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When should I use semi-gloss paint?

Once you’ve chosen the paint colours for your interiors (most important job!) the next thing you have to decide is the type of paint to cover those walls with. There are many different finishes to choose from – today we’re going to talk about the semi-gloss finish.

Where to use semi-gloss paint

This finish is mainly used for doors, trims (like doorframes and skirting boards) as well as in bathrooms.

The reason it works well in bathrooms and kitchens is because it is nicely resistant to humidity … and also stands up to cleaning really well. Which is handy when you splash spaghetti bolognaise all over your kitchen walls by accident (oops).

The cleaning thing also comes in handy when it comes to getting dirty finger prints off doorframes.

Semi-gloss paint also stands up well to situations that would ordinarily leave behind chips in the surface.

Things to keep in mind when painting with semi-gloss paint

When dry it has a nice subtle shine but you do need to ensure it is being laid down over a well-prepared surface as both a semi-gloss and high-gloss finish will highlight any surface imperfections.

It might be difficult to touch-up in the future as the difference in the ‘old’ sheen vs the new sheen might be too obvious.

Painting tips for semi-gloss paint

As mentioned above, the surface must be meticulously prepared when painting with semi-gloss … any small imperfections will be highlighted because of the reflective nature of the paint.

Once you’ve prepared the surface, ensure you use a good quality primer as this will help ensure a nice smooth surface on which to lay down the semi-gloss paint.

If you’re painting on a previously painted surface, give it a good sand first as this will allow the semi-gloss paint to stick better.

Always do at least two coats. Semi-gloss paint goes on thinner than other paints and if you only do one coat, the end result will be sub-optimal (streaky).

Stay away from foam rollers as they tend to lay down too much paint. Stick with synthetic or lamb’s wool rollers for semi-gloss paints.

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