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Painting for Success

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Golden Girls with SW Desert Homes BR564219000

Contemplating a new look with paint? It's important to know the gloss level for optimum results!

Interior paint finishes, also known as sheens or paint gloss levels, vary in their level of shine and durability. Here are the most common interior paint finishes and their ideal uses:

Flat/Matte Finish:
Characteristics: Flat finishes have a low or no shine, providing a non-reflective appearance.
Best for: Walls and ceilings in low-traffic areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. Flat finishes help to conceal surface imperfections and offer a smooth, velvety appearance.

Eggshell Finish: 
Characteristics: Eggshell finishes have a slight sheen, offering more durability and washability than flat paints while still maintaining a soft appearance.
Best for: Living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways where moderate traffic occurs. It's suitable for areas where occasional cleaning is necessary, as it resists stains and scuffs better than flat paint. (hint - walls that might have little fingers running amok!)

Satin Finish:
Characteristics: Satin finishes have a soft sheen that reflects more light than eggshell but less than semi-gloss. They offer good durability and are easy to clean.
Best for: High-traffic areas such as family rooms, children's bedrooms, and kitchens. Satin finishes are suitable for surfaces that require frequent cleaning, such as walls, doors, and trim.  I've seen kitchen use a flat or eggshell finish in the kitchen.  Kitchen grease + non-washable walls = disaster.  Unless, you don't cook.

Semi-Gloss Finish:  
Characteristics: Semi-gloss finishes have a noticeable shine and provide a smooth, reflective surface. They offer excellent durability and are highly washable.
Best for: Trim, doors, cabinets, and furniture. Semi-gloss finishes are ideal for areas prone to moisture and heavy wear, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, as they resist moisture, stains, and mildew.

Gloss/High-Gloss Finish:
Characteristics: Gloss and high-gloss finishes have the highest level of shine and reflectivity. They offer maximum durability and are extremely washable.
Best for: Trim, doors, cabinets, and furniture in areas where a high-gloss appearance is desired. Gloss finishes are less common on walls due to their reflective nature but can be used in specialty applications for a dramatic effect.

I remember looking at, and ultimately buying an all-white, high sheen home in Green Bay, WI many years back.  They'd decorated in black and bright red and the whole look was very concept, very hip.  If memory served, I turned it into a cottage style, colors of the 80's and 90's trend, and resold the home for a nice profit a few years later.  It was very easy to keep clean!

When choosing the right paint finish for your project, consider factors such as the desired aesthetic, the amount of traffic the surface will endure, and the ease of cleaning and maintenance required. Testing paint samples on a small area can also help determine the best finish for your specific needs.  

What's the wildest color scheme you ever walked into?   

(Author is not a specialist in painting.  This posting was completed with research and dotted with personal opinion.  If you need professional support in interior design - hire an expert!!)

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If I can assist you in your home buying or selling in Marana, Tucson, Oro Valley, or Vail, please don't hesitate to call me!  Email at Cara@SWDeserthomes.com

Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Designated Broker, Golden Girls with SW Desert Homes     520-909-2988   

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Cara - decorating a home is quite personal.  Sometimes, maybe even most, I think it is wise to check some paint samples on a wall to see how it looks in your home prior to making a decision.  It can make a difference and create an impact relatively quickly and economically.  

Apr 16, 2024 03:51 PM
Cara Marcelle Mancuso

I definitely believe there is painting for yourself, Michael Jacobs, and painting for resale!  Sometimes I wonder what was going through a homeowner's head when they decorated their home.  However, I remember my childhood home and it was very exciting when we each got to choose the color of our rooms!

Apr 17, 2024 07:04 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Cara Marcelle Mancuso very valuable detailed report about painting for success.

Apr 16, 2024 03:56 PM
Cara Marcelle Mancuso

Thanks John Pusa. The details can often spell success!

Apr 17, 2024 07:05 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Cara,

You have rally nailed it with great information if you are thinking of painting. The gloss level is so important and you need to be familiar with the different levels of shine and the advantages and disadvantages!

Apr 16, 2024 04:27 PM
Cara Marcelle Mancuso

Hi Dorie Dillard Austin TX. I think the same goes for flooring!  I remember having a listing once where the floor looked like a gallery - a glossy sheen that reflected all light.  Prospects came in and thought...but what about my two dogs...

Apr 17, 2024 07:06 AM