Choosing the Right Interior Finish When House Painting

House paints are available in different finishes. Semi-gloss paints are best for areas like kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability against moisture and stains. Flat or matte paints, on the other hand, are excellent at hiding surface flaws. 

Choosing the right paint finish for interiors involves considering factors such as the room’s purpose, traffic level, and desired aesthetic. It ensures the paint will withstand the room’s conditions and complement its design.

The types of paint finishes

This section discusses and lists the common types of paint finishes in detail.

Paint finish, also known as paint sheen, is the paint’s level of glossiness or shininess once it dries. The choice of finish can affect the paint’s appearance and durability. Here are the main types of paint finishes:

1. Flat or matte finish:

  • Appearance: Non-reflective, with no sheen.
  • Characteristics: Best at hiding imperfections in surfaces.
  • Use: Ideal for ceilings and low-traffic areas like bedrooms and living rooms.

2. Eggshell finish:

  • Appearance: Slight sheen, similar to the surface of an eggshell.
  • Characteristics: More washable than flat paint but still hides imperfections well.
  • Use: Suitable for moderate-traffic areas like dining rooms and hallways.

3. Satin finish:

  • Appearance: Soft sheen that can reflect light.
  • Characteristics: Easy to clean and durable, more so than eggshell.
  • Use: Commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, and trim.

4. Semi-gloss Finish:

  • Appearance: Noticeable shine, quite reflective.
  • Characteristics: Very durable and easy to clean; highlights imperfections.
  • Use: Ideal for high-moisture areas like kitchens, bathrooms, trim, doors, and cabinets.

5. Gloss or high-gloss finish:

  • Appearance: Very shiny and reflective.
  • Characteristics: Most durable and easy to clean; shows imperfections.
  • Use: Typically used for furniture, trim, doors, and areas that need a durable, washable surface.

Your choice of paint finish can significantly impact the look and feel of a space and its maintenance needs.

Helpful factors in choosing the correct paint finishes

Painting the walls of a room. Paint Roller Techniques

You may not know which paint finishes go best for particular areas of your home. Think about your home’s present condition. Do the surfaces have many flaws? Do you want easy-to-clean walls for your kitchen or entryway? Does your home office look too bland or too stimulating? Or are there architectural details of your home that you want to highlight?

You’ve come to the right place! Choosing the right paint finish is crucial for achieving your desired aesthetic and functional outcome in any painting project. Here are several factors to consider:

1. Room function and traffic:

  • High-traffic areas: Semi-gloss or gloss finishes are ideal for areas such as hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms because they are durable and easy to clean.
  • Low-traffic areas: Matte or flat finishes work well in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, where there is less wear and tear.

2. Surface imperfections:

  • Hiding imperfections: Flat and matte finishes are best for walls with imperfections since they do not reflect light, thereby minimizing the appearance of dents, cracks, and patches.
  • Highlighting details: Glossy finishes highlight architectural details and trim work due to their reflective nature.

3. Light reflection:

  • Maximizing light: Glossy and semi-gloss finishes reflect more light, potentially making a room appear brighter and more spacious.
  • Softening light: Flat and matte finishes absorb light, reducing glare and giving a softer, more soothing look.

4. Ease of cleaning:

  • High-cleanability: Gloss and semi-gloss finishes are easier to wipe down and are more resistant to moisture and stains, making them suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and children’s rooms.
  • Less emphasis on cleaning: Flat and matte finishes are more laborious to clean without leaving marks, so they are better for areas that do not get dirty easily.

5. Desired aesthetic:

  • Modern and sleek: Gloss and semi-gloss finishes provide a modern and sleek look, often used for contemporary designs.
  • Soft and subtle: Flat and matte finishes offer a more traditional, cozy, and understated look, suitable for classic and rustic designs.

6. Room size and shape:

  • Small rooms: Semi-gloss and satin finishes can make small rooms appear larger by reflecting light.
  • Large rooms: Matte and flat finishes can create a more intimate and cozy feel in larger spaces.

7. Color considerations:

  • Vibrant colors: Glossy finishes can make bright colors look even more vibrant and saturated.
  • Subtle colors: Matte finishes can soften bold colors and make them appear more muted.

8. Health and environmental concerns:

  • Low-VOC options: Look for low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, especially in bedrooms and children’s rooms, to ensure healthier indoor air quality.
  • Eco-Friendly brands: Consider eco-friendly paint brands that offer finishes with reduced environmental impact.

9. Cost:

  • Budget-friendly: Flat and matte finishes are typically less expensive than glossy finishes.
  • Investment in durability: Gloss and semi-gloss finishes may cost more initially but offer better long-term durability, reducing the need for frequent repainting.

10. Personal preference:

  • Ultimately, personal taste plays a significant role. Some people may prefer the modern look of a high-gloss finish, while others may favor the traditional appearance of a flat finish.

Considering factors helps decide the ideal paint finish for your requirements and preferences.

Room paint finishes guide

living room interior with pastel green wall and wood furniture

Choosing the right paint finish for each room of your home is crucial for aesthetics and functionality. Here are the recommended paint finishes for various rooms in your home:

1. Living room and dining room:

  • Finish: Eggshell or Satin
  • Reason: These finishes offer a slight sheen, making them easy to clean while providing a smooth and elegant look. They are durable enough to withstand moderate traffic and occasional cleaning.

2. Kitchen:

  • Finish: Satin or Semi-Gloss
  • Reason: Kitchens are prone to grease, stains, and moisture. Satin and semi-gloss finishes are easier to clean and more resistant to moisture and staining, making them ideal for kitchens.

3. Bathrooms:

  • Finish: Semi-Gloss or Gloss
  • Reason: Bathrooms have high humidity levels, and semi-gloss or gloss finishes are highly moisture-resistant and easy to wipe down, preventing mold and mildew growth.

4. Bedrooms:

  • Finish: Eggshell or Satin
  • Reason: Bedrooms typically have lower traffic and less moisture than other rooms, so a softer sheen like eggshell or satin provides a cozy, warm atmosphere while still being easy to clean.

5. Hallways and corridors:

  • Finish: Satin or Semi-Gloss
  • Reason: Hallways and corridors experience high traffic and frequent contact, so a durable and easy-to-clean finish like satin or semi-gloss is ideal.

6. Children’s rooms:

  • Finish: Satin or Semi-Gloss
  • Reason: These rooms require durable and easy-to-clean finishes due to the likelihood of stains and marks from children’s activities.

7. Ceilings:

  • Finish: Flat or Matte
  • Reason: Flat or matte finishes are ideal for ceilings because they hide imperfections well and do not reflect much light, providing a smooth, uniform look.

8. Home Office:

  • Finish: Eggshell or Satin
  • Reason: These finishes offer a professional look and are durable enough to handle occasional cleaning, making them suitable for a workspace.

9. Laundry Room:

  • Finish: Semi-Gloss
  • Reason: Similar to bathrooms, laundry rooms deal with moisture and humidity. A semi-gloss finish provides the necessary moisture resistance and ease of cleaning.

10. Trim, Doors, and Cabinets:

  • Finish: Semi-Gloss or Gloss
  • Reason: Trim, doors and cabinets benefit from a finish that can withstand frequent cleaning and touching. Semi-gloss and gloss finishes provide a durable, easy-to-clean surface with a shiny appearance.

Selecting the appropriate paint finishes for each room helps you enhance the durability and appearance of your home’s interior.

Parting words

Now that you have information about paint finishes handily, you can turn your vision into reality. 

Let Custom Painting, Inc. help you realize your dream even better! Call us at 925-294-8062 or message us on our contact webpage for a free consultation and quote. Leave your next house painting project to our team of paint experts – you’ll see the difference our high-quality paint job makes.