Flat finish = Concealing
|photo courtesy of valsparpaint.com|
Eggshell finish = Easy Maintenance
Think of the very low sheen on the shell of an egg. This will give you the indication of how an eggshell paint finish will appear. This finish is often used for decorative finishes because it provides a low luster. It cleans up better than a flat finish, but this is still not the ideal choice for a kitchen or bathroom.
Satin finish = Easy Maintenance & Durability
Satin paints are the preferred finish for highly-trafficked areas and are the most popular paint sheen. With its smooth, velvety appearance it is attractive, durable and easy to maintain. Most surface dirt can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. This is a good paint finish for woodwork, walls, doors and hallways.
Semi-gloss finish = Durability
This paint finish is very durable and washable, and it will produce a visible shine. Semi-gloss paint is most commonly used on doors, trim and cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens. Because is easy to clean up, this finish is also a good choice for high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms. Just be sure to select a mildew-resistant paint formulation.
Glossy finish = Highlight
High gloss paints deliver the highest level of shine and durability. It is also stain resistant and very scrubbable, making it a good choice for the areas in the home that get the most wear and tear, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Though not widely used in home interiors, it is becoming more popular for a dramatic look on cabinets, trim and furniture in very formal and very contemporary settings. It is also an excellent choice to highlight doors, trim and other architectural elements. At the opposite extreme from the flat finish, this finish will magnify any surface imperfections, so careful preparation and sanding is imperative before painting with high gloss paints.
When you are deciding which finish to use, remember: the higher the shine, the darker and more intense the color will be. And, know that high-gloss paint reflects light and makes imperfections in your walls more obvious. So, before you apply the paint finish, be sure to properly and thoroughly prepare your surface and make them extra smooth.