Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Finish

Paints come in a variety of finishes: flat, eggshell, semigloss, satin and high gloss. Learn tips on how to choose the best finish for your painting project.
higher quality paints produce fewer splatters

higher quality paints produce fewer splatters

Photo by: Blake Brinkman

Blake Brinkman

Figure A

Higher-quality paints contain an antispattering agent that produces fewer spatters than cheaper paints. Flat paint is more forgiving and hides flaws well, but it doesn't stand up to scrubbing. Eggshell paint dries to a soft finish that withstands washing better than flat paint. Semigloss, or satin, paint is very washable and slightly more reflective than eggshell. High-gloss paint dries to a shine and is easy to wash and maintain, but it reveals surface imperfections and painting errors.

A paint labeled "washable" is not the same as one said to be "scrubbable." The former can be cleaned with a damp sponge but does not hold up to scrubbing.

Prepping walls and choosing the right finish will help to make your painting project a success and to give it a professional appearance.

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