interior painting, exterior painting, painters
Written by Colleen Kalil

When and Where to Use Matte, Semi-Gloss, or Gloss Paint

interior painting, exterior painting, paintersPaint is one of the easiest ways to freshen up and improve the appearance of your home both inside and out. Whether you’ve just moved into a new place, or you’re just in the mood for a new look, painting can transform your home quickly and inexpensively. Once you select the color, you should give some thought to the paint’s finish. Common choices for finish are matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. The finish you choose will impact how long it lasts, how quickly it gets dirty, and how easy it is to keep clean.

The gloss in the paint you choose determines how much it will shine, or reflect light. Paint with a matte, or flat finish, has no shine; it contains 0 to 10% gloss. Matte paint is the most difficult to keep clean so if you have kids or pets, it may be best to not use matte paint in high-traffic areas. However, since matte paint has no gloss to reflect light, it’s a good selection to use on walls where you want to hide irregularities or repairs. Matte paint is usually the lowest priced paint as well, so consider it if you have a large area to cover.

Satin finish and semi-gloss paint have more gloss than matte, 25 to 35 percent and 35 to 70 percent respectively. It has a shinier finish than matte and is easier to clean. While it’s typically used for interior doors, woodwork around doors and windows, consider using it in higher traffic areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. This paint will also last longer when exposed to water, soap, or grease. One downside of higher gloss paints is that they don’t hide imperfections in the wall or on wood.

High-gloss paint has 70 percent or higher reflectivity and can be used in the same places as low-gloss paint.  However, make sure you really want the area to have a very shiny finish. High-gloss paint is the most durable, and the easiest to clean. Like semi-gloss paint, it doesn’t hide the flaws in walls or other surfaces. Think about whether shine or a little camouflage is more important to you.

If you’re unsure which type of paint to use in your house, the experts at University Painters can work with you to select the best finish for your needs. Call us today for an appointment.

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