Choosing a Paint Finish

Flat, satin or semi-gloss? Here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing the right finish for your paint.
Matte, or flat, finishes refract light and therefore produce low or no luster on your exterior walls. This finish is often a preferred choice for old wooden siding, or siding with bumps, cracks or imperfections.
Satin finish is considered to be a more universal exterior finish. It looks and feels “at home” on many types of exterior walls, such as manufactured siding, wood and cement. It delivers a subtle degree of sheen, similar to the shine on brand new siding, while offering a durable surface that can be washed to remove soils, stains and other airborne particulates.
A semi-gloss paint is very durable and washable, and will produce a visible shine on your exterior surfaces. Semi-gloss paint is typically used for doors, gutters, shutters and trim. It is ideal for environments that may experience frequent cleaning or require added durability due to abrasion or other performance flaws.
Gloss finishes deliver the highest level of shine and durability and can highlight doors, trim and other architectural elements. Generally, gloss paints are not used for exterior walls.
What Type of Finish Do I Need?
  • For exterior doors, shutters, gutters or trim, use a semi-gloss or high gloss finish.
  • For exterior walls and siding, choose flat, satin or semi-gloss finish.
  • For wood siding, use a flat or satin finish.
  • On masonry or block, use a satin or semi-gloss finish.
  • With manufactured siding—aluminum, steel, vinyl or fiber cement—use a satin finish.

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