Choosing the right finish can be tricky, but choosing the wrong finish can be even worse. There are a variety of finishes (also called sheens) to choose from, and each finish has its own unique benefits and draw backs. While different paint companies offer some varied finishes, the most common include: flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Flat finish (or its equivalent) is easily touched-up and often provides the most cost effective solution. For example, if you own a rental property and find yourself painting or touching up the paint job, you may want to consider using flat paint for all the walls. One draw back to flat paint is it cannot be scrubbed without affecting the surface. It does, however, offer the ability to hide minor flaws in drywall surfaces and is the easiest to touch-up. Another common sheen is called eggshell. It is the least glossy of the enamels and often considered an upgrade from flat paint. Enamels offer varying degrees of resistance to moisture and scuffing, but do not touch-up easily and often cannot be scrubbed without burnishing. Semi-gloss paints are commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens due to their resistance to moisture. Gloss paints are usually reserved for trim work, and offer a high degree of resistance to fingerprints and moisture. A consultation with a professional will help you determine which sheen best suits your individual needs.
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