When choosing paint for an interior project, the main points to consider are:

  1. Cost
  2. Appearance
  3. Performance and durability
  4. Lighting
  5. Use of the room in question

What puts the sheen in paint?

The two main components of paint are pigments and binders. The pigments are what adds the color to paint. Binders are resins or other adhesives that make the material adhere to itself and to the substrate.

A higher content of binders will make a paint harder and glossier, once it dries. This makes the paint more durable, but the extra hardness and shininess also means that any imperfections are highlighted(these imperfections could be in the substrate underneath or in the application of the paint itself).

Your options for sheens, from non-glossy to glossiest, are:

  1. flat/matte
  2. eggshell
  3. satin
  4. semi-gloss
  5. gloss.

Note that more gloss means a higher cost per gallon. Also note that satin is not an option that every line of paint sells. Some go straight from eggshell to semi-gloss.

Where not to use flat/matte

Your flat/matte paints are not well suited to walls that get touched a lot, because smudges and stains are hard to clean. The paint can be so hard to clean, sometimes, that it makes more sense to just paint over the smudges. On the plus side, the paint does come at an economical price. Matte paints also are easy to touch up.

Where not to use glossy paints

The problem with gloss paints is that they’re quite hard, once dried. This means they highlight imperfections, so the substrate needs to be finished with great attention to detail, which can increase cost.

Gloss paints also don’t touch up well. If you’re painting in an area where the wall is likely to be damaged, keep in mind that it’s difficult to paint over a small patch and get it to blend with the existing paint.

The paint will cost you more, as will the application. Gloss is a no-go on rough or porous surfaces, or where up front cost is a concern.

Eggshell or satin will often work when gloss and flat don’t

Eggshell and satin are a happy medium for performance and cost. Satins are easy to clean. Eggshells don’t clean quite as easy, but they can be cleaned. They can also be touched up easily, and the material comes at lower cost than satin or gloss.

Eggshell is popular for an interior paint, because it offers a good balance of price point, utility and appearance. If you don’t want to pay a premium for every gallon of paint, and you need a wall that can be cleaned well enough and has just enough luster to keep a room from having a dry, flat appearance, go with eggshell. For a slight upgrade in utility, appearance and cost, choose satin.

Eggshell is a popular interior choice for a reason

Here at Cedartone painting, we find ourselves applying a lot of eggshell for interiors. Glossier paints are commonly used on harder surfaces like trim. Whether we’re painting residential or multi-family units, homeowners and property managers alike seem to value the combined price point and utility of a quality eggshell.

For managed properties like apartment buildings and townhomes, you have to clean and repaint your walls frequently but still need to appeal to your tenants with a decent looking paint. Eggshell meets all these criteria.

For homeowners, eggshell offers a surface that can be cleaned when kids dirty it. At worst, you can afford to paint over a wall if it gets sullied beyond cleaning. Even if you don’t have kids, homeowners like the flexibility of being able to change colors at whim. This is more affordable to do if you don’t have to bear the cost of expensive, high gloss paints.

Drywall and painting for managed properties in the Twin Cities area

Cedartone has been built specifically to understand and serve the needs of property managers in charge of multi-family buildings and other rental properties, such as townhomes. To discuss your needs, you can fill out one of our contact forms here and let us reach out to you.

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