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Which Paint to Use Where?

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People find they have choices when the time comes to paint their home or business. Many people struggle to choose between semi-matte and semi-gloss paints. They wonder what the similarities and differences are between the two. As they make the choice, the following guide becomes of great help.

The Key Difference

The difference between the two options lies in the finished appearance of the surface. Semi-gloss paints leave a high sheen on the surface, resulting in a glossy and reflective finish. Semi-matte paint, in contrast, lacks this sheen, so the finished surface isn’t as glossy or reflective.

What is Semi-Matte Paint?

Semi-matte paint is a water-based product that offers more sheen than flat paint. The low sheen provides the paint with a finish similar to that seen with matte paint, so the paint won’t reflect much light. However, the color is more vibrant than the color achieved with semi-gloss paint. In addition, this thin paint dries quickly.

What is Semi-Gloss Paint?

Semi-gloss paint comes with an oil base and leaves a sheen on a surface. When dry, the paint leaves a hard and moisture-resistant layer on the surface to protect it. Moisture and oils find it difficult to penetrate the surface.

This paint is thick, and the painter must sand between coats. In addition, it takes a long time to dry. However, painters use it in a variety of places. For instance, painters often choose semi-gloss paint when they need paint for cabinets or other furnishings.

The Paint’s Appearance

When a person talks about the sheen of the paint, they refer to the luster. Semi-gloss has more luster than semi-matte paint. This leads to the semi-gloss surface glowing and reflecting light. Semi-matte paint‌ absorbs light and lacks luster.

People discern most reflected light from its surface, so the homeowner has more room for creativity. The appearance of semi-gloss paint changes based on the light in the room, while the appearance of semi-matte paint remains the same in varying light conditions.

The Thickness of the Paint

Semi-matte paint is thin when compared to semi-gloss paint. This is because of the different bases in the paints. In addition, semi-gloss paint has additional binders to hold the particles together.

The Paint Finish

Semi-gloss paint provides a smooth finish, one that is suitable for walls and many furnishings. However, it makes for a slick surface. For this reason, painters recommend using semi-matte paint on floors and certain furnishings, such as chairs. Semi-gloss paint, however, can be streaky and uneven. This may lead to the need for touch-ups.

Dry Time

Semi-matte paint takes little time to dry. In fact, the painted surface may dry in an hour, thanks to the water base and low sheen level. Semi-gloss paints take a long time to dry because they have an oil base and are very thick.

Any liquid in the paint must dry before the paint dries. Water evaporates faster than oil, which is why semi-matte paints take little time for the process to complete.

The Durability of Each Paint

When a painter talks about durability, they are talking about a product’s ability to hold its color and adhesive power. Semi-gloss paint comes with many advantages when compared to semi-matte paint. The binders in the semi-gloss products lead to a resilient product, one that is difficult to damage. Semi-gloss paint has a tight surface. The paint resists stains and won’t need to be cleaned as often as many other paint options offered today.

Semi-matte paint lacks the high concentration of binders found in semi-gloss paint. It cannot resist stains as well and will need frequent cleanings. Exposure to water during the cleaning process leads to the need to repaint much sooner.

When properly maintained, semi-gloss paint lasts up to ten years. Semi-matte paint, in contrast, only lasts up to five years. If used in high-traffic areas, the paint only lasts two years.

Wood Protection

Moisture and gouges damage wood. Water penetration leads to rot, while dents and gouges weaken the wood, making it more prone to breakage. Semi-gloss paint protects the wood from both forms of damage by preventing water from getting into the wood, along with protecting it from dents and gouges. Semi-matte paints don’t offer this protection.

People must consider what they will use the paint for when deciding which product to buy. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, both are excellent choices when used in the right way.

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