The Advantages of Semigloss Paint Over Satin

In areas of high humidity such as bathrooms, semigloss paint is more durable and easier to clean than satin paints.
In areas of high humidity such as bathrooms, semigloss paint is more durable and easier to clean than satin paints. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

For homeowners getting ready to take on a major painting project, choosing one particular paint over another can be an overwhelming task. At first, it may seem as though it is as simple as choosing one color over another, which in itself can be a tedious battle when the decision falls to two people with different tastes. Compromises in color aside, there are other considerations that you must weigh, such as price, durability, shine and problems that may arise if another color is painted over it down the line. Understanding the differences between paint sheens will make the decision between using semigloss paint or satin paint will be much easier.

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Brightness

Semigloss paint and satin gloss paint are both types of enamel paint. Enamel paint is just as durable as a basic alkyd paint or latex paint, but it differs in that it has varying levels of shine, or gloss. The terms "semigloss" and "satin gloss" refer to two very different levels of gloss buyers can choose from. Satin paints put out a very subtle shine, while semigloss paints have significantly more shine. The advantage depends on the perspective you come at it from, but if you are like most homeowners who want to take advantage of anything that will brighten up a room and make it homier, the high shine of a semigloss paint is a great choice.

Washing

Another factor you may want to consider is whether or not you can wash the paint. This is especially worth thinking about if you have small children. You can remove stains from both semigloss paint and satin gloss paint, but stains are easier to remove from semigloss paint. It may seem as though the less shine a paint has, the easier it would be to clean it; but the fact is the opposite. The more shine, or gloss, a paint has, the easier and less time-consuming cleaning it is.

Durability

Homeowners trying to decide whether to paint a room with satin or semigloss paint may want to consider the general durability of a paint. The semigloss paint wins out over the satin gloss paint in this area. It takes the semigloss longer to fade from regular exposure to sunlight, which is a plus in rooms featuring colors in which fading would be obvious. Semigloss paints hold up better in humidity than satin glosses.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage of semigloss paint compared with satin gloss paint can in certain cases be the shine that so often is popular. A coat of paint projecting a significant shine may brighten up a room and give it an inviting atmosphere, but if that room receives high levels of sunlight throughout most of the day, semigloss shine can create uncomfortable glare, making an environment like the living room feel more abrasive than inviting. In such rooms, a satin gloss paint reduces glares that would certainly arise with a semigloss paint.

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