PAINTING BASICS

VELVET-MATTE

FLAT

SEMI-GLOSS

GLOSS

EGGSHELL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why gloss is important?

The gloss level of paint can have a significant impact on both appearance and serviceability. Increasing gloss improves the durability of paint, including scrub, stain, and moisture resistance. However, higher gloss levels tend to highlight defects and imperfections on the painted surface. Gloss level also affects color perception. The same color with a different gloss will appear as a different color. The color in higher gloss paint will appear brighter and richer than the same color in lower gloss paint.

What types of paint glosses are best for their intended use?

    • FLAT: Flat paints have the least amount of gloss, so they help conceal surface imperfections better than other finishes, and are ideal for walls that are rough or dented. They are also easier to touch-up, and create less surface glare. This makes flat paints an especially good choice for ceilings. Stains can be difficult to remove from flat finishes, so they are best used in low traffic areas. Flat paints are not very moisture resistant, so they should not be used in any high moisture, or humid areas. This would include bathrooms, laundry rooms, or kitchens.

 

    • VELVET/MATTE: Velvet/matte paints resemble flat paints when viewed head on, but show a slight gloss when viewed at an angle. This slightly higher gloss provides for a more washable and stain resistant surface. These paints work well in medium traffic areas, and are also a good choice for ceilings. Velvet/matte paints are also easier to touch-up, but like flat paints, are not a good choice for high moisture areas.

 

    • EGGSHELL: Eggshell paints are slightly glossier than velvet/matte paints. They convey a greater warmth and depth to surfaces than flat paints. Eggshell paints also tend to resist stains better than flat or velvet/matte paints, but are harder to touch-up without leaving visible signs. Like velvet/matte paints, these paints are ideal for medium traffic areas, such as dining rooms or bedrooms.

 

    • SEMI-GLOSS: Semi-gloss paints have a slightly glossy appearance, and are smoother to the touch. They offer good stain resistance, moisture resistance, are easy to clean, and durable. Semi-gloss paints are hard to touch-up. If touch up is required, it is necessary to paint wall to wall, and floor to ceiling, to eliminate sheen differences. They are most often used in rooms requiring more frequent cleanings, or that have higher humidity levels. These would include kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Semi-gloss is also a good alternative to gloss paints for use on windows, trim, cabinets and doors.

 

  • GLOSS: Gloss paints have a highly reflective appearance, and impart a slick, contemporary look. They are tough, durable, and highly stain and moisture resistant. Like semi-gloss paints, gloss paints cannot be touched-up. Gloss paints are easy to clean, and are typically used in kitchens, bathrooms, or any other high traffic areas. Gloss paints are especially good for use on doors, trim, cabinets, or any other surface exposed to excessive fingerprints and grime. Because of their high reflectivity, gloss paints highlight any surface imperfections.