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Selecting the Right Interior Paint Finish

Published: Sep 29, 2011

The right paint could last you a lifetime, and finding the perfect paint is actually quite easy. Most interior paint is made to handle everyday wear and tear and look great for years to come. Don't worry about scuffs from the kids or stains from cooking. A high quality latex paint will hold up against the toughest of occupants (yes, even your family). Good interior paints are also created with the ability to touch up easily and blend with the original wall color. This means covering up the nicks is easy and still looks great. To get started you need to ask yourself a very simple question: What room am I painting?

Whether you are sprucing up the bedroom or just repainting a ceiling, there is a specific paint finish for you. Each location in your home will require a slightly different finish. The main difference between these paints is their sheen. What is sheen? Simply put, it’s how “shiny” the paint looks. The sheen also affects the paint’s scrub-ability. As a rule of thumb, the shinier the paint, the more scrubbable and durable. This means depending on the room you’re painting, you’ll need to select a specific sheen. Simple!


  • A smooth finish with good scrub-ablity and low shine
  • Ideal for low-traffic areas like formal dining rooms and master bedrooms


  • A smooth finish with a subtle shine, providing a more scrubbable finish
  • Ideal for bedrooms, hallways, home offices and family rooms


  • A nice balance between superior scrub-ability and shine
  • Ideal for just about any room including basements and high traffic areas
  • Semi-Gloss

    • This finish ensures maximum scrub-ability and is very shiny
    • Ideal for children's rooms, trim, and high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens


    • Highly reflective and extremely durable, providing the highest level of scrub-ability
    • Ideal for trim, decorative molding, doors, furniture and cabinets

    Ceiling Paints

    • Designed specifically for ceilings
    • These are usually extra spatter-resistant, and some even change colors as you paint so you don't miss any spots

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