Understanding Paint Finishes Can Help Ensure the Perfect Paint Job

Satin, high gloss, eggshell, matte, flat…most major brands of paint come in at least three or four different sheens. If making sense of the different options has you seeing stars, read on for our pro tips on when–and how–to use different paint finishes for your interior and exterior painting projects.

Know Your Options When it Comes to Paint Sheen

To understand how paint finishes will affect the final look of your paint job, it helps to know more about the different options. The most “shiny” option is typically called high gloss. Glossy paint has a higher proportion or resin binders, which leads to the shiny, reflective surface. One step-down on the glossy scale is the aptly named semigloss. Next is satin, then eggshell (sometimes called low-lustre). Each of these paint sheen categories has increasingly less resin, leading to increasingly less glossy sheen. Finally, at the other side of the sheen spectrum, you have flat or matte paint. This paint has a relatively higher proportion of paint pigment, and relatively less resin.

Best Interior Applications

A high level of sheen reflects light and draws the eye, so it’s best to use high gloss paint on trim work and other details you want to highlight. If you have a surface that is dinged or damaged, consider choosing a slightly less glossy finish that will hide flaws better. High gloss paint formulations are typically the most durable and resilient, so they are great for high traffic areas.

When it comes to walls, many people choose satin or eggshell paint. Satin offers a slightly higher level of sheen and better washability, while eggshell offers a deeper level of pigment and hides flaws. Flat or matte paint offers a superior ability to disguise flaws and the deepest level of pigmentation. It is not recommended for high traffic areas, as it can be difficult to keep clean and doesn’t wash well.

High gloss paint reflects both natural and artificial light.

Let’s Talk Exterior

When it comes to the outside of your home, satin is a great choice for siding. It’s less reflective finish hides any imperfections, but the small amount of gloss allows for easier cleaning. Semigloss is your best choice for the bulk of your home’s trim, including windowsills that take a beating from weather. It’s easier to clean and more durable and moisture resistant. Save the high gloss paint for accent trim such as shutters and doors. high gloss paint is beautiful and durable, but it can magnify imperfections. We recommend saving that high luster paint for eye-level accent areas such as shutters and doors.

If you’re still not sure which finish to choose for your project, take heart. An experienced painter will be able to give you good advice when they come to evaluate your job. Look for someone who has lots of local expertise–our abundant Panhandle sunshine can really up that reflective factor with high gloss paints!

If you’re ready to find a great painting contractor with no hassle or fuss, Check Local can help. Get in touch and we’ll hook you up with a vetted and reviewed painter who’s perfect for your job!

Designer Input On Colors That Will Make Your Bedroom a Haven for Rest and Relaxation

3 Colors You Should Never Paint Your Bedroom.” That’s the name of a recent article from Domino, the interiors mag that’s beloved by stylists, designers, and DIYers everywhere. I have to admit, whenever I see headlines like that, I’m itching to click. “Never” is such a strong word…what colors could offend so much as to render themselves totally unacceptable for use in the bedroom? Are we talking black? Avocado green? Glow-in-the-dark ’80s neon?

A quick click tells me that the three paint colors in the Domino bedroom penalty box are white, yellow, and red. Red, I get. Bedrooms should be serene and soothing, not fiery and exciting. The primary activity that happens in a bedroom is sleep, right?

Red paint colors should be avoided in bedrooms.
This red bedroom might have you standing on the ceiling with excitement, but it doesn’t feel calm and serene for sleeping.

So what about yellow? I see beautiful yellow tones popping up all over design magazines and blogs these days. The sunshine-y hue evokes feelings of happiness and warmth. What’s so bad about that?

It’s all about energy, say designers. And although yellow isn’t quite as intense as red, it does have a high energy vibe that doesn’t feel conducive to sleeping.

Yellow Paint in bedroom
If you want to incorporate yellow in your bedroom, consider accents like pillows.

So if red and yellow are too energetic, what’s the issue with white? I love a neutral, and white is a such a fresh, clean palette. Why is Domino giving white a bad rap?

Turns out, it’s not all white shades the Domino designers have a problem with. Just stark, bright whites that can make a room feel overly bright and illuminated.

“One thing we would suggest is, if you are going to have white bedroom walls, it can be better to choose a white with some depth and complexity. Stark white can potentially over-brighten a room and keep you up at night,” advises Jamie Davis of Portola Paints.

Kocharian, A. (2018, May 7). 3 Colors You Should Never Paint Your Bedroom. Retrieved from https://www.domino.com/content/worst-bedroom-wall-colors/

Which Paint Colors Are Good For Bedrooms?

If red, yellow, and bright white are off the list, what colors make the list for bedroom paint colors? For a good answer, I’ll turn to another great design resource, Elle Decor. They’ve got a list of recommended bedroom colors, and it’s chock-full of serene blues and grays. Amazing Gray and Mindful Gray by Sherwin-Williams. The horribly-named (imo) Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball. And the perfectly named Calm by Benjamin Moore. All of these colors can go a long way toward turning your bedroom into a peaceful oasis for sleep.

Whatever colors you choose, it’s important to use a painter that pays attention to detail and delivers a flawless finish. You don’t want to be distracted by drips, splatters, and sloppy trim work as you’re trying to drift off to dreamland. Check Local can help you find the best painters in the Panhandle and Emerald Coast, so before you decide, always Check Local!

Charlie Hill loves Perdido, Watercolor, and all the Gulf Coast beaches.