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4 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Commercial Paint Finish

November 21, 2018


A paint finish is determined by how well a paint reflects light. Flat paints have little luster or shine and reflect very little light. An eggshell paint finish has a little bit of luster, and semi-gloss is shinier than both flat and eggshell but not as shiny as high-gloss.

Commercial paint finishing options range from flat to glossy, but it’s important to understand that there’s more to a paint’s finish than how it looks. Cochran & Mann in Frederick, Maryland, offers tips to choose the perfect paint finish for your commercial space.

Type Of Commercial Space

How much physical application does the commercial building endure? For example, if you have a daycare, you need to scrub the markers off the wall regularly. If you have an office building, you’re likely to clean the walls less often.

High-gloss paint stands up better to scrubbing and maintenance than flat paint. It’s the gloss that helps seal the paint and allow any messes to be easily cleaned. On the other end is flat paint, which is for quieter areas such as a library. Your choice of finish includes the following:

  • Flat and matte finish offer the least amount of durability but hold up well in low-traffic areas such as corner offices.
  • Eggshell, which is a bolder version of a flat paint, is squarely in the middle of flat and glossy. It’s perfect for mild-traffic commercial areas that are not overrun. A great example of a commercial space where eggshell paint finish works is a conference room. The little bit of reflectivity from the paint livens up the space, but these rooms sit empty for periods of time.
  • Satin finishes paint have gloss to them but aren’t high-gloss paints. Satin paints work well in commercial spaces where the painted surfaces take physical application and need light reflection like reception areas.
  • Semi-glass and high-gloss paints offer a durable surface and work well in spaces like a cafeteria or break room.

Marketing & Branding

Branding is a powerful tool. If your logo and brand are matte, go with a matte finish for the commercial building. If your brand is more showy, a high-gloss paint might be a perfect fit. The goal is to match the marketing to the paint in color and finish. There are many different types of paint finish to do just that.

The Environment

In high-humidity areas, a glossy paint holds up best, especially over flat paints. This is because gloss seals the paint to avoid moisture. If you need a paint that stands up to higher heat, consider a semi-gloss or special finishing paints for high-heat environments.

In areas of high light, eggshell paint is a perfect choice. Eggshell works well to brighten up walls in low light, such as the early morning or late afternoon, and tones down incoming light in midday.

Color Psychology

There’s a huge volume of work about how color affects mood but not so much on how paint finishes help how we feel.

In a high-energy area, glossy is great, but in a quiet and subdued area, flat or eggshell paint is better. Consider a high-class restaurant and an auto dealership. An auto dealership might have gloss because it's a showroom where gloss sells. During a dinner in a restaurant, you don't want the walls to outshine your experience. That’s why most restaurants have a flat, matte, or eggshell finish.

These painting tips are a great start, as you pick a new finish for your commercial building. For more information about types of finishes, download our Commercial Texture Painting Cheat Sheet. Click on the button below to get started: 

Download The Texture Painting Cheat Sheet

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