How a professional painter will choose your paint
When you hire a professional painter to paint your home the first thing a house painter will do is evaluate the use of each surface that will be painted. For the exterior, the considerations will be the materials used in the construction of the home. For the interior, the use of each room will determine the type of paint used.
For example, a workroom is a usually a high-traffic area that will require more cleaning. In this case, a painter will probably choose high sheen paint. Sheen paint is more durable, resistant to staining and cracking and easier to clean. It does show off imperfections more noticeably than other paints, but given the high use and traffic of workrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, a professional painter will often choose sheen paints.
Sheen paints come in varying degrees of sheen. There is full sheen, semi-sheen (which is a little more than half sheen) and eggshell (which is a little less than half sheen). Full sheen paints are best used on textured drywall as smooth surfaces look “plastic” once coated with a full sheen paint. Semi-sheen paints offer a good choice for kid’s bedrooms, as they are more durable and easier to clean. Satin paints are often used on exteriors.
In rooms where a great deal of care has been taken with the interior design, a painter will likely choose a flat or satin paint. Satin paint has a low sheen and while some people think that any sheen in paint makes room look tacky, satin paints offer better resistance to fading from sunlight than flat paints.
Flat paints are most commonly used in living rooms, bedrooms and hallways. Sometimes called “matte” paints, flat paints have zero sheen. They have a higher percentage of pigment and require fewer coats. These paints are used in rooms where colour is needed and where the paint should blend into the overall design.
Enamels can also be used, but these require specialised knowledge and care if you want to ensure correct applications. Enamels are especially shiny and are extremely durable though contain less pigment than other paints.
The basic idea to understand is that as sheen increases, durability and clean-ability increase, as sheen decreases, coverage increases. Also keep in mind that the terms Sheen, Satin, Flat, etc. vary between manufacturers. For example a Semi-Sheen paint can be anywhere from 45% to 60% sheeny depending the company that makes the paint. That is why it is import to compare paint samples in order to achieve the effect you desire.
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