Interior Residential Painting Sheens And Finishes

Residential painting is the process of refreshing walls, ceilings, and other surfaces inside a homeowner’s home. It is different than commercial painting as it involves a more intimate working relationship between the client and the painter.

Professional house painters have the knowledge and hands-on expertise to deliver high-quality results. They understand the nuances of various paint types and surfaces, which will lead to a flawless finish. Click here at to hire a professional.

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Flat Or Matte Paint

Flat paint, also known as velvet or matte paint, is one of the most common sheens for interior painting projects. This non-reflective finish is a great choice for covering imperfections and flaws in your walls, especially if you’re trying to hide the evidence of previous paint jobs or wall damage. It’s ideal for ceilings as well, offering excellent hiding and a smooth surface.

A high-quality flat paint will be mildew resistant and more durable than eggshell or satin finishes, which is why this type of finish is a popular choice for residential homes. It’s a bit trickier to clean, however, as dirt tends to stick to this sheen and can be difficult to wipe off. The best way to keep your flat paint looking good is to use a damp cloth to clean it instead of scrubbing, which can cause the color to fade or even chip.

Another benefit of flat paint is that it’s easy to touch up if you notice any areas that have been scratched or marked. This is because the flat paint will essentially absorb the mark rather than reflect it, giving you a smooth and uniform appearance once again. However, you will need to be careful when choosing the right paint for your home as cheap flat paints will be more prone to moisture absorption, leading to scuff marks and peeling.

If you’re looking for a flawless finish, consider using paint with a dead flat sheen. This ultra-flat finish is perfect for “color drenching” your space, or painting an entire room with a single hue to create a statement. This ultra-flat finish will hide any flaws while providing a rich and pigmented finish that’s incredibly durable.

While many people mistakenly use the terms flat and matte interchangeably, there is a difference between the two sheens in terms of performance. Flat paint has a very low level of gloss while matte has none. As a result, flat paint is more forgiving of any imperfections because it doesn’t reflect light while matte will immediately soak up whatever shine is directed at it.

Semi-gloss Or Eggshell Paint

If you are looking for a slight sheen with more durability than a flat paint, eggshell is the way to go. Its lower-reflectivity sheen provides a nice, soft glow to the walls that are easy to clean but also holds up better against moisture and stains than a matte or flat finish. It’s ideal for walls in rooms with moderate traffic, such as bedrooms and living areas. Like a flat sheen, it hides wall imperfections well, making it ideal for patched or new drywall.

As an interior house paint, eggshell dries with a subtle sheen that highlights your choice of colors, whether they are bright or muted. The sheen allows light to bounce off the surface, enhancing your walls’ depth and adding dimension to the room. Unlike a matte sheen, it reflects light and draws out more of the paint’s color, but it’s not as shiny as satin or semi-gloss.

While improved paint technology has made flat and matte finishes more durable, they’re still not the best choice for high-traffic or moisture-prone areas. Touch-ups are more difficult than with other sheens, and they tend to show dirt and smudges more readily. Flat and matte paints are also not as water-resistant, so they’re not recommended for bathrooms or kitchens.

Semi-gloss paints dry to a shiny, furniture-like finish and are ideal for doors, trim, molding, and cabinets. They are durable, easy to wash, and resist moisture and stains much better than matte or eggshell. Semi-gloss paint is also available in a mildew-resistant formula for use in bathrooms.

While there are some general guidelines regarding sheens—eggshell is generally good for walls, satin for trim and woodworking details, and high-gloss for cabinets and other high-traffic surfaces—it ultimately comes down to the aesthetic and functionality of your space. Your painting company can help you choose the right sheen for your project, and they can advise you on specific color options that look best with each type of sheen. Contact a local painting company to learn more about your options for your next home improvement project.

High-Gloss Or Satin Paint

If you’re looking to add a bit more shine to your walls, satin paint is a great option. This sheen sits between semi-gloss and gloss, reflecting an average amount of light and offering more durability than pearl, eggshell, or flat paint. Satin is a good choice for rooms that see moderate foot traffic, such as living spaces and bedrooms. It’s also durable enough to stand up to scrubbing, making it a perfect choice for kids’ rooms and bathrooms.

It’s important to note that not all sheens are created equal and sheen names aren’t standardized between different manufacturers. When comparing sheens, always test a sample area to ensure you’re happy with the results.

High-gloss and semi-gloss offer the most durability of all sheens, able to withstand moisture and scrubbing. Because they’re shinier than satin and matte, however, they tend to highlight imperfections on the wall. If you choose a glossy finish, be sure to use a professional painter who is experienced with this type of application.

A gloss paint can be a stunning addition to a kitchen or bathroom and is often used on cabinets. It can create a gorgeous reflective surface but should be used sparingly in other rooms to avoid overwhelming the space. Its high sheen also shows off dirt and stains more easily, so it’s not recommended for rooms that see frequent use.

Metallic Paint

Metallic paints bring a look that’s unique to any home painting project. They can add a sophisticated and modern touch that’s hard to achieve with latex paints. They are infused with subtle movement and texture, with a silky shimmer that brings a whole new dimension to a room.

Most metallic paints are water-based rather than oil-based and they can be rolled or spray applied. They can be used on any surface, including walls, wood trim, metal furniture, or other ornamental accents. They are often available in a variety of colors and are perfect for updating older pieces of furniture or even entire rooms.

They can be sprayed with any standard spray paint system and do not require a special base coat or top coat. They are best sprayed with an HVLP (high volume low pressure) spray gun, with a tip of 13 or 15, the same size as a standard latex house paint. Metallic particles could get stuck in or damage natural brushes, so it’s a good idea to use a cheap synthetic brush for this type of painting.

You can purchase ready-mixed metallic paints or make your own using mica powder pigment mixed with a binding agent and water-based medium. But if you’re going to go the DIY route, be aware that metallic powders are often combined with solvent-based vehicles, and storing them causes a chemical reaction that can cause the paints to swell or explode. If you’re working with a water-based medium, it should be mixed on-site and only in the quantity needed for that day.

Achieving a smooth and even finish is key when working with metallic paints. The trick is to lightly roll on the first coat with nothing but the weight of the roller resting on the wall. This one-directional rolling helps eliminate the potential for lap lines that are usually seen on metallic paints. It’s also important to check and sand the surface of the first coat before adding a second. Then let the paint dry for four to six hours before sanding and repainting. This will ensure a beautiful, smooth finish that sparkles with every angle of light.