Many interior designers and crafters are increasingly becoming more at home with a more modern painting method like spray painting. The use of brush or roller, the more traditional model – is fast giving way to the new ‘sheriff’ in town. But how much spray paint do you know? What is spray paint, to start with? What spray paint finishes are available?
Spray paint, otherwise called aerosol paint, is a type of liquid paint that’s contained in a sealed and pressurized can. The aerosol container features a valve on top of it. So, the valve, when pressed, dispenses the paint-propellant mixture and releases it onto a surface. The result produces an even, smooth, and fine coat. There are many spray paint finishes on the market, but the choice depends on many things.
In this article, you’ll have a lot of information about spray paint and spray paint finishes. Plus, the article will walk you through the following:
- 6 most popular spray paint finishes
- Best spray paint finishes for different surfaces
- How to get a perfect spray paint finish
- The most durable paint finish
6 Spray Paint Finishes
Spray paints come in many different finishes, and they can help you get the various looks and effects you want. Here are the most popular spray paint finishes:
A flat spray paint finish is a kind of finish that gives a completely matte look to your project. It has no or minimum gloss. In addition, flat paint gives off no shine. Although a flat spray finish is often used interchangeably with matte, there’s a difference between the two. Suffice it to say that any spray paint that produces a little or no shine look will either be flat or matte.
Typically, a flat paint finish is more famous for hiding surface imperfections than other types of spray paint. This ability to hide irregularities makes a flat paint finish suitable for various surfaces, including ceilings and walls.
Another essential feature of a flat finish is its washability. This type of finish is highly washable, especially if it comes as a high-grade finish. In addition, flat finish blends more easily than their high-gloss counterparts. Consequently, it allows you to add touchup coats.
- Most forgiving paint finish
- Blends more easily than other finishes
- Hide surface imperfections more professionally
- Produces no or little shine or gloss
- Offers velvety, saturated wall
- Nearly zero light-reflective qualities
- Hard to clean: may require scrubbing
If you by ‘semi’ to second-guess that semi-gloss stands in-between two forms of spray paint finishes, you’ll be right. It’s actually a spray paint that’s neither glossy nor matte. In other words, semi-gloss combines the features of matte paint with gloss. Hence, semi-gloss offers your project some kind of subtlety in shininess and glossiness. It doesn’t
In terms of application, a semi-gloss spray paint finish is best used on surfaces prone to dirt and grease. You can also use them in rooms that are susceptible to drips and moisture. This is chiefly due to the finish’s durability.
When it comes to reflectivity, a semi-gloss finish features some light-reflective qualities. It shows some sheen and gloss when light shines on it. Besides, it can hold out against the shenanigans o regular cleaning and washing. Higher-grade semi-gloss finishes can withstand scrubbing.
- Highly durable
- Easy to clean
- High resistant to moisture, drips, dirt, and scrubbing
- Can reflect some light
- Perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, and doors
- Doesn’t completely hide surface imperfections
- Reveals painting method
The gloss spray paint is next to the semi-gloss counterpart and it’s between high-gloss and semi-gloss in all its features. As the name suggests, gloss is the measure of the light-reflection ability of a paint film. A gloss spray paint reflects up to 70% – 90% of light. This way, it can show a clear spectacle of your project’s angles.
Gloss paint belongs to the class of highly durable spray paints. It boasts a high resistance to wear and tear and won’t throw in the sponge in the face of high humidity. Gloss spray paint can also stand out against scratch and scuff. Plus, a gloss spray paint finish smoothens as it dries. This makes it a suitable option to level dirt.
- Easy to clean
- Performs well in humid areas
- Ideal for kitchens and bathrooms
- Resistant to scuffing, scrubbing, and wear and tear,
- Highly durable
- Doesn’t hide surface irregularities
- Not suitable for exterior or outdoor use
A high-gloss spray paint finish is known for its unmatched light reflection qualities and most enduring capacity. The maximum amount of light high-gloss reflects separates it from all other spray paint finishes. It makes your project colors look bolder and brighter while showing an amazing spectacular view of all curves and details of your project.
In addition to its high sheen level, a high-gloss paint finish also gives your project an incredibly smooth and even finish. This is why high-gloss is the most stain-resistant and least susceptible to grease, dirt, and carbon deposit.
What’s more, the high-gloss finish is highly durable and long-lasting. This makes it suitable for use on doors, baseboards, and other surfaces that are highly prone to abrasion and constant washing.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Most suitable finish for abrasion-susceptible surfaces
- Vintage smooth and even finish
- Resistant to abrasion and humid conditions
- Maximum shiny and glossy appearance
- Exposes imperfections
- Exaggerates shadow and light reflection patterns
Satin spray paint is a latex-based or oil-based liquid finish. Like other finishes, Satin is contained in an aerosol can and released once you press the valve on the can. Like semi-gloss, gloss, and high-gloss finishes, Satin boasts some high light-reflective properties, although it’s not as glossy.
It is about the only spray paint finish that performs best in a room with large walls. Top-grade satin finish can hide imperfections, despite its relatively high reflective qualities. Satin will blur if your room walls have holes, dirt, or scrubbed patches. This way, it can take eyes away from them, thanks to its low sheen level and medium gloss. It makes the room calmer and less bright or bold. It’s often called eggshell spray paint but there’s a difference. Eggshell doesn’t have as much light reflection as satin. Satin is more durable than eggshells.
- Perfect spray paint for kids’ bedrooms Provides a calmer, less bold and bright look
- Features some level of sheen and gloss
- Relatively durable
- Can withstand constant washing
- Can expose touchups
- Low-grade satin won’t hide imperfections
Metallic spray paint finishes have a high sheen level, reflecting the surface light very conspicuously. The reflection of a metallic finished project is similar to what you get with metallic paint.
That’s not all. Metallic paint finish helps you add some bit of color depth and sparkle to your project. But you may not achieve the amazing unique tone you desire with a metallic finish.
Metallic finishes can withstand a lot of issues, including fading and bleaching more than a standard gloss, satin, or flat finish will do. This is why metallic finishes are a better option for use in automobiles and vehicles. Besides, they also offer a nice gloss longer than their counterparts.
A metallic spray paint finish fairly hides surface dents and deficiencies better than most other finishes.
- Clearly reflects the light reflection
- Adds color depth to project
- Best used on automobiles
- Tends to hide dirt and scratches
- Offers a long-lasting excellent gloss look
- Relatively pricier than standard gloss, flat, or satin finish
- Comes in a limited color range
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Different Surfaces
Here are things to know about the best spray paint finishes based on purpose and usage:
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Fabric – Aleene’s Original Acrylic Sealer Gloss Finish
Aleene brand formulates this amazing gloss finish. The formula offers great protection and clarity to your fabric. It works with both absorbent (natural) and non-absorbent (synthetic) fabric to provide a glossy luster to your project. It’s also available in a matte finish. This is why the Aleene is a suitable option for indoor and outdoor use. The icing on the cake is that this finish contains no CFCs, making it safe to use and non-toxic.
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Metal – Krylon ColorMaster Paint and Primer
The Krylon metallic finish is available both in metallic and gloss finishes. It works as a paint finish and primer. You can rest assured that your project will produce a beautiful look and incredible color depth with this finish. Thanks to its subtle sheen and richness, the finish also makes your metal shine. It’s perfect for interior and exterior projects. It dries fast in 10 minutes.
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Best Spray Paint Finishes for Wood – Rust-Oleum 249094 Painter’s Touch Multi-Purpose Spray Paint
A spray paint finish for wood needs to dry fast, cover a wide area, be soft to touch and eco-friendly. In addition, you need durable, color-rich, chip-resistant, and long-lasting wood spray paint that has a low odor and will perform excellently on your wood project. These are the features of the Rust-Oleum 12-oz spray paint.
The high-gloss 249094 Rust-Oleum works on both indoor and outdoor wood surfaces and will add incredible color flair. You can also use it on metal, masonry, and unglazed ceramic surfaces.
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Plastic – Colorbond 1970 BMW Plastic Refinisher Spray Paint
ColorBond 1970 plastic spray paint offers your plastic project a durable, long-lasting, and smooth finish. Your plastic won’t flake, crack, or chip due to its feel-preserving quality. The ColorBond 1970 weaves your plastic together to create a strong molecular bond. The product also works perfectly on vinyl and leather. It dries within 10 minutes and offers a supple look to your project.
Related: Best Spray Paint for Plastic of 2022
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Glass – Krylon Stained Glass Spray Paint
The product has excellent consistency while providing a smooth and even finish on your glass surface. If you want to give your glass project a stained glass look, this spray paint comes in handy. If used at 85 degrees Fahrenheit or more, your glass spray paint will retain its texture throughout its drying time. When applied in thin coats, the paint offers you cruise control over the amount of color.
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Cars – Dupli-Color ECWRC8217 Custom Wrap Effects Stellar Blue
For a paint color that offers custom wrap effects on your vehicle, DupliColor ticks all the boxes. It is formulated to make your car resist wear and tear and exposure to UV, snow, and rain. It’s a perfect factory replacement spray paint and will do a great job on your vehicles’ Chrome, metal, and aluminum parts. It comes with Ez anti-peel technology.
Best Spray Paint Finishes for Graffiti – Montana Black Popular Colors Set
Montana seems to be the go-to brand for the best spray paint finishes. Are you a graffiti artist or muralist in search of durable spray paint? This easy-to-use kit should be your first pick. It offers thick paint coats to ensure optimum coverage. A little press on the can valve will release the color set to give your graffiti true color. This high-pressure paint is high-quality and ensures accurate application.
How Do I Get a Perfect Spray Paint Finish?
There are a few things to consider before getting a perfect spray paint finish.
The kind of surface you want to finish will determine what type of spray paint finish to get. While flat and matte spray paint finishes will work well on ceilings and walls, gloss will be a great option for the kitchens and bathrooms. Some surfaces may require priming or sanding; others will not.
What look do you want your project to wear: shiny, glossy, flat, or reflective? Matte spray paint will give you a low- or no-sheen finish, whereas gloss, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes offer high-sheen and highly shiny projects. To choose what spray paint finish to go for, determine the appearance you want for your project.
Spray paint color
Choosing the perfect spray paint finish also depends on the color of the paint you’re looking for. Some paint shines well during the day but not at night. Some have a significant effect on the project when under luminous conditions. You can test the different paint colors under different conditions to know how they react.
Final Words: What is the Most Durable Paint Finish?
If someone asks you, ‘what is the most durable paint finish?’ you should give a straight answer without biting an eyelid. Generally, high-gloss finishes are best known for their durability. They can resist wear and tear, scrubbing, constant washing, moisture, and drips. But again, it all depends on the quality of the product and brand. Some top-quality gloss or satin finishes can perform better than high-gloss finishes. The surface, quality of the sprayer, and mode of application also determine how durable and long-lasting your spray paint and project will be.