The low-down on paint finishes

The low-down on paint finishes


Posted 12th Jul 2016

Image:  Miami mint matt emulsion, Johnstone's

Depending on the job you’re tackling, whether it’s walls, woodwork, floors or furniture, you’ll want to use the correct paint. Choosing the correct sheen level can make all the difference. To sum up… 

Before the paint goes on…
As the saying goes, it’s all in the preparation. Wash your walls to remove any grease and fill in and repair any holes and cracks with filler, wait until dry and then sand to a smooth finish. Sanding is a good idea on woodwork if you’re changing from a glossy finish to a matt one. Then with a good painter’s tape, mask off the areas that need protecting.

Primer
You want your surface to look its best and you can ensure this with a primer to create a smooth and consistent layer for the paint to be spread over and bind to. It is also a good idea to use a primer when you’re painting a lighter shade over a dark wall. If you’re painting over wood, a primer plays an important part in sealing the wood, giving it a non-porous surface. This would then be followed by an undercoat before your topcoat.

Matt emulsion
A smooth, velvety finish, this is non-reflective and won’t have any shimmer making it the perfect choice for imperfect or bumpy walls.

Flat matt emulsion
This has a heavier, more velvety finish that works really well in dark richer shades.

Satin
Mainly used for woodwork, this finish has a midsheen which means is has a slight shine which reflects some light. It’s not super shiny so it’s good at hiding imperfections in the woodwork.

Silk
Mainly used on walls, this finish also has a midsheen giving it a slightly polished shine. A silk paint has a wipeable surface, making it practical for high traffic areas, such as hallways.

Eggshell
True to its name, the finish is like that of an eggshell. Less shiny than silk or satin, it is a little more reflective than matt but less so than silk and satin finishes. Eggshell is thicker and durable, popular for woodwork, but also on walls too if you’re after a tougher finish.

Gloss
This is the shiniest finish of all, and reflects lots of light. Used on woodwork, it has a hard-wearing finish making it very practical.

Chalky emulsion
This gives a luxurious matt finish, that’s rich in colour to create a traditional feel. Due to its strong sticking power and dense consistency, no priming is necessary.

Bathroom and kitchen paints
These are specially made to resist steam and moisture, and often protect against mould, making your bathroom or kitchen look fabulous for longer.

 

Feature: Emma Fishman 





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