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Old 05-23-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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Eggshell Finish Confusion

We recently hired a painter to paint the entire interior of our house, excluding the ceiling. We told the painter we wanted the Eggshell finish. The ceiling had a few cracks around the skylights, so the painter tried matching the paint so we wouldn't have to paint all the ceilings. The ceiling was the same color of the walls. I knew the color and he was able to match the color and finish pretty close. When the painter painted the first two bedrooms, I asked him if the paint was the Eggshell finish because it looks really glossy to me. He assured me it was and said it would fade after 30 days. After the entire house was painted, I happened to look at the pail of left over paint. He had used the VersaSatin paint. I called and asked him why he had used the satin finish when I had told him I wanted the Eggshell and he said the VersaSatin was the closest to the Eggshell. I told him he should have used the Eggshell like we requested. He blamed the store and we met there. I asked if the color we selected was available in Eggshell and they said it was. They did tell me that the VersaSatin and Eggshell are very similar and I would hardly be able to tell the difference. He still should have used the Eggshell since that is what we requested and was estimated in the cost of the paint job. Last night I was looking at the cans of paint again and noticed the paint he got for the ceiling is Velvet. That is what matched closest to our walls. He didn't tell us that, and he knew we wanted the same finish as we had before. The store (Dunn Edwards) is telling me that their products are different from other companies because they have the Velvet finish that is between the Flat and the Eggshell. They are telling me the Eggshell is more like a Satin. I don't know what to do at this point as far as whether to use the Eggshell or the Velvet. The paint is very glossy. We are not the experts and trusted the painter to do what we wanted. He should have told us the paint that matched closest to our walls was Velvet, but he didn't and then he used the VersaSatin instead of the Eggshell. Please advise.


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Old 05-23-2012, 08:55 AM   #2
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The sheen should cure to a lower gloss level in 30 days. Whether it is what you wanted is another matter and decisions should have been made with a sheen sampler for the brand of paint used. The steps from flat to gloss can be very different from paint to paint. What constitutes eggshell can end up a very subjective choice.


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Old 05-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Very true- different manufacturers vary between eggshell and satin sheens, as there is no distinct standard. Matte finishes are flat paints with a slight angular sheen to allow washability. The initial sheen will generally flatten during curing. A heavily tinted color (applied heavy to provide coverage) can appear glossy initially. Light reflectance for the ceiling and from the windows in the room can have a substantial influence on appearance.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:06 PM   #4
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Live with it awhile , you will adjust to it and after a month or so it will be forgotten
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Major paint manufacturers submit their paints to MPI (Master Painter's Institute) These paints have to meet their testing criteria and standards they have established for the industry. Gloss levels have been standardized by them with specific terminology. The levels listed are on a standard 60-degree gloss meter:
Gloss Level 1

a traditional matte finish - flat

maximum 5 units

Gloss Level 2
a high side sheen flat - a 'velvet-like' finish
maximum 10 units
Gloss Level 3
a traditional 'eggshell-like' finish
10-25 units
Gloss Level 4
a 'satin-like `finish
20-35 units
Gloss Level 5
a traditional semi-gloss
35-70 units
Gloss Level 6
a traditional gloss
70-85 units
Gloss Level 7
a high gloss
more than 85 units
Alkyd or oil-base sheens take about 30 days to achieve their gloss level and it will diminish over the years. Acrylics attain their sheen level very quickly and they hold it for years.

Notice that eggshell starts at 10 and a satin finishes at 35 - right where semi-gloss begins. Manufacturers can vary within the range so one's may look more or less shiny than the other's. They still must be within MPI's range to be acceptable.

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Old 05-24-2012, 08:34 AM   #6
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I am affraid the sheen you see now will basicly be what you get when the paint cures.


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