Shop Now

How to Pick a Paint Finish

There’s a perfect paint for every type of surface.

Here’s how to choose the right paint for your projects.

Which paint?

Water-based acrylic paints have a number of advantages over their oil-based enamel counterparts. Drips and splashes can be removed with a simple wipe over with a damp cloth. Paintbrushes can be cleaned up in water. Acrylic paints emit fewer fumes or vapours than enamel paints when applied, and they dry faster and usually cost less. Oil-based enamel paints can offer superior durability and are often favoured for very high-quality work. However, for a DIY paint job, it’s hard to go past the acrylics. The types of paint listed below can be either acrylic or oil-based.

Flat (or matt) paint provides a soft finish and tends to hide minor surface irregularities. It’s easy to apply and is the best choice for ceilings or walls in low-traffic areas.

Low-sheen (satin finish) paint combines the soft finish of flat paint with the washability of semi-gloss. It is ideal for walls in high-traffic areas that need to be wiped clean regularly.

Semi-gloss paint is less easy to apply than flat and low-sheen products, but it does provide a highly washable and tough surface. It’s used on window sills, doors and trims, and also in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture resistance and washability are key.

High-quality high-gloss paint is highly reflective, which means it will highlight any flaws and defects in the surface; if you’re going to use a high-gloss paint, you’ll need to be meticulous about surface preparation and take great care during application. High-gloss paint is resistant to grease and moisture, which means it is easy to keep clean.

From Trade Secrets. Published by Reader’s Digest (Australia)

More in Home Tips

11 Chemical-Free Ways to Clean Your Home

Products used to clean furniture, carpets, and appliances are full of toxic chemicals that are known carcinogens. Try these alternative cleaning solutions to keep your home chemical-free!
The iPhone Keyboard Has Had a Mouse This Whole Time

The iPhone Keyboard Has Had a Mouse This Whole Time

Good news, iPhone users! Your phone has had a hidden mouse all along.
8 Reasons You Should Never Let Your Cat Sleep in Your Bed

8 Reasons You Should Never Let Your Cat Sleep in Your Bed

Spending the night cozied up to your fur-baby may sound relaxing, but sleeping with a cat comes with health risks.

Don’t Even Think About Sitting on Your Bed with Outside Clothes

Do you know what your top and pants have been picking up all day? Here are their extra-dirty little secrets.
Bad home smells

How to Banish Bad Smells from Your Home

There are ways to deal with a malodorous situation aside from a clothes peg on your nose.