Latex and alkyd paints alike come in several finishes. It is sometimes confusing when it comes time to decide which finish is right for the job you are doing.
Latex paints are much better for beginners; they are easy to apply and clean up. However, for some areas in the home alkyd paints may be desired for a more “finished” look.
The degrees of gloss:
High Gloss – mostly used for interior surfaces, such as hardwood floors and handrails. High traffic areas. High gloss is not generally used outdoors due to the increased possibility of blistering. Also high gloss finishes require extra precise prep work. This finish will show every imperfection.
• Semi-gloss – perfect for indoor and outdoor trim. It makes a beautiful contrast against flat wall paint. It also increases the durability of the trim.
• Low Lustre – also a semi-gloss type finish. A fancier term for it. Another great choice for trim.
• Eggshell – just as the name implies, it resembles the outer finish of an eggshell. It is smooth and washable, but with little reflective gloss properties. An excellent choice for high traffic areas where you don’t want to use semi-gloss.
• Velvet – also an eggshell type finish. Generally alkyd products use the velvet term for finish.
• Flat – No gloss, no shine. The perfect look for most of the walls in your home. Flat paint is not very washable, so it may not be your first choice for kitchens, bathrooms and children’s rooms. However it is the classic look.