Understanding the Different Types of Interior and Exterior Paint Finishes

The sheen makes a big difference. Even if you have chosen the right paint for your interior or exterior paint job, choosing the wrong finish will only undo several hours of work and will have you spending more to repaint.  

While there can be so many names for the types of finishes depending on the manufacturers, especially interior paint finishes, knowing the different types of paint finish doesn’t have to be so complicated as it would seem.

Paint finishes for both interior and exterior paints can be divided into three or four major categories, ranging from dull to shiny.

Exterior Paint Finishes

Exterior paint finishes are simpler to understand because there are only three categories that you need to remember, and they can more or less do all the work that you will be needing for outdoor paint jobs.

Here are the three types of exterior paint finish that you need to be familiar with:

  • Flat finish – This type of external finish is the most porous and is the one that reflects the most light, which makes it ideal for painting older houses as it helps to hide any flaws or imperfections that can come with age.
  • Satin finish – This type of finish is the most popular one for homeowners as it is neither too dull nor too shiny, and the more subtle sheen makes it great for painting walls. It is also much easier to clean with a pressure washing every once in a while.        
  • Gloss finish – Gloss finishes are the toughest and are the easiest to maintain, but can make your home look as if it were made of plastic when used too much. This type of finish is also very slippery.

Interior Paint Finishes

While there are more and more names being added to the list of interior paint finishes, they usually all range from dull to shiny. The dull ones are best reserved for floors and ceilings, while the shinier ones are for doors and windows.

Here are the four major types that you need to remember:

  • No-sheen – Flat paint finishes are offered by almost every paint manufacturer, and they produce a dull finish that will make living rooms and home offices seem all the more inviting. Their only drawback is that they absorb all stains and are difficult to wash.
  • Low-sheen – Kitchens and bathrooms would benefit a lot from low-sheen paint finishes because of their glow. They are also appropriate for kids’ rooms and hallways, but they do tend to highlight flaws on the walls’ surface.
  • Medium-sheen – Medium-sheen finishes are much more durable and easy to clean, which makes it irresistible to homeowners. However, they should only be reserved for doors and windows.
  • High-sheen – These finishes are hard, smooth, and non-porous enamels that are ideal for areas that tend to experience wear and tear the most, such as windows and doors, and even corner woodwork, but should never be used for walls or ceilings.

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