When purchasing paint Ive been asked if I want flat, high gloss, satin or even an eggshell finish. What do these terms mean, and does it really make any difference what kind of finish I have?
A. Those terms refer to the sheen or gloss level of the paint, and yes, it does make a difference which one you use. The sheen or gloss level simply means the degree of light reflectance of the paint. The terms you mention are ones that various manufacturers use to describe the shininess of their products. The following chart explains what each term means, and where paint with that type of gloss should be used. High gloss (70+ on a 60-degree gloss meter) Where to use: For kitchen and bathroom walls, kitchen cabinets, banisters and railings, trim, furniture, door jams and window sills. Comments: More durable, stain-resistant and easier to wash. However, the higher the gloss the more likely surface imperfections will be noticed. Semi-gloss (35 to 70 on a 60-degree gloss meter) Where to use: For kitchen and bathroom walls, hallways, children’s rooms, playrooms, doors, woodwork and trim Comments: More stain-resistant and easier to clean than flat paints. Better than flat for high-traffic a