Satin Or Flat For Exterior Paint Sheen?? Which Is Most Durable/protective? - Painting - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 04-23-2009, 01:48 AM   #1
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Satin or Flat for Exterior Paint Sheen?? Which is most durable/protective?

I am curious to what most people use on the exterior of homes, flat or satin??? I know flat is not the easiest to keep clean on the inside so it caused me to wonder how it performs on the exterior. Flat would be my first choice based on it's performance. I will be using Sherwin Williams Duration paint.

Is there any difference between durability (how long the paint holds it's color) b/t the flat and satin?

Also, is there a major difference in how either sheen's are affected by weather?

Does the satin sheen resist moisture any better due to the rain rolling off it faster?

Finally is there much difference between the two when cleaning the separate different finishes?


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Old 04-23-2009, 04:49 AM   #2
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PermaLast latex paint by Sherwin Williams, Valspar's exterior is good too. you can read online reviews before you decide to buy any paint. its a great help.



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Old 04-23-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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Satin/Eggshell will protect better against moisture and is easier to clean but makes any imperfections in the wood stand out more than a flat paint.
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:52 PM   #4
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On exteriors out here (the Land of Rust and Mildew....and/or regular cleaning with a mildecide at least), we would only even consider a flat-type exterior stain or a super wash-able mold/mildew resistant flat like Aura Exterior as far as flats go
They are basically mold farms
Most Paint Stores out here don't even carry a traditional flat exterior paint for those reasons
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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I've used Kelley-Moore Lo-Sheen (the first entry in the sheen ladder) on trim, fence posts, deck handrails. Especially on rough cut lumber, it looks terrific.

But... In dark colors, and particularly horizontal surfaces (like a flat deck handrail), it does *not last long. Measured in months. Vertical surfaces and rough-cut trim last longer.

It's all about sun exposure, evidently.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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I meant the sheen-level not lasting very long. Not the paint or the color retention.
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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By what I understand, Duration Exterior has good gloss retention. But for all paints that depends on the color and UV exposure. (Color and sheen are visually linked.) Deep reds and bright yellows are the first to go, and all others will be affected to some point through time.

Duration Exterior contains mildew killers, just like all Sherwin Williams exterior paints (even the cheap A-100). Duration is also supposed to be the easiest to clean, for interiors at least.

I can tell you that Duration Exterior is a pain in the to brush or roll. The stuff is so thick (liquid plastic) that if your paint surface is slightly warm the paint will start beading up on the brush. If you can't do it in shade or spray it, buy SW Super Paint (25 yr. warranty, thinner formula, just as good as Duration Ext. unless you plan on living in that residence for 50 years).

Also, both SW Duration Ext. and Super Paint are safe for painting vinyl siding (dark colors won't warp the vinyl).
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:32 PM   #8
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flat or stain

I have spent several hours today talking with corporate reps for Benjmin Moore and Sherwin Williams. They don't even do test to determine if a satin or other sheen will resist fading anymore than flat. There is no science to prove that putting satin on the exterior will out last flat. I am a real estate appraiser for the past 20 plus years. Flat looks better. Vinyl siding is a satin sheen so if you are going to paint the outside of a house thats wood or hardi board, why would you want it to look like vinyl. I do appraisals in a area where homes sell in the millions. They all have flat. There HOA require it. Use sheens on architectural elements to high light them. Old houses, craftsman or Victorian were all flat. If you pressure was with 1500 psi and the dirt doesn't come off well it ain't coming off a satin or semi gloss. Who really washes there house. Very rarely. Sounds like a good idea but people don't do it. Another thing if the sun is shinning on one side of the house it has a nice glare, look on the other side and it's in the shade it looks flat. So half the time it glares and the other half you see the color.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:18 PM   #9
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I am going to strongly disagree with your post, flapprasier. Here in the Midwest, most homes that are painted are done with Satin latex paint. It has just enough sheen to allow for cleaning and it's not the dirt attracter that flat paint is. Flat paint looks great for about 6 months and then the dirt just takes over. Dirt doesn't seem to have that same "magnetic" attraction to satin paint mainly because it lacks that roughness of flat paint.

Case in point........I have a home that I have painted 3 times in the last 20 years. The first 2 times it was painted with satin and it looked great in between paint jobs, hardly any dirt was showing. The last time I painted it, the HO wanted it stained with solid stain. Less than a year later it has attracted dirt and looks "shadowy black" from the road. Very disappointing.

And, as a professional painter, I clean houses regularly either as prep for a new paint job or as a general cleaning after the siding gets a bit dirty after 3 or 4 years, so, yes, at least here in the Midwest, cleaning your exterior siding is quite common.
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:08 PM   #10
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Same here in Florida @Gymschu .

Always satin for maximum durability. It's also way more cleanable then Flat.

As far as fading stay away from dark colors and elastomerics will fade quicker than acrylics.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:00 AM   #11
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I will take it a step farther along and say that 90% of any wood on a house around here is semi gloss. There may be one in 500 painted flat.
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Old 06-17-2015, 06:37 AM   #12
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I have used flat on some rentals that were so rough after scraping we used flat on the siding to minimize the rough look because stripping or sanding was not in the budget but even then I recommend a satin. Gym is right flat is a dirt magnet.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:28 AM   #13
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There is a term in the industry the manufacturers call "rain wash". It is the ability of an exterior paint to rinse clean when it gets rained on. Most flat paints have a very low rain wash rating. Betcha never seen that rating in Consumer Reports didja!

And don't be surprised if your college boy SW rep has never heard of it either.


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