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A Quick Guide to Paint Finishes: Everything You Need to Know

Last modified: 2022-06-30 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Christime Simard

With seasons changing fast, we suddenly feel the urge to redecorate our space. When we think of an idea for a simple, yet drastic change that is both easy and economical, repainting walls seems to be the logical option.

Depending on the rooms you want to paint, there will be different finishes to choose from in order to ensure that these hold up well and do not deteriorate in the long run. Eggshell, satin, matte; it's easy to get lost quickly. Here's a little guide that will hopefully make things easier when choosing the right type of paint finish.

A quick guide to paint finishes: everything you need to know

Start by establishing your painting needs

Before you head to the store and end up coming back empty-handed, you will need to take into account the important points and the needs that you'll have regarding your project. On the eco-peinture website, the team summarizes this for us in a few practical points:

“Before making your choice, a few criteria should be taken into consideration:

  • The type of room in which the paint will be applied

  • The function you assign to the room (playroom or bedroom?),

  • The lighting style

  • The circulation in the room

  • Your personal preferences for a type of finish. ”

This step is all the more important since the finish you choose for a room will not necessarily have the desired effect. For example, in the bathroom, you will need a finish that is resistant to moisture damage, while in the kitchen a stain-resistant or easy to clean finish will be preferable.

soumission_reno_peinture_mur_paint wall

Knowing how to recognize the different paint finishes

Matte Finish: With such a descriptive name, a matte finish is preferable for rooms with low-maintenance walls, as this type of finish is harder to clean. Since it has virtually no sheen, its application is uniform. For this same reason, it won't create any reflections and will instead absorb light, making it perfect for ceilings.

Velvet and satin finish: Also offering a low-gloss finish, the surface of the wall remains elegant and uniform. However, unlike the previous finish, a velvet finish is easily washable but remains just as easy to get dirty. This type of finish is suitable for any room, excluding the bathroom.

Platinum and Eggshell Finish: Creating a semi-gloss surface, these finishes are suitable for any room, but also for doors, trim and mouldings. Also available as Eggshell, they are durable and easy to clean, in addition to reducing light reflections.

Satin and Pearl Finish: Just like with the previous finish, you can get walls and other surfaces dirty without remorse! This finish offers a soft sheen, reflects light and is highly versatile. The difference here is that it is also suitable for floors and stairs.

Shiny and High-Gloss finish: Being also quite descriptive by name, this is the type of finish that would be ideal for the bathroom. Since this is a glossy finish, it is particularly suitable for high humidity areas as it is tough and durable. Its only flaw is that it gets dirty easily, therefore making flaws more noticeable. Other than the bathroom, this type of finish could be useful for your kitchen cabinets.

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Some practical information to know before starting your painting project

Before you start applying your colour, it is strongly recommended that you apply a coat of primer to ensure that the result is completely uniform. Also, it's best not to skip this step even if the paint colour being used is white. The reason is that the primer coat will help camouflage any imperfections you may have missed while preparing your walls.

This brings us to the next important point to consider before getting started: preparing your walls. By cleaning and repairing all imperfections visible to the naked eye, you will ensure a flawless finish.

From personal experience, if you are painting a varnished wood surface (such as kitchen cabinets, for example), it's recommended that you sand the surface before applying any product to it. You should know that over time, paint applied to a varnished surface will eventually peel off in one piece after any type of damage. Make sure the finish you choose is suitable for wood too! You will avoid a lot of easily preventable problems.

Aside from finishes, you might still have questions about your painting project, and that's okay! Here are some articles that could provide answers:

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