How to choose the right paint finish

Learn the difference between matt and gloss.

Matt emulsion – best for internal walls

This water-based emulsion is perfect for use on indoor walls. It’s available in different levels of toughness, including a super-durable finish that’s ideal in high traffic areas like hallways or kids’ bedrooms. It also does a great job at disguising surface imperfections, such as in older homes or on walls where you’ve recently taken down wallpaper. You can touch up matt walls easily, and some varieties have the added benefit of being washable so you can wipe the walls down too.

Soft sheen paint – gives internal walls a gentle sheen

Soft sheen is a happy compromise between practicality and good looks.

Satinwood – best for interior wood

Satinwood gives a shinier finish and is a great option when you want a sheen finish for interior wood.

Gloss – gives wood and metal a glossy look

Gloss has a mid-to-high sheen and is a popular choice for wood and metalwork. Need to save time on painting? Consider a one-coat or non-drip option.

High gloss – best for internal and external wood

This super-shiny paint gives a mirror-like finish that looks great on all kinds of wood and can be used indoors and out, where it will highlight any design features. Choose water-based gloss paints for indoor projects and use oil-based for outdoors. Gloss finishes are generally easiest to keep clean because they don’t hold dirt so much and can be cleaned easily.

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