Living with Color: Types of Paint

08.4.2011

With all the posts about choosing to live with color, we completely neglected the idea of introducing the types of paint. So, we’re dedicating this week’s “Living with Color” post to explaining the types of paints you can choose from. May be you’ve never ever had to paint their homes before… or you just purchased your first home after years of renting an apartment. Either way, we want to help you toward living with color so this should be the first step… understanding paint types.

First off, paint type is actually called “sheen”. The sheen of the paint is the amount of light that reflects off the paint. How do you decide which sheen to go with? It really depends on the type of room you’re painting and your own preference of how you want the room to look after it’s painted and decorated.

So, let’s go through each type of sheen… and of course, rather than invent the wheel, here’s a handy dandy breakdown from Home Depot we found for you.

Sheen Description and Points to Consider Recommended Rooms
Eggshell/Low-Luster
  • Offers an elegant low-sheen finish
  • Best for low-traffic areas
  • Smooth surface
  • More washable than flat sheens
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Bedroom
  • Foyer
  • Family room
  • Hallway
  • Kitchen
  • Trim
Flat/Matte
  • Provides a smooth, subtle finish
  • Camouflages imperfections
  • Ideal for low-traffic areas
  • Absorbs light
  • Holds dirt and is more difficult to clean
  • Rubbing with cleanser may burnish the finish
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Bedroom
  • Ceiling
  • Family room
  • Hallway
Gloss
  • Can be scrubbed clean with ease
  • Offers a smooth, high-shine finish
  • Ideal for surfaces that require frequent washing
  • Trim
  • Woodwork
  • Molding
  • Doors
  • Cabinets
  • Kitchen
  • Bath
Satin
  • Can be wiped clean
  • Provides an elegant finish
  • Soft sheen reflects light
  • Ideal for more active rooms
  • Extremely versatile
  • May be used indoors or outdoors
  • Family room
  • Playroom
  • Laundry room
  • Kitchen
  • Guest bathroom
  • Dining room
  • Children’s bedroom
  • Trim
  • Shutters
  • Doors
Semigloss
  • Can be scrubbed clean with ease
  • Smooth sheen reflects light
  • Ideal for high-traffic areas
  • Easy to wash
  • May be used indoors or outdoors
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Cabinets
  • Doors
  • Trim
  • Molding
  • Hallway

Now you know what paint sheen is all about and how to use it. Next, you just need to decide on a color. Need ideas? You can always browse through all our “Living with Color” posts because you know we love color here at This Lovely Home. And feel free to email us anytime at stacey@thislovelyhome.com. After all, we do have a Color Specialist on hand here to answer questions… our very own Rosemary of Marchetto Interiors.

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Category: Living With Color