Discover The Troublesome Truth About Gloss Paint For Interior walls - Get Painting Contractor advice

Published: 13th March 2009
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As a painting contractor for many years, I have witnessed many mistakes by well meaning homeowners who simply don't understand just how quirky gloss paint can be on interior walls. In an effort to achieve durability and scrub ability many rush off to purchase satin or gloss paint without considering the complications that will shortly become apparent. With their dreams of rich color tones that gloss paint affords and the scrubbable qualities of the paint, some homeowners reason they simply can't go wrong.|

Most painting contractors would agree that one could certainly make a valid argument for using paints with sheen; however, most homeowners are not aware of the downside to using glossy paint on their walls.

Below are problems associated with using gloss paint.

1. One of the most common problems with using gloss paint is it causes minor defects in your walls to become visible. Defects that are not visible with flat paint suddenly become visible with satin or gloss finishes. If you receive a fair amount of sunlight through windows in the room, it will become even more noticeable. Sheetrock tape joints that are slightly raised or depressed can become obvious. Uneven texture in the walls can become visible, etc.

2. Another problem many homeowners are not aware of is, gloss paint is notorious for creating a halo effect around windows, doors, and baseboards of your rooms. When you roll the walls in a room, the roller nap leaves a texture. This texture is different than the texture left by the brush you use to cut in wall paint around doors, windows, baseboard, and crown moldings. Light reflects differently from the texture left by the brush than from the textures left by the roller nap. This halo effect is annoying and will ruin the appearance of your room.

3. If you are planning to paint gloss paint over existing flat walls, you really need two coats of paint to avoid flashing (unevenness of sheen throughout the wall). Two coats improve consistency of sheen and enhance color tone. This of course, increases your cost.

If you still would like the look that sheen can bring, then follow these suggestions.

1. Use very low sheen paint. The use of eggshell, or satin sheen will help minimize the above problems associated with gloss paints.

2. Prep your walls very well. Some of the wall problems may be beyond the scope of what you or the painter you hire can do. A Sheetrock contractor may be your best option for major wall repair.

3. Be sure and cut your walls in with a brush before you roll the walls. After the walls have been cut in with a brush, then roll the wall paint within a quarter of an inch of your trim. Another solution is to apply blue tape to all the trim which will allow you to roll the paint against the trim. This will go a long way in reducing the halo effect. Make sure you have a small roller frame and nap on hand to reach areas where a standard size roller frame can't reach. If you touch your trim with the roller, then immediately clean the paint off the trim with a cloth.

4. Be sure and budget for two coats of paint to achieve the look and feel you want.

Low sheen paints can give you the richness and dept of color with reduced problems, especially in rooms that do not get a lot of light. If your are going to use flat paint, then realize not all flat paints are alike. Top of the line flat paints will clean with much less damage to the wall than cheaper paint. Be sure the paint you purchase is a scrubbable paint. When you clean flat paint you should use a sponge with water and soap. Never use a cloth. Cleaning with a cloth will buff the surface causing sheen to appear at that spot. My recommendation as a painting contractor is plan your project well. Consider the quirks of gloss paint and budget accordingly. Weigh the pros and cons of using sheen on your walls.


Nicky Taylor CEO Of Nicky offers his expertise in resources and additional articles on the website above. Nicky is owner of a 26 year old house painting contractor service and home improvement company serving all North Atlanta Georgia. He shares his knowledge and expertise garnered through years of service in the home improvement industry. It contains helpful information for any DIYer planning to undertake their own projects.

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