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A word about interior paints and sheens

A Word About Interior Paints and Sheens

Interior Paints

For wall or ceiling painting, you have two directions to take when discussing “sheen” or the amount of shine the paint will contain. We will describe “flat” and “eg-shel” (stain sheens) for our purpose here. Today’s home trend away from shiny paints and nothing speaks “rent house” quicker than shiny walls. Below is some discussion points regarding positive and negative trains of flat paints and eg-shel paint for your home interior surfaces.

Flat paint

People complain about what the builder paints to the walls or ceiling of their homes. For example, “when you try to wash these walls, the paint comes right off.” Typically, homeowners think it is horrible and believe the builder was trying to perform cheaply applied paint. However, on the contrary, the builders select paints that serve THEIR purpose of selling houses. They normally have one job, and that is to get you to close on the house with the least hassle possible. The following are paints that make this process possible:

  • Paints that are easy to touch-up, that is, the touch-up area blends into the surrounding paint very easily
  • Paints that hide texture imperfections, sheet rock imperfections and, some framing errors
  • Paints that are simple, standard colors that are easily accessible and consistent colors
  • Paints that are inexpensive

So, now you understand why builder use flat paint. Now should you consider it your home? We think too many homeowners simply dismiss “flat” paint immediately, but keep in mind the following:

  • If the “color” is supreme importance, then flat paint will provide the most “true” color
  • If you have a two-story wall surface such as entries, family rooms, etc, then we strongly recommend using flat paint primarily to hide surface imperfections
  • If you have chosen an ultra-deep color, it will show better in a flat paint
  • If the paint is flat, it is opaque, so it will cover walls and other colors easier, requiring less paint and less labor which will cost you less in the long run
  • If it is flat paint, it DOES hide surface imperfections much better and provides a “softer” overall look
  • If you need touch up on the walls, flat paint is much easier and more successful to use
  • And, flat paint regularly costs less

If you have understand that we believe flat paint is a good thing, then you are correct. Modern flat paint formulations for repainting purposes are more livable and much better overall that what the builder used in the home originally.

The above list is certainly in favor of flat paint, and we previewed that this would be “pros and cons”, so what’s wrong with flat paint? Well, you can’t wash it and it should not be used in a high-humidity area. Keeping this in mind, we do not recommend using flat paint in bathrooms, utility rooms or kitchens.

Eg-shel paint

Flat paint is not washable, but eg-shel paint is to a certain degree. You should consider using eg-shel in children’s play areas, or along discrete strainway walls where little hands to to leave fingerprints. Eg-shel paints allow you to do some cleaning on soiled areas more easily.

However, some people like the softer sheet that eg-shel provides, but be aware that the color you select will tend to look lighter in an eg-shel sheen than with a flat paint. If the color is important, ensure that you double-check the color in eg-shel and flat paint before you choose paint for a large area. Similarly, colors that are “sun colors”, which include yellows, ambers and golds, tend to look quite different in eg-shel. They are also greatly affected by the sun from morning and afternoon and even different still on cloudy days versus sunny days.

Also, be aware that tinting agents (coloring that gets added at the paint store to attain your selected hue) will add shine. This means that if you have dark red walls painted in eg-shel that are adjacent to lighter walls painted in eg-shel, then the red walls (or any ultra-deep color) will look shinier. This can cause frustration because the dark walls will look like a semi-gloss. So, now you know everything about flat and eg-shel paints. Let’s get started!