The Best Paint to Use for Heavy-Traffic Walls

Not all of paint sheens are equivalent in regards to durability, even when comparing the exact same shade of paint in precisely the exact same brand in various gloss levels. The glossier the paint, the more washable and durable it is. While satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss paint appear well on walls in high-traffic areas, the choice comes down to the way washable the walls will need to be in comparison to this shininess which goes along with the durability.

Paint Sheens Simplified

The less lustrous the paint, the less durable it is. At the lowest end of this spectrum is flat or flat paint, which can be ideal for an area like an adult’s bedroom where it won’t be touched or subject to intense humidity. Low-gloss paints may discolor or wipe away a little if washed. Satin marks the midway point between apartment and high-gloss paint, offering moderate durability and washability without being overly shiny. High-gloss paint holds up to even the very humid and high-traffic areas.

High-Gloss Pros and Cons

High-gloss paint is the most durable sheen level of any paint available but it also is the very shiny. It is strong enough to hold up in a cosy bathroom or room containing a hot tub, as the moisture will not impact the paint finish. However, the shinier the paint, the more it shows every tiny flaw on the wall; a small indentation, warped drywall or nail heads all become more pronounced because of the reflectivity of this paint. Because the paint is really shiny and shows even minute flaws, it is reserved to be used on doors or trim in high-traffic areas that need constant cleaning to remove oily, dirty fingerprints and smudges. On an whole wall, the shine might be a bit too much. High-gloss paint is difficult to touch up because the paint-sheen gaps are evident between the fresh and old finishes.

Semi-Gloss Pros and Cons

Semi-gloss paint provides many of the advantages of high-gloss paint being quite as shiny. Less reflectivity means it doesn’t show off the wall’s beams quite as much as high-gloss paint does. Semi-gloss paint is perfect on walls in high-traffic areas which also receive a good deal of moisture, like the toilet or in the kitchen where it could possibly be exposed to food splatters or fingerprints. The disadvantage to semi-gloss paint is that it could be difficult to touch up because the sheen on the new paint might be noticeably different than on paint that has been in place for a little while.

Satin Pros and Cons

Satin paint is durable enough to work with on high-traffic walls as it is washable. It holds up well in areas like hallways, children’s bedrooms and play areas without being overtly dull or shiny, including a warm look to the space. The disadvantage is it shows brushstrokes or roller marks over another paint finishes. In a high-traffic area prone to lots of moisture like a toilet with a bathtub, semi-gloss is slightly more resilient than satin paint.

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