paint for wood

Paint Finishes For Wood – Gloss-Satinwood-Eggshell




I will try to answer these questions from the professional point. We have worked in this industry for the last 20 years, as painters and decorators london , so we have seen the paint quality changing and we have adapted by trying different paints in different situations. Having watched how the paints have lasted over the years we tried new paints as they developed.  Now we want to share this to make your lives easier. We worked as interior painters in London and Exterior Painter London after all. 


Oil based paints used to be the most popular choice in the past, but have lost their popularity. Back in 2010 paint manufactures had to lower the amount of solvent in the paint, which caused it to yellow and people took it seriously. Yellowing problems have been solved by 2012. As water based paints have developed better and better quality, oil based paints have never returned to where they were used to be. Oil based paints look better, as they smooth out more comparing to water based. Also coverage is better now, but the difference is not that big. Advantages of water based paints are the ability to not discolour. There is hardly any smell when working with it and they dry quicker. Most of the paints now being eco-friendly, so it probably makes sense to choose water based over oil based. If the visual finish is more important than the smell and drying times, then oil is your choice. Saying that, there are some glosses that are equally as good, whether they are oil based or water based. Now it boils down to your personal choice and of course your budget.


Gloss is 100% sheen and was created to last if used correctly. It’s more durable than other finishes and can be used indoors or outdoors. It is also suitable for wood and metal. It’s commonly used to paint high traffic areas, like doors, frames, skirting boards, windows and more. It’s popular in schools, communal hallways, GP surgeries, shops, etc. It used to be the most popular choice of paint back in a day as it would have outlasted other paint finishes and was easy  to clean.

Things to know when using gloss.

Gloss finish can highlight imperfections in wood, so the surface you are trying to paint with it, needs to be prepared thoroughly. You need to use primer and undercoat, or gloss will simply soak into bare wood.  Drying times are a little longer comparing to eggshell especially when using oil based paint.


Satinwood is 50% sheen and is the most popular choice of paint finish for majority of interior woodwork. It is self-undercoating, so it means less different cans to buy, although we would still advise to use primer when painting the bare wood. It’s durable, so you can paint all interior wood. This includes doors, frames, skirting boards, window sills and even interior of wooden windows. Make sure to apply enough coats in order to achieve a good finish that would last. Water based satinwood intends to leave more visible brush lines compared to oil based satinwood, so needs extra effort when painting.


20% sheen finish. Very popular choice between designers and architects as it is visually pleasant as well as great to touch. It gives smooth, almost matt finish and helps to minimize imperfections. When drying and while it is fresh, it might look like satinwood, but shininess goes away after about 2 or 3 weeks. It can be used in all styles of properties. Although in high traffic areas might not last as well as gloss or satinwood. It gets dirty quicker, than other finishes, but can be cleaned easy enough. Eggshell is also self-undercoating, but again, we would advise to use the primer when applying to new wood. Some brands produce exterior eggshell as well as interior as long as it’s used with correct undercoat. Exterior eggshell durability won’t be equal to gloss though, there for we would advise to use more for interior projects. Water based eggshell will leave more visible brush marks comparing to oil based, although some brands can produce equally as good water based eggshell. Yet again, it boils down to personal choice when choosing between oil based or water based finish, but the higher the price the higher the paint quality will be.

LGC DECORATORS Ltd. Your Local Painters and Decorators

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