What Do Builders Use for Walls and Why Do They Prefer Flat Paint? A Comprehensive Guide.If you’ve ever wondered what builders use for walls, you’re definitely not alone. It’s a common question among homeowners and DIY enthusiasts alike. In general, builders have several popular wall finishes to choose from, including flat paint, gloss paint, eggshell paint, satin paint, and semi-gloss paint, among others. However, most builders tend to prefer flat paint as their go-to finish, particularly for touch-up purposes. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why this is the case, examining the benefits of using flat paint, what features make it ideal for touch-ups, the pros and cons of flat paint compared to other finishes, and more.
Popular Wall Finish Options for BuildersBefore we delve into the specifics of flat paint, let’s take a look at some of the other popular finishes builders have to choose from:
- Gloss paint: This finish has a high shine and reflective quality, making it a popular choice for adding a striking design element to certain walls. However, its high sheen also tends to highlight any imperfections in the surface of the wall.
- Eggshell paint: This finish has a subtle shine, giving it a soft look. It’s also relatively durable and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas like hallways and living rooms.
- Satin paint: This finish is between eggshell and gloss in terms of luster, providing a smooth and velvety appearance that’s easy to clean.
- Semi-gloss paint: This finish has a noticeable shine, making it another popular choice for creating visual interest on walls. It’s also quite durable and easy to clean, but may require more coats to achieve full coverage compared to flat paint.
Advantages of Using Flat Paint for Walls
- Blending: Flat paint is the most effective for touching up walls due to its lack of shine. Because it doesn’t reflect light as much as glossier finishes, it blends in more easily with the original coat of paint, making touch-ups less noticeable.
- Texture: Flat paint has a texture that’s ideal for creating a smooth, even surface. It also tends to hide surface imperfections and minor flaws better than glossier finishes.
- Versatility: Flat paint works well on both walls and ceilings, making it a versatile option. It’s also typically more affordable compared to glossier options.
Essential Features of Flat Paint for Touch-Up PurposesWhile flat paint’s lack of shine is an important advantage for touch-ups, there are a few other key features that make it ideal for this purpose:
- Easy blending: As previously mentioned, flat paint blends easily with the original coat, which is essential for touch-ups that will match the rest of the wall.
- Color fastness: Flat paint tends to maintain its color better over time compared to glossier finishes, ensuring that any touch-ups will match the rest of the wall as closely as possible.
- Stain resistance: While flat paint may not be as easy to clean as some glossier options, it is generally more stain-resistant, which is ideal for areas that may be prone to spills or stains.
Comparing Flat Paint with Other Types of Wall PaintWhile flat paint is a popular choice for builders, it’s not always the best option for every situation. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of flat paint compared to other types of wall paint:
- Gloss paint: As previously mentioned, gloss paint has a high shine and can add visual interest to walls. However, it tends to highlight imperfections and may require more coats to achieve full coverage. It’s also typically more expensive compared to flat paint.
- Eggshell paint: Eggshell paint has a slightly higher sheen compared to flat paint, which can make it more durable and easier to clean. However, it’s typically more expensive and may not be as forgiving when it comes to surface imperfections.
- Satin paint: Satin paint is a good compromise between gloss and eggshell, offering a smooth and velvety appearance. It’s also easy to clean and durable. However, it may not be the best option for hiding imperfections and may require more coats to achieve full coverage.
- Semi-gloss paint: Semi-gloss paint has a noticeable shine that can add interest to walls. It’s also durable and easy to clean. However, it may require more coats to achieve full coverage and tends to highlight surface imperfections.
Builder’s Perspective on Painting Walls in Straight LinesWhile the type of paint used is important, so is the technique used to apply it. Many builders prefer to avoid painting walls in straight lines, as this can create visible brush marks and an uneven appearance. Instead, they may use a rolling technique or spray the paint onto the walls for a smoother finish.
Factors Builders Consider When Selecting Wall PaintWhen choosing a paint for walls, builders take a number of factors into account, including:
- Durability: The paint must be able to withstand everyday wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas like living rooms and hallways.
- Cleanability: Walls may need to be cleaned from time to time, so a paint that’s easy to clean is ideal.
- Cost: Builders often work on tight budgets, which means they need to select a paint that’s affordable without sacrificing quality.
- Appearance: While practical considerations are important, so is the overall appearance of the finish. Builders may choose a paint that provides a certain look or design element.
Tips for Maintaining the Durability of Flat-Painted WallsWhile flat paint is relatively durable, there are a few tips you can follow to help maintain its appearance and keep it looking fresh:
- Avoid harsh cleaners: While flat paint is generally more stain-resistant than glossier finishes, it can be more difficult to clean. Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers on flat-painted walls, as this can damage the finish.
- Repaint when necessary: Flat paint may require touch-ups more frequently compared to glossier finishes, so be prepared to repaint the walls as needed to keep them looking fresh.
- Avoid moisture: Flat paint may not be the best option for areas that are prone to moisture, as it can absorb water and become damaged. Consider using a glossier finish in bathrooms or kitchens, for example.