Which paint is best for your different fitout needs?

Got questions about which paint to use in your next commercial fitout or refurbishment?

Questions like:

Which paint is going to hide all those imperfections?

What’s the colour really going to look like if I’m using a gloss?

How durable is it going to be?

Paint finishes range from flat, through matt, to low sheen, semi-gloss to full gloss. As they move along the spectrum, there’s an obvious increase in the shine level and durability.

Here’s how they stack up:

Flat & Matte

This no-gloss option is on-trend, fairly easy to apply, but in a commercial sense, may cause some grief in the cleaning department.

It’s fine for ceilings particularly if you want them to fade into oblivion.

Because flat and matte paints have more pigment, they take less work to cover and are quite economical. A tip for those unremarkable ceilings : use a dark colour.

It absorbs light which also makes it fine for those walls with an uneven texture, patches or joints.

Commercially, use a matte finish for a feature wall to get a rich, velvety effect.

The result can be stunning, particularly in a dark, saturated colour, but ensure that it’s not in a high traffic area and it’s not needing to be cleaned too often. Marks will show!!

Cans of paints and brushes on yellow background, top view

Low Sheen & Satin

These popular finishes are a bit more durable than flat or matte paint which makes them a great choice for spaces with lighter uses like a private office or consult room. Low sheen can even look like matte if you view it from straight on, but at an angle, the subtle sheen appears. Even with this sheen, you may see some imperfections, especially if a good deal of light is directed on the area. With an increase in shine comes an increase in durability and the ability to clean off marks. Satin is similar and will deliver minimal shine too. It’s usually categorized with low sheen paints but is a little more durable and easier to clean. Since they both fall into the same basket, with careful wall prep, they’ll hunt off most surface flaws.

Semi-Gloss & Gloss

The more gloss a paint has, the more durable it is.

In commercial locations like shops, offices, public foyers, hair salons, cafes, medical rooms, child care centres, schools and any humid areas, a semi-gloss paint or full gloss will be the choice to achieve a higher durability.

Choose a semi gloss enamel paint, for instance, for areas where food, grease, lotions, or craft materials are likely to be used.

Move along one step further, if the area is considered as “heavy-traffic”, to a full gloss enamel for even more durability.

Be mindful though that both reflect light and can show any flaws in a surface.

Careful wall prep is definitely needed to avoid any unevenness.

Enamel usually means more drying time, more clean up and more odour because it’s oil based, but now most paint companies produce a “water-based enamel” which reduces time and effort considerably.

So the right type of paint is sorted!

Ready now to take the next step to a colour scheme.

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