Categories Exterior Painting

Exterior Paint Sheen & Finish Recommendations For Your Home

Exterior Paint Sheen

When choosing the best exterior paint sheen for your home, there’s more to it than just how it looks. It should be an important component in the paint-selection process as it can make or break the longevity of your paint and exterior surface. Doing your homework on the best sheen for exterior paint can really pay off in the long run. Read on to learn how to choose an exterior paint sheen for your specific climate as well as the benefits of using the correct finish. 

Before we go further, if you live in the Boise, Idaho area and need help painting the exterior of your home, we can help! We’ll give you a free estimate. In fact, we can even help you choose the best color for your home!

What Type of Exterior Paint Finish is Best? 

Paint sheen describes the glossiness or flatness of the paint once it dries. Some are better for painting trim and small details while others work well for siding. You need a finish that will protect your home from destructive UV rays which can cause your paint to peel, fade, or crack prematurely. Boise is known for hot, dry summers, freezing winters, and lots of rain in the fall and spring. For the best long-term results, you’ll need exterior paint made with high-quality resins, additives, and pigments. Finding the best paint sheen for your home will save you from repainting for years to come. Choosing the correct paint sheen has a big impact on how long your paint will last on exterior surfaces such as trim, doors, and siding. There are basically five different types of paint sheens that are used in exterior painting. Let’s go over each one so you’ll know when it’s appropriate to use them and when there’s a better choice. 

  • Flat or Matte Paint Finish 

While flat exterior paint finishes are used quite often, they aren’t the best choice for exterior projects. Because flat paint is porous, it’s more susceptible to fading and rotting from mildew problems. A finish with a shinier sheen is more protective, easier to clean, and aesthetically more pleasing. For this reason, flat or matte paint may be an option to consider for exterior walls only but not trim or doors. Because flat paint has little or no sheen, it’s excellent at concealing imperfections in your siding or wood. 

  • Eggshell Paint Finish 

Eggshell is considered the best sheen for exterior paint when it comes to painting the body of your home. It’s the perfect happy medium, landing between flat and satin finishes. Not too flat or too shiny, eggshell looks great on a variety of siding types. Because it’s easy to clean and provides a

pleasant appearance, it’s the preferred finish for most homeowners. If you’re repainting your house and are looking for a finish that can conceal small imperfections while being durable and looking nice, go with eggshell paint. 

  • Satin Paint Finish 

Satin paint has a bit more sheen than eggshell which makes it more durable, easy to clean, and holds up against abrasion. Satin and eggshell are fairly similar in popularity when it comes to exterior paint and are both excellent options. It’s a great choice for your trim if you want a glossy look without going overboard. Satin is exceptionally nice if you live in a hot, sunny climate like the Treasure Valley. The extra sheen makes a big difference when it comes to protecting your home from the UV rays.

  • Semi-Gloss Paint Finish 

Semi-gloss paint has noticeably more shine to it than the finishes mentioned above. This makes it perfect for surfaces that require frequent cleaning and upkeep. Not only is it easy to clean, but it protects against moisture and is more durable than satin. It’s important to note that the shinier the finish, the more imperfections you will be able to see. Semi-gloss is perfect for trim, shutters, garage doors, railings, and window sills. 

  • High-Gloss Paint Finish 

High gloss is too shiny to use on your exterior siding but is perfect when used to highlight architectural details, doors, and trim. Its beautiful shine can really bring the wow factor to your home when used appropriately. Its durable sheen adds richness to any color. Any part of your exterior that might get touched on a regular basis can benefit from a high-gloss finish. This includes window frames, decorative fixtures, shutters, decorative trim, and more. 

Glossy paint finishes may also be an option if your exterior will need to be washed frequently. For example, if you live in an area where dust can be a problem or have adventurous children. However, the shininess factor has a tendency to spotlight every imperfection which still makes eggshell a better overall choice. 

What Sheen should you Use for Exterior Paint?

Before you determine which paint sheen to use, consider what surface you are painting. Keep in mind that lower sheen paints such as satin or eggshell are often used for the body of the house while higher sheen paints like semi-gloss work best for accents, trim, and doors. Choosing the proper sheen for different outdoor surfaces will help you create a beautiful look and get the most from your paint. 

Satin or Semi-Gloss for Exterior Trim? 

When you’re talking about exterior trim, semi-gloss or high-gloss will always reign supreme. Satin is the preferred choice for exterior siding or walls but lacks the durability for areas like trim, doors, and shutters.

What is the Longest Lasting Exterior Paint? 

Painting the exterior of your home is expensive and time-consuming. Since it’s quite an undertaking, you want your paint job to last as long as possible. You don’t want to have to repeat the process over and over again. The sheen you choose plays a big part in longevity but what kind of exterior paint lasts the longest? 

Acrylic paint is the most durable with its ability to withstand fading from the sun, damage from the elements, and has overall great flexibility. This paint is water-based but has an added acrylic binding agent. Use acrylic paint for wood and aluminum siding, stucco, plaster, and drywall. 

What is the Best Time to Paint Your House Exterior? 

Painting the exterior of your home isn’t the type of job that you can do effectively any time of the year. Weather can play into the success of your paint job quite a bit. With that said, early summer and early fall are the ideal times for exterior painting. It’s always best to aim for a day that’s not too hot or too cold. The paint will dry the best when it’s not too humid. Avoid rainy days and always make sure all the surfaces you’ll be painting are completely dry.

Choosing the Best Exterior Paint Sheen For Your Home Conclusion

If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s exterior paint but still have questions about the best sheen, contact Boise Home Painting. Our professional painters have years of experience helping homeowners choose not only the best colors for their exterior but the best finish as well. We serve the entire Treasure Valley including Meridian, Nampa, and Eagle, and pride ourselves in treating each paint job like it’s our own. Click here to get your free estimate!

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