Color is one of my favorite things—paint colors in particular. I think I’d be as happy as a lark if I could figure out how to get one of those jobs naming paint colors. Seriously: cow hide, orange blossom, ballerina, graphite, pumpernickel…I’m a natural, right?
I enjoy helping friends look at and select paint colors for their homes. Paint color is also one of the more important things to consider when listing a home for sale. You can’t expect everyone to love your hot pink foyer (thought I certainly would). In addition to what color goes where, there’s a question I get asked often: “What kind of paint should I be using?” Not brand, but finish. Here’s the DL (with help from Real Simple):
Where to use: Best choice for walls with many imperfections. Use on ceilings and bedroom, dining-room and living-room walls. Do not use in the kitchen or bathrooms.
Touch-ups and scrubbability: Flat or matte finishes are easy to touch up but hard to clean. Premium flat paint, such as Benjamin Moore Regal Matte Finish or California Paints Super-Scrub Matte Finish, has better washability.
Where to use: This low-sheen finish is a great choice for living-room or bedroom walls. Do not use in high-traffic areas, like hallways, because the delicate finish mars easily.
Touch-ups and scrubbability: Eggshell has a washable finish that can be easily touched up.
Where to use: With a silky, pearl-like sheen, it’s a good choice for woodwork as well as walls in the family room, children’s rooms, laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms. Touch-ups and scrubbability: Satin has a warm finish that’s scrubbable, but is more difficult to touch up because any difference in sheen will be apparent.
Where to use: Semigloss is a popular choice for trim and moldings, and is also ideal for kitchen and bathroom walls because it’s more resistant to humidity and withstands stains, chipping and scuffing.
Touch-ups and scrubbability: Durable and easy to clean, it’s the most scrubbable sheen for walls. However, semigloss is more difficult to touch up because the difference in sheen may show up more easily.
Where to use: Gloss is rarely used on walls because it shows imperfections like a mirror does. It is typically used on woodwork, trim and moldings, and only works well for surfaces that are truly smooth.
Touch-ups and scrubbability: It’s the most durable finish and the easiest to clean, yet is the most difficult to touch up because the difference in sheen may show up more easily.