Types of Wall Paint Finishes for Your Home
From start to finish; a complete guide to choosing the right wall paint finish for your home
“Design is intelligence made visible” - Alina Wheeler.
Like the quote states, your home painting project choices will also reflect your vision and your rationale. Many homeowners often love to pick out paints and colour palettes for their homes. But, that’s not where it ends. There is another step to this process that adds value to your walls. We welcome you to the world of paint finishes - where your walls will not just add colour to your room but also character, texture and uniqueness.
Have you ever seen a wall appear different with a simple paint, almost like it has a fabric? That is what paint finishes can do. The same wall can look completely different with an eggshell finish in comparison to a matte finish, and that simply makes paint finishes special. Although you have an array of paints and colours to choose from, it is important to choose a sheen or a type of wall paint finish that goes well with it and compliments the chosen space.
But first, what is a paint finish or a paint sheen?
Paint finish or paint sheen is the amount of light your paint reflects, leading to the shine it creates. Paints with a finish or a sheen reflect light whereas paints without a finish or sheen absorb the light and fall flat.
What to keep in mind while choosing a paint finish?
Various factors such as durability, weather, moisture, traffic in the room and cleanability of the surface should also be considered while choosing wall paint finishes. Glossiness impacts the environment of the room, bringing out cracks and imperfections whereas flat/matte walls absorb light. Paint finishes not only add aesthetic value to your room but also play a functional role in terms of durability, lighting and coverage.
Here is a simple guide you can use to understand all the factors while choosing the right type of wall paint finish for your walls.
Types of Wall Paint & Finishes
1. Matte Finish
Matte/Flat Paints lend a mute tone to your walls providing minimum to soft sheen. These are non-reflective paints that possess the most amount of pigment, leading to more coverage. In simple terms, more coverage means fewer coats of paint application and more monetary savings. It is also known as the concealer of paints and if you’re looking to hide imperfections like scratches and nail holes on your wall, then this paint finish is just what you need. Parent tip: These walls are hard to clean so it’s best not to use it for your kid’s room. However, these are ideal for interior walls like your bedroom space and Nerolac Impressionz Ideaz can give you the desired finish.
Here are a few key takeaways to help you make a decision:
Low to medium durability
Hard to clean
Ideal for: Bedrooms, ceilings, dining rooms, low-traffic areas
2. Textured Finish
Textured paints add character to your walls, making it appear distinct and rustic in nature. Textured walls are one of 2021’s design trends, and most homeowners are seen using textured paints for ceilings or signature walls. Textured paint finishes can add depth, shadow and elegance to bedroom walls. Since it gives a gritty or layered look, it is great for hiding uneven walls and imperfections. Textures range from brick, ethnic, metallic to fabric for your walls. If you like the thought of metallic, textured paint finishes, here is a choice for you.
Unique and aesthetic
Not meant for all walls like exteriors
3. Satin Finish
And here is the all-rounder of wall paint finishes. Satin wall paint finishes reflect more light than eggshell finishes, but they are not all that shiny like glossy finishes. Imagine a pearl’s shine and texture, that is what Satin finishes provide. It is ideal for places that do not receive a lot of natural light like kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. Although the name says it’s satin, the texture and finish is almost velvety, soft and pearl-like. The only flaw this versatile finish has is that it reveals application imperfections like brush strokes making touch ups a tricky affair. However, this paint still offers a lot to consider. If you like what you see, check out one of the best satin finishes here.
High durability and easy to clean
Perfect for high traffic areas
Reveals application errors
Not as glossy
Ideal for: Kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor surfaces like roofs, living rooms, high traffic areas, moisture exposed areas etc.
Ideal for: Bedroom walls, living room single walls, signature walls, ceilings etc.
4. Eggshell Finish
Like the name suggests, the Eggshell is a type of wall paint finish which is not completely lusterless like flat paints, but it does add a slight, low sheen like that of an eggshell. Eggshell paint finishes are easier to clean, are more durable and can hide imperfections like bumps, holes, cracks and scratches too. It has a great finish reflecting a subtle sheen, making it one of the popular choices for signature walls and homeowners. A mix between satin and flat paints, Eggshell paint finishes possess the sheen and concealing properties one needs. If you have made up your mind about this type, you can find it here.
Here’s a summary of what Eggshell paint finishes provide:
Soft and subtle sheen
High coverage and concealing properties
Not as lustrous as satin paints
Ideal for: Low or medium traffic areas like dining rooms, hallways, bedrooms, living rooms etc.
If you’re looking for a middle ground in finishes, the semi-gloss paint is just what you need. Semi-gloss paints are characterized as shiny, reflective and easy to clean with a smooth sheen, but they are not as shiny as high-gloss paints. If you’re looking for dual-tone finishes, the semi-gloss paint is perfect to compliment another type of finish for wall accents. This paint is highly durable and is mildew-resistant too, making it perfect for moisture-exposed areas and high-traffic areas like a playroom, dining room, kitchen etc. in your home. While it’s easier to clean in comparison to other finishes, it has one little drawback. Due to its strong sheen it reveals your wall flaws and imperfections. Here are a few key takeaways to help you decide:
Shiny, smooth sheen
Easy to clean and high durability
Mildew-resistant; perfect for moisture-exposed areas
Perfect in whites and off-whites; makes the room appear big
Reveals wall imperfections due to heightened sheen
Not the shiniest finish
Ideal for: Bathrooms, kitchens and moisture-exposed areas, trim work, kids’ room etc.
6. High-gloss Finish
Hard, super shiny, light-reflecting - high-gloss finish has the highest sheen and shine in comparison to the other wall colour paint finishes. Perfect for areas where natural light is lesser, or for signature walls, the high-gloss finish is a popular choice amongst designers because of its reflective finish. Along with its sheen, it is known for high durability and cleanability too. Anything shiny reveals a ton of imperfections and so does high-gloss finish. However, it is ideal for cabinetry, doors, kitchen work, accents and areas that are prone to moisture and dirt. Lastly, the only drawback we see is in the application of the paint since it requires more coats, and can reveal imperfections if not done well.
If you have some statement door ideas in mind, here’s the perfect high-gloss paint for you. Let’s look at the summary of what high-gloss finishes have in store for us:
Highest durability, sheen and finish
Easy to clean and perfect for moisture
Popular choice for designer walls
Requires more coats and is tricky to apply
Ideal for: Kitchens, bathrooms, cabinetry, outdoor details, accents, doors etc.
7. Super-matte - Speciality paints
From super matte cars to super matte decor, this trend has picked up pace in 2021 and how. Super-matte paints are even more flat and subdued in comparison to matte paints, with no sheen and light-absorbing qualities. Super-matte paints are rich in texture and are extremely flat and muted paints. Although ideal for statement walls and accents, these surfaces are dust and dirt magnets making it difficult to clean. One expert tip is to test your super-matte walls in terms of artificial and natural lighting to understand the lighting of the space since matte finishes do not shine. Here’s a little about Super-matte paints for you to make a decision:
Perfect for extremely well-lit areas
Goes well with pastel, light shades
Not easy to clean
Only made for certain walls
Ideal for: Bedrooms, living rooms, hallways etc.
Tips for choosing the right paint finish
In order to choose the right type of wall paint finish for your home, you need to keep a checklist handy. The checklist must consist of the following criteria - surface imperfections, sheen type, cleanability levels, traffic in room.
Carefully analyse your favourite types of paint & finishes keeping all the above mentioned factors in mind.
For blemished, uneven walls - Flat paint finishes or satin paint finishes/Textured walls
For high-traffic areas - Semi-gloss or high-gloss paint finishes
For dirt-magnet walls - High-gloss finish
While paint finishes are in trend, you might want to check out how two colour combinations or dual-tone combinations are also in trend for your walls. However, if you wish to check out some of the latest interior paint trends, we have it here for you.
Choose a dual-tone palette or a monotone palette and pair it with the perfect paint finish to bring alive the vision of your dream home.
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