Picking colors can be difficult enough…What about picking the right finish?

Very often homeowners will select colors and think that the color selection process is complete. In many instances, some of the details are forgotten. One of the most important and vital details to making sure your colors flow the way you want them to, is in picking the right finish. Flat, matte, eggshell, satin, pearl, semigloss and high gloss offer so many different options for us. Where do we begin?

Traditionally, it has been preferred by many that the ceilings are painted white in a flat finish, the trim is painted the same color white as the ceilings in a semigloss finish and the walls are a color in a flat finish. Although this classic format is still beautiful, be aware of your many different options. For example, many designers have been specifying to paint the ornate trim and walls the same color, just a different finish. Eggshell walls with satin trim has been very popular in 2010. Even though using the same color, with the slight difference in sheen, you still get a different level of light reflection to slightly change the appearance of the colors. It makes for a beautiful contemporary look.

Flat paints are traditional and have the lowest level of sheen in paints. Therefore, flat paints will reflect less light and have less resins on the top coat. Flat paints are not washable and are more likely to scuff easily, however, the low level of sheen helps when hiding surface imperfections. If you are not having detail prep and/or skimcoating on your walls, flat paint is a great option. For a more elegant and washable appearance, the eggshell finish is sheik. Eggshell has a slight level of sheen and more resins than a flat paint, which allows the homeowner to scrub/clean the surface better than a flat paint. An eggshell finish, however, is not recommended if you are not having detail prep performed but are still expecting completely perfect walls. The sheen levels in the paint will show all surface imperfections. Another disadvantage to eggshell finish is that it does NOT touch up. Any time you touch up eggshell paint, you need to paint from corner to corner, otherwise, the touchup will “flash” or show.

If you are looking for the appearance of flat but want the wash ability of the eggshell for your walls, matte finish is an excellent choice. Matte finish has a slight sheen to it, which is in between the flat and eggshell. Many of the new waterborne premium finishes with low or no VOC do not offer a flat finish, but offer a matte alternative

Semigloss finish has more resins and sheen and has a harder more durable finish. Semigloss sheen will also accentuate the detail, which is why it is used primarily on trim. Satin is similar to the semigloss in sheen can also be used on trim. Because of it’s durability and ease of cleaning, semigloss is used very often on the walls and ceilings in bathrooms and walls in kitchens.

High gloss finish is very seldom used on a residential area. The premium high gloss oil paints are no longer available, therefore, a latex or lower grade of oil is usually specified. To apply a high gloss paint, the surface needs to be prepared with extreme detail, otherwise, it will take in so much light even the slightest nick will be magnified. Before choosing a high gloss option, be sure to ask your painting contractor or color consultant before applying.

I hope this information proves useful. Selecting colors can be difficult enough, but don’t forget about the selection of finishes. If you have any further questions or need assistance in color or finish selection, ask you’re A.G. Williams Painting Company representative. We can also refer you to our team of color consultants who can help you choose the colors that are right for you.

Visit www.agwilliamspainting.com or call 1-800-227-1906 for more information.

“A.G. Williams Painting Company has locations in both Westchester & Fairfield Counties. Since 1906, we have been providing the tri-state area with the finest in interior painting, exterior painting, decorative finishes, carpentry, residential painting and commercial painting. Our team of painters are trained in their craft and are all full time employees. We offer exterior home maintenance programs, offseason discounts, customer rewards programs and senior citizen discounts. We have painted a home in every neighborhood. Ask for references in: Pelham, New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, Harrison, Chappaqua, White Plains, Irvington, Hastings, Briarcliff Manor, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown, Yonkers, Armonk, Pleasantville, Thornwood, Hawthorne, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Bronxville, Putnam County, Greenwich, Old Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside, Byram, Darien, Westport, Norwalk, New Canaan and many more towns.”