve a dynamic and vibrant look.

• 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.

• Satin is a beautiful finish, especially for new walls. However, if you don’t repair any damage to your wall before painting. Satin will emphasize any flaws on your walls.

GLOSS COLOURS

• 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 hightraffic commercial area where appearance is secondary, and durability is more important (i.e., factory workhouse, floors, etc).

• If you’re a fan of interior design and often look to prestigious designers for inspiration, many of them want a specialty finish. What paint finish do designers use? Typically high gloss finish paint.

High gloss paint finish

SEMI-GLOSS

• Semi-gloss paints have 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.

• Semi-gloss is a fantastic option for the small details of your home, like railings, baseboards, mantels, cabinets, or an element you want to draw attention to.

• This paint finish also offers a bolder colourway because it reflects light. This natural finish will not cover imperfections, however. The room painted will have an authentic and warm glow when completed.

• The number of extra steps that go into producing semi-gloss paint finish means it’s a bit more expensive and at the same time  more traditional than other finishes.  That said, if it fits your budget, it is a popular finish on the market. On the other hand, satin is also a great choice if you’re looking for something modern and affordable.

FREQUENTLY ASKED HOMEOWNER QUESTIONS

WHICH PAINT FINISH IS EASIEST TO TOUCH UP IN TORONTO?

The eggshell finish is one of the easiest finishes to work with. Due to the low shine and highly-washable final product, it can be easier to touch up compared to a satin, matte or gloss finish. Bumping into your walls with furniture can often happen in high-traffic areas, which is why many homeowners prefer an eggshell finish.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO HAVE A CEILING PAINTED IN TORONTO?

As a homeowner seeking painting services in Toronto, you can expect prices for painting a flat ceiling to range between $.50 to $1 per square foot. Of course, the more square footage you have, the more it will cost, but it typically runs between $1,000 and $2,000 for the ceilings in an average 1,500-square-foot house. If you require popcorn or stucco ceiling painting, there will be additional charges.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO PAINT THE HOUSE INTERIOR?

Many factors determine the time it will take for your home painting job to be complete. Typically, you can estimate one room per day per painter. For example, if you have an average-sized home between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet, you can expect three to five days to paint the entire interior. 

As a consumer, it’s essential to be aware of unusual practices by companies to keep yourself safe. If you’re being promised an interior painting job done in less than a day or over two weeks, you have a right to be suspicious. This isn’t normal for an established home. If there are other circumstances, like your home is a brand new build and other contractors are being worked around, that would make sense. Otherwise, you should be able to expect the interior of your home to be painted within a week on average. 

Toronto area painting companies typically book around one to two weeks out, and even longer in the summer busier months.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It can be overwhelming when deciding which paint finish to use on your house. As a recap, Flat finish paints are used for rooms with a smaller amount of people. Eggshell finishes are used in hallways, bedrooms and common areas. Satin colours are tailored for kitchens and bathrooms. While gloss paint is made to stand out at the cost of the imperfections being more noticeable.

Did this help make your decision as to who it should be when you hire a painting company? There is so much to think about in terms of finding the right painting contractors for the work you need to be completed. Let our professional house painters handle everything!

Call 416.494.9095 or email brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a FREE quote. And don’t forget to visit us on social media (below) as well! 

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Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder

BRIAN YOUNG

Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.

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