Don't let paint finish intimidate you

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring is here, and with it comes the drive to revamp your home. One of the easiest -- and least expensive -- ways to freshen the look of your house is with paint.

Paint, particularly for interior walls, comes in a full spectrum of colors sure to please any design sense. From natural desert colors to jewel tones, you can find a color palate that will suite your taste.

But how savvy are you when it comes to paint?

If you're a novice painter, standing in front of a wall of paint chips and gallon cans might give you pause. The type of finish you choose for your project is just as important as color. The options might make it seem overwhelming, but don't let your paint I.Q. hinder you from sprucing up that room.

The flat, or matte, finish
Paint with a flat finish is often best for walls with a lot of imperfections. If your home is older and the walls are showing signs of settling or if the walls have pops or divots where nail holes have been filled, a flat acrylic paint might be the best choice. Flat, matte paint isn't as washable, but the finish won't reflect light as well as paint with a glossier finish. This is also a good choice for a typical ceiling that is flat with no architectural detail. Painting the ceiling with a flat paint and walls with a glossier finish could help keep your eye's attention to decor and the living space.

While the word "egg-shell" sometimes refers to a color, when it comes to a type of paint finish it refers to a nice, low sheen. Eggshell, like flat paint, can be touched up easily; however this finish will give a bit more reflection to your walls. It's a great choice for bedrooms, offices and even living rooms.

Semigloss paint is a popular choice. It tends to stand up well to scrubbing and doesn't blemish as easily in high traffic areas, such as foyers and hallways. If spring has inspired you to spruce up your kitchen and bath, semigloss might be a good choice. It holds its own in rooms prone to higher humidity. Want your wood trim to stand out? Semigloss will do the trick.

Paint with a gloss finish will also make woodwork pop. While it's not typically used for walls, this high-sheen paint will give your detailed borders good protection while making them standout. If you're not planning to paint the whole room, but choosing to add a chair rail to the dining room space, pick up glossy paint to finish it out. Touch-ups are more noticeable with semi- and gloss finishes compared to flat because of the difference in sheen, so glossy isn't the best choice for your walls.