Flat paints have the least amount of gloss. They conceal surface imperfections better than other finishes and are ideal for walls that are rough or dented. They also provide better touch-up performance, which makes a flat paint an ideal choice in offices or apartments where there’s a higher frequency of re-painting. Flat paints are a good choice for ceilings because of their low reflectivity. Stains can be difficult to remove from flat finishes, so it’s best to use flat paints in areas that do not experience a lot of traffic.
Velvet paints resemble flat paints when viewed head on, but show a slight gloss when viewed at an angle. This slightly higher gloss provides for a more washable or scrubbable surface. These paints are ideal for areas with traffic, such as hallways, long corridors or a child’s bedroom.
Eggshell paints are one step glossier than velvet paints. They convey a greater warmth and depth to surfaces than flat paints. Eggshell also tends to resist stains better than flat or velvet paint, although not as well as semi-gloss and high gloss paints. These paints tend to be used more often on long hallways or corridors in facilities such as convalescent homes, schools and hospitals.
Low sheen paints are similar to eggshell paints, but usually have a slightly higher gloss. They are a good choice for areas where some gloss is desired, but good cleaning properties are also necessary, such as hallways, bathrooms, children’s rooms, corridors of manufacturing or warehousing facilities, lunch rooms, laundry facilities and cafeteria seating areas. Their slightly glossy appearance, however, tends to highlight surface imperfections more than flat paints.
Semi-Gloss paints have a slightly glossy appearance and are less reflective than gloss paints. They offer good stain resistance, are easy to clean, and are most often used in rooms requiring frequent scrubbing, such as kitchens, bathrooms, manufacturing or warehouse facilities, and on entry/exit doors within these facilities. Semi-Gloss is also a good alternative to gloss paints for use on windows, trim, cabinets and doors.
Gloss paints have a highly reflective appearance imparting a slick, contemporary look. They are tough, durable and stain-resistant. Gloss paints are easier to clean than lower gloss paints and are typically used in bathrooms and on doors and cabinets exposed to fingerprints and grime. Because of its high reflection, gloss paint can highlight surface imperfections.