One of our friends asks about the durability of paint and surface coatings and what topcoat is best for durability. This is a situation that most of us go through when we are considering repainting our homes. Whether we are doing a full repaint or just working on accent pieces we want a surface that looks good and will last a long time.
The basic rule of thumb for any paint or coating is that glossy is always more durable. The reason for this is that the materials in the coating that produce a gloss finish are actually producing a more uniform and tighter surface.
Consider this raw marble or granite will get stained very easily by a liquid that can penetrate the surface but if you grind, sand and polish the surface to a high gloss it becomes more resistant to penetration. This is the same as buffing your car paint. If it is dull because of age then if you were to get grease on it it could penetrate the surface of the paint. If the paint is buffed or coated with a gloss topcoat then it will resist penetration of materials like oils.
Long ago you had two choices either matte or gloss and then a semigloss was introduced. You can actually use a paint additive to reduce glossy paint down from gloss to semigloss or to matte. Using an additive like that is useful in color matching.
However when you are talking about durability the glossier the paint then the more durable it will be. This is the same for Deck Stains, Polyurethane on Wood or floors and any surface coating.
Semigloss or Flat may be appealing but you have to remember it will not be as durable to abrasion and it will get dirty much easier.
The fact something is glossy means that the surface is smooth just like the difference of a window pane or a piece of beach glass.
Many people use higher gloss products in children’s rooms because they will allow you to clean them easy and last longer.
In the end the use of Semigloss or eggshell surface coatings is an option when you still want some protection but don’t want the reflections.
Never paint a ceiling glossy.