Choosing a Paint Finish

The most basic of DIY projects is painting but selecting a paint finish that you’ll be happy with can be as arduous a task as choosing the proper color. Paint finishes come in two basic categories, flat and glosses. Flat finishes are great at absorbing light and give a matte look but they aren’t easily cleaned while glosses are stain-resistant, washable, and reflect light.
Here’s a more refined list of finish categories for latex (water-based) paint.

  • High-gloss finish: very shiny, stain-resistant, great for kid’s rooms and often times used for painting furniture
  • Semi-gloss finish: medium shiny, withstands frequent washing, good for trim and moldings, kitchens and bathrooms
  • Satin finish: great for any room and dries to a soft velvet look with a bit of a sheen, washable
  • Eggshell finish: works for interior walls and has a bit of a shine but is considered low luster
  • Flat finish: matte results that are often used for cutting and filling bare spots, opaque and absorbs light, not great for high-traffic areas, does not clean well

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