Gloss, Matt or other finish for Front Door/Pipework

19 Feb 2015
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United Kingdom
For interior walls and ceilings, a matt finish is often used.

For interior painted woodwork a gloss finish is often used.

What about:

a) the exterior side of a front door,
b) exterior pipework/gutters/fascia boards

Matt, gloss, or other paint finish?
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a) Traditionally, gloss.

b) Traditionally, gloss.

Interior walls and ceilings are often done in matt emulsion, or silk emulsion.

Interior woodwork is often gloss or satin.

Exterior woodwork and metalwork can be gloss or satin, though gloss generally looks better and is easier to clean.
a) Traditionally, gloss.

b) Traditionally, gloss.


In the twentieth century I'd agree gloss has been the norm and post war brilliant white gloss must be the most common. Prior to that less glossy surfaces seem to be the order of the day which is probably down to developments in the paint rather than any personal choices or fashions.
I've spent most of my working life in restoration and eggshells , satins and flat oil matts formed the bulk of finishes and that includes both interior and exterior. Perhaps that background explains why I prefer to lean towards the more subtle sheens and away from gloss. Growing up in a council house in the seventies I can clearly recall the front doors etc being repainted probably every four or five years. The council only had four colours , red , blue , yellow and green and all high gloss and a red door would never be repainted the same as the colours were rotated.
On a technical note , the lower sheen paints do tend to hide blemishes more than gloss which seems to highlight them. Or to put it another way it's possible to "get away with " a bit less preparation than would be needed with gloss which may explain the current vogue for using satins.

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