February 19, 2015

These days there seems to be as many paint finishes as there are paint colours.

Low-sheen, high-sheen, gloss, semi-gloss, flat, matte, satin, enamel, ultra-enamel – the types of house paints and paint finishes available these days goes on and on and sometimes it seems as if there’re as many new finishes as there are surfaces to paint.

The range is sometimes a little challenging for us professionals, so we can only imagine how confronting it is for the average home handyman or woman. It’s no wonder we’re often asked which finish and which house paint Geelong householders should choose for their homes.

There’s no one answer to the best paint and best finish questions because paint selection depends on the surface, the finish you desire, whether we’re painting inside or outside – the variables go on and on.

When clients ask us what products are best we tend not to go too far into the multitude of finishes available, rather we outline and discuss the project at hand and the type of paint best suited to the job.

For example, if we were painting a family room that’s regularly filled with people and often requires a wipe down then we’d recommend a low-sheen paint finish. Low-sheen paints are the number one choice for interiors across Australia for a reason. They tend to be durable, hide flaws and are relatively easy to clean.

Acrylic paints have largely replaced enamel paints, largely because acyclics are easier on the nose, dry quickly and clean up with water. But if you want a tough and durable finish then you can’t beat an enamel paint. However, that strength and durability comes with a strong odour while the paint dries – and it dries slowly – and clean up involves mineral turpentine, which can be hard on skin and has its own odour.

For a children’s room, we might recommend considering a satin finish. Satin, as the name suggests, has a smooth, velvet-like finish, can take the rough treatment kids dish out and isn’t too hard to clean.

Flat paints, which also get around with the titles matte, ultra-matte and ultra-flat to name a few, create a beautiful finish but flat paint is touchy because it doesn’t like to be touched. Yes, that’s what we meant to say! Flat paints look amazing and can hide underyling imperfections but they’re no good in busy rooms where hands are likely to often touch walls or there are likely to be scuffs and other marks. The pigments in flat paints that deflect light and hide the imperfections of the wall beneath don’t cope with hand and finger prints, and cleaning can make the marks look worse.

Gloss and semi-gloss paints, as their names suggest, are the shiny guys in the paint team. High-gloss is the highest level of shine when it comes to paint and is probably best used minimally, perhaps for highlighting trims on doors and windows. Semi-gloss is similar. Although not as shiny as high-gloss, it’s best used sparingly, again on trims and other small areas but you could also get away with using semi-gloss paint on an interior door if you’re adventurous.

One thing to remember with gloss paints is that they show up every little imperfection in the surface they’re on. Preparation is paramount with all painting jobs but particularly so if you’re using paints which have a gloss finish.

We could talk all day about paints and paint finishes but we’d better not because there’s work to be done. If you’d like to know about the best house paint for Geelong homes then make sure you get in touch with us and we’ll happily answer your questions and provide advice.