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DIY Painting Sheen Guide

DIY Painting Sheen Guide

If you’re brand new to the world of DIY home painting, then you’re likely to come across a few terms that may confuse you. Perhaps most confusing to beginners are the different types of finishes available with paints, ranging from flat to hi-gloss. The type of paint that you choose is very important and often quite specific to the room or area that is being painted, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the following common paint finishes available today.


Flat paint is best used in areas that don’t experience a lot of traffic, as it is the least durable sheen of paint. However, it can be beneficial in certain areas, as it creates the least amount of glare and is very effective at hiding any flaws or imperfections on the surface. And, if any mistakes are made during the painting process, flat paint can easily be washed off with soap and water.


Eggshell finishes are the next step up from flat, and contain many of the same features with the added benefit of being slightly more durable. Eggshell paint is also great at hiding imperfections in surfaces while still being washable with soap and water, but has a hint of texture and shine above flat paint.


Satin finishes are highly durable and are excellent in both moderate and high traffic areas, as well as areas that are exposed to a small level of moisture, such as the kitchen or bathroom. Satin paint also gives off a luminous, pearl-like, and velvety appearance, and can withstand washing and scrubbing.


Semi-gloss finishes are excellent for high traffic areas, as they are extremely durable and can handle heavy cleaning and scrubbing without any damage to the paint. They also add a high level of shine and luster to any area, and are most commonly used on surfaces such as trim or doors, or any area where it’s important to be distinguished from the adjacent walls.


Hi-gloss paints are the toughest and most durable of all paints, able to withstand heavy scrubbing and high amounts of scuffing, so they are best in areas that experience high traffic. Be aware, however, that hi-gloss finishes are the shiniest type of paint and will create the most amount of glare, often highlighting instead of hiding any imperfections in the surfaces that are being painted.


For a large selection of paints in every sheen and color of the rainbow, your first stop should always be to the paint department at Shell Lumber & Hardware. You can visit us in person Monday through Saturday or give us a call at (305) 856-6401, and our paint and hardware experts will help you get your project started today.


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