Select the right gloss level for your painting project

If you're undergoing home renovations, stop to think about what level of gloss you want on each area of your home. It may have more of an impact than you think.

As a general rule, try not to use semi-gloss or gloss paints on ceilings or interior walls as they can highlight surface imperfections. Flat or low sheen paints are best for these areas as they reflect light back in a diffused form, which minimises surface imperfections.

You don't always have to use the same gloss level on walls and ceilings, however. You could paint walls in a low sheen finish, such as Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen or Resene Zylone Sheen, and ceilings in a flat finish, such as Resene Ceiling Paint.

If you do want to add a touch of gloss to your home you could consider painting doors, window sills and other trim areas in a high-gloss finish, such as Resene Enamacryl or a subtler semi-gloss finish, such as Resene Lustacryl.

As gloss paints have a highly reflective surface, they are generally easier to clean than paints with less surface smoothness. This makes them perfect for wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries, where protection from steam and moisture is required.

Colours with a high-gloss finish can appear cleaner and more intense than flat colours, so think carefully about where in the house you want to have the most impact and consider using a shinier coat of paint there.

Lower sheen paints are good at hiding imperfections.  If you have a less than perfect wall, choose a lower sheen paint as higher gloss finishes will make the imperfections more obvious.

When it comes to painting the outside of your home, semi-gloss and satin paints, such as Resene Sonyx 101 and Resene Lumbersider, are generally the most popular for most exterior wall projects with a semi-gloss (Resene Lustacryl) or gloss finish (Resene Enamacryl) on trim and joinery.  For a striking contrast try coating your front door in a high gloss finish in a deep colour such as Resene Nero.

See the Resene Gloss Levels fandeck at your local Resene ColorShop to see how the gloss level changes the way you see the colour – you might be surprised what a difference it will make.  In general, glossy paints will have more durability than the same colour in a flat variety. Hues may also appear darker and muddier in a flat colour than they do when applied in a higher sheen.

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