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Do you know which paint to use where?

Have you noticed how many different types of paint finishes are on the market these days.  There are paints lots of different finishes for every area of your home as well as for every material.

Do you have a good idea of which ones are best suited to which area? If you have kids, do you know which ones are durable and wipe clean easily?

Do you know the difference in how each one the looks?

If you don’t read on to find out about the most popular finishes and where they are best used.

Most Common Paint Finishes

Matt or flat acrylic paints are well suited to ceilings or in lower traffic areas.  It is the best paint to cover up imperfections as it absorbs light.  It is, however,  the hardest to clean as it has a flat surface so not great for high traffic areas for this reason.  If you have children who are constantly touching the walls with their grubby little hands then I wouldn’t recommend this paint on walls, doors or trims. It scuffs and marks very easily and doesn’t wash well.  Can leave noticeable wipe marks and in darker colours it can leave a whitish mark where it is washed down.

Low sheen and satin acrylic paints have a nice sheen without being too shiny.  Low sheen is the most popular paint for walls as it has a soft sheen and hides imperfections well.  Marks and dirt wipe off much better than a matt finish so it is a better option for walls, especially if you have children.  It is fine to use in high traffic areas also so good for living areas, dining rooms and bedrooms.

Semi-gloss has a slight gloss to it.  It covers imperfections better than low sheen as it reflects more light.  It is a popular option for trims, skirting boards and interior doors.  It cleans up very well due to it’s shinier, smoother surface.  It is popular for bathrooms, kitchens and laundries as it is resistant to moisture.

High gloss is exactly as it sounds, glossy! It has a mirror like finish and is used mostly for trims, skirting boards and interior doors. It is highly durable and stain resistant because of it’s shiny surface. Not a great paint to use on walls due to it’s high gloss level, unless of course you love shiny, mirror-like finish on your walls.  It can make a big statement when used on a feature wall but be careful if you use it on walls that you have prepared the surface properly and remove any imperfections.  Because of it's gloss level it reflects light and will show up every dent and scratch on the surface.

Egg shell acrylic has a beautiful low reflective finish with the benefit of being easier to wipe down than a matt finish.  It is durable and resistant to stains. Good for kids rooms, lounge rooms and hallways. I have used egg shell acrylic throughout my home and, with two young children who touch the walls all the time, it is very easy to clean.

Enamel paint can be oil based or water based.  Oil based is more durable than water-based but it does have a tendency to yellow and does have a strong paint smell. Oil based 

needs to be washed up in mineral turpentine, whereas, water-based will wash up in water.  The water-based enamel has a much faster drying time than the oil-based. 

This is a rundown of the most popular finishes.  Some paint companies have their own finishes and a wider range of paints including specialty finishes.

When you find a paint colour that you like check what types of paint the brand has and which one is best for your project.

Taking the time to use the best finishes for each area will give you a professional finish and varying the gloss levels will add interest to your room.

What is your favourite paint brand which finishes do you like to use?

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Happy decorating.

 Trudi x

16 February 2018

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