The Ultimate Guide To Satin Vs Semi-Gloss Exterior Paint

Are you looking to repaint your home exterior? While we’d prefer to think paint jobs are as simple as picking our favorite paint color on a paint swatch, there’s a bit more to it. First, you have exterior vs. interior paint, then you have to prime your walls, and then, of course, do you want a gloss finish or a matte finish?

Ahh, the paint gloss! Maybe you didn’t even know what that was until today, but that doesn’t change how important a gloss is during exterior painting. You need to find the right paint sheen to protect your paint job, and you can see it here.

Paint gloss seals your color in, protecting it against elements like UV radiation, rain, snow, and other things posing a threat to the surface. With paint gloss, the paint is more durable and won’t require touch-ups as quickly. While you know you need it, there are many options of paint gloss available, so it can be hard to know which type is best for your project.

Exterior painting costs can be expensive, which is why it’s best to do your research before you begin. Here we’re going to discuss the difference between semi-gloss paint and satin finish paint; two joint paint finishes, so that you can begin with confidence.

What is satin exterior paint?

Satin exterior paint is low sheen and the best paint for its low reflective finish. Satin paints are there to prevent your paint from chipping due to outside elements. Satin paint for interior walls is commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, mantels, stair railings, crown moldings, and other spaces. It can really show off architectural details too.

It isn’t a matte paint sheen, but it isn’t exactly a high gloss paint, either. Satin paint is shinier than pearl or eggshell paint finishes. This means that satin paint finishes tend to be better at hiding imperfections on the wall surface than other finishes, just as a flat sheen or matte one will.

Home exteriors like painted wood can enjoy being refreshed with satin exterior paint.

Why do painters use this type of paint?

There are a few reasons why painters may embrace using satin exterior paint. Despite showing more imperfections than an eggshell or other flat paint, satin paint will help conceal extremely minor imperfections. It’s not a substitute for actually making repairs.

Satin exterior paint is easy to apply and is stain resistant, therein leaving it easy to clean. That makes it favorable for spots that may require frequent cleaning, like on bathroom walls, kitchens, dining rooms, or in kid bedrooms.

Satin exterior paint is also favorable because it can be applied on multiple surfaces. Satin, along with eggshell paint, are paint sheens that have broad uses. When light reflects off of satin paint, it also has a pretty effect.

How do painters typically use satin exterior paint?

Painters typically use satin exterior paint to protect their new paint from the elements. Satin paint can be used on walls, doors, exterior walls, and exterior surfaces.

Satin paint can also be used indoors in rooms that have access to strong natural light, as it provides a classy subtle shine.

What’s the difference between satin and semi-gloss?

The difference between satin and semi-gloss paint boils down to their appearance and their designated areas for use. The trend for the last several years has been to use satin exclusively, even in interiors.

Meanwhile, a semi-gloss finish is more durable than a satin paint finish. Semi-gloss is more fitting for baseboards, such as in a playroom where the walls are prone to scuff marks.

Semi-gloss is highly durable, but at a cost; every imperfection, every brush stroke, and any other surface imperfections can be emphasized. And if it’s not properly applied, the texture can be a little rough. Some describe it as looking like an ‘orange peel.’

That’s why a satin finish is sometimes considered the best paint sheen to hide imperfections.

What is semi-gloss exterior paint?

Semi-gloss paint is very similar to satin, except for the fact that it provides more sheen in its finish. A semi-gloss paint finish will be brighter than satin paint and eggshell finish but will still be flatter than high gloss.

Semi-gloss also has higher reflection than satin paint sheen, meaning that it will highlight imperfections rather than hide them. For that sacrifice, it provides a long-lasting paint job and higher durability with high shine.

A flat paint finish tends to sacrifice durability in the name of hiding wall imperfections, but thankfully there are semi-gloss paint and satin paint finishes for homeowners to consider because they accomplish the same job.

Why do painters use this type of paint?

Painters use semi-gloss because it can highlight intricate details. Exterior trim and architecture in our living rooms and dining rooms are protected and give a glossy finish. Semi-gloss paint is also easy to clean, just like the satin sheen.

Semi-gloss paints can be washed frequently, more than a flat finish.

How do painters typically use semi-gloss exterior paint?

Semi-gloss exterior paint is glossy and repels water better than satin paint. It’s gloss makes it ideal for showing architectural details on your mantels, kitchen cabinets, front doors, and overall trim.

Semi-gloss is also easy to clean, so high-traffic areas that are washed frequently should be covered in semi-high gloss paints so the high gloss finish withstands the messes and clean-ups.

Wrapping Up

Painting the exterior of your home is no easy feat. You have many questions, like if two coats of paint are enough. What exterior paint color will look the best for my home? Should I find flat paint, or do I want a reflective surface? How do I avoid lap marks?

These are questions you can answer with careful research and execution. Reach out to a professional for tailored advice.