Semi Gloss Enamel Vs Eggshell Enamel - Painting - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 10-08-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


I'm deciding between semigloss enamel and eggshell enamel for gargage drywall.
What would you recommend ?
I have a bathroom with kitchen/bath semigloss (not sure if its enamel)
it has a very durable surface which is what I want in the garage.

But is semigloss enamel a problem to roll on walls/ceilings?
(I had trouble with dark brown semigloss enamel on the trim)

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Old 10-09-2008, 01:46 AM   #2
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


S/Gloss for sure.

Make sure that drywall is primed and dust-free first.
Then 2 full coats of paint.
One month for full cure to be considered washable.

Faron

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


In terms of gloss readings, eggshell paint finishes reflect light at about 5% under a glossmeter whereas semi-gloss reflects about 60%...that's a big difference in terms of reflecting the light. On the other hand, the glossier the paint, the more imperfections in the wall or the plaster will be evident. So an imperfect wall will show it's blemishes using a semi-gloss - but hide them under a flat paint. What do you have in your garage?

There are some good water-based, easy-to-use enamels for use in wall trim and around doors that are designed for washability. I am trying Benjamin Moores product next week on baseboards etc just for that purpose...
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Semigloss is indeed difficult to roll onto ceilings (or walls, for that matter). The biggest drawback with using high-sheen paints on large surfaces is that it makes any defects in surface or technique blindingly obvious. Instead of semi-gloss, I would use a top-line eggshell/satin such as SW Duration or BM Aura. For the ceiling, I don't see a reason to use anything other than a mid-grade flat... you don't really need durability on a surface that nothing ever touches.

Yes, the semi-gloss will be more scrubbable, but the modern top-line satins are very good.

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Old 10-10-2008, 12:21 AM   #5
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExperience View Post
I have a bathroom with kitchen/bath semigloss (not sure if its enamel)
it has a very durable surface which is what I want in the garage.
My question would be: How can you really be sure that it's an enamel inside the can and not just ordinary latex paint? And, the answer is, if it's not a polyurethane floor paint, then it's not truly an enamel. Read on...

The very first "enamel" was almost certainly made by tinting a can of varnish in the paint tinting machine. Back then, house paints only came in the oil based variety and both paint and varnish was made by dissolving certain plant resins, called "copals" in drying oils like linseed oil and Tung oil. The copals made the film harder and stronger, and the more copal you added, the harder and stronger the
film you got. The copals that increase the hardness the most while imparting the least colour were used in varnishes instead of paint, and varnishes would normally have more copals in them so that the varnish was more viscous than paint and dried to a much harder film than paint.

Also, back then, varnishes only came in gloss and semi-gloss.

So, if you tinted a can of varnish, you got a gloss or semi-gloss paint that would dry to a harder film than a normal paint would. That is, you got a paint that dried to a harder and smoother film than you'd otherwise expect from a paint.

Today, paints and varnishes have all changed, but the meaning of the word "enamel" hasn't. It still means a paint that will dry to a harder and smoother film than you'd otherwise expect.

The problem is that unscrupulous paint manufacturers have come to slapping that word "enamel" on every can of paint they make except for their dead flat latexes (which are the softest roughest paints you can buy, short of making your own milk paint or egg tempura paint).

The way they can get away with that in front of consumer advocacy agencies is because improvements in paint binders and rheology modifiers mean that paints sold today dry to harder and smoother films than the very same paint did 5 or 10 years ago. So, by that measure, EVERY paint is an "enamel" compared to what it used to be.

So, some paint manufacturers try to convince the public to buy their paint by calling every paint they make an "enamel" instead of a "paint". Behr, for instance, doesn't make a latex floor paint; they make a Porch and Floor Enamel. Behr doesn't make an interior eggshell wall paint; they make an Interior Eggshell Enamel. Get the picture? Your average uninformed consumer is going to think he's getting a better deal by buying the Behr Eggshell Enamel for $20 per gallon than the Sherwin Williams interior eggshell paint for $20 per gallon. After all, it's an enamel, it's not just ordinary paint, right?

Basically, you need to understand that there are very many different kinds of latex paint binder resins used to make latex paints, and a good measure of the quality of a latex paint binder is how hard a film it forms. The harder the film, the better it will stand up on working surfaces, like floors, shelves and table tops. Also, the harder and stronger the film, the harder extender pigments you can put in it to provide for better "scrubbability" in the paint (which is how much you need to scrub a paint before you scrub it off the wall). The higher the scrubbability, the more you can scrub the paint before you'll scrub it off, OR dull it's gloss trying to scrub off a stuborn mark. So, you can make better latex paint if you have a binder that forms a harder film.

It's very possible that the latex paints you were most satisfied with were more expensive paints that used a better quality binder resin, and you presumed it was because they were "enamels".

Also, there are different waterborne paint chemistries. You can buy water thinned paints that form much harder films than either latex or alkyd paints, like General Paint's Envirogard:
http://www.generalpaint.com/envirogard.html
(and even though General Paint acknowledges that it's an acrylic binder, I don't otherwise have any clue about it's chemistry or how it forms a film.)

But, be wary of that word "enamel". Since polyurethane has replaced varnish as the clear coat of choice over wood, nowadays an enamel would be a polyurethane floor paint. If you see a paint manufacturer calling every paint he makes an "enamel", EVEN HIS LATEX PAINTS, then the meaning of the word changes to "Hey you, yeah you. Buy me!". It has about as much affect on the paint's performance as a racing stripe does on a car's performance. It's put on the can like a racing stripe to try to convince the uninformed consumer that the paint is inherantly better than one that doesn't call itself an "enamel".

You can have some fun with this. Pretend to be a skeptical consumer and demanding proof from the guy in the orange apron that the paint in the Behr can really is an enamel and not just an ordinary latex paint. Almost certainly the guy in the orange apron won't know what an "enamel" is either.

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Old 10-10-2008, 07:37 AM   #6
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


I agree with your assessment of the word "enamel" and it may be the case for Behr products, but the people I deal with classify 'enamels' as epoxy-modified in some cases but all are premium products. And they're $50 a gallon but not everyone is looking for non-yellowing properties, the only advantage I can see.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:55 AM   #7
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Guys thanks for the replies.
I painted 4 ceiling areas with the Behr semigloss enamel.

3 were small ceiling areas... ,entry,stairs closet...I'm happy with those, the paint has a nice hard finish.
But the main ceiling in the garage looks bad.
It's an old ceiling with old paint chips and reworked areas.
So I'm going to have to change that.

Here is my question though....
I like this hard finish and would like it on the wallls.
But on the large ceiling in the garage I can see lines from the roiller in places.
I'm not talking about lines from the edges of the roller where you might leave a bead of paint.
What I'm saying is that you can see the track of the roller, sort of like when you cut grass to can see the path of the lawn mower.

Also another question....
Is there a simple technique for applying a texture to the ceiling.
Before there were mutiple repairs done to the ceiling I can see it was textured.
And the texture was shallow not like the popcorn stuff you see.
That would be what I am after ...something just deep enough to cover all the the paint chips and edges of drywall mud around repaired areas.

Last edited by NoExperience; 10-10-2008 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:03 AM   #8
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Would it be a good idea for me to buy one of these $100 sprayers or would an eggshell paint give me less trouble and apply easily with a roller(no roller tracks)?
Would eggshell from sherwin williams (more expensive) be as hard as this semi gloss enamel from behr?
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Paint is not texture. Using a flat paint can help hide some very minor imperfections, but the problems you have call for either a complete re-texturing or a skim coating with joint compound.

As far as roller marks go. To prevent those:
1) Use something other than that awful Behr. It really is hard paint to bludgeon into behaving well.
2) Yes, go with a flatter paint. Eggshell would be easier to apply with no roller marks. However, unless you routinely bump stuff into your ceiling, I don't see any reason to use anything but a total flat.
3) A single 3/8" roller load can cover only a 8'-10' stripe. No more. Stretching the paint out causes roller marks.
4) Use a thicker roller. With a light textured ceiling, and the problems you are having, I would use a 3/4". (Obviously that can handle a larger area before needing a reload.)
5) Use a high-quality cover. For you, the widely available and not terribly expensive Purdy White Dove should do fine. Avoid house brand covers like the plague.

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Old 10-10-2008, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
Paint is not texture. Using a flat paint can help hide some very minor imperfections, but the problems you have call for either a complete re-texturing or a skim coating with joint compound.
I never said or implied that paint was texture.
LOL
Don't have a clue where you got that from.
I was looking for an inexpensive texturing techinque.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExperience View Post
I never said or implied that paint was texture.
LOL
Don't have a clue where you got that from.
I was looking for an inexpensive texturing techinque.
Heh. Whoops. Mis-read the post. Sorry.

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Old 10-10-2008, 10:28 AM   #12
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nestor_Kelebay View Post

Also, there are different waterborne paint chemistries. You can buy water thinned paints that form much harder films than either latex or alkyd paints, like General Paint's Envirogard:
http://www.generalpaint.com/envirogard.html
(and even though General Paint acknowledges that it's an acrylic binder, I don't otherwise have any clue about it's chemistry or how it forms a film.)
Nestor who carries General Paint?
I did a search trying to find out who carries it and I came up empty.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:35 AM   #13
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
Heh. Whoops. Mis-read the post. Sorry.

SirWired
As far as the flat paint on the ceiling...
The reason I went with a semi gloss is because the bathroom in the house (mother's house)has semi gloss on the walls and ceiling.
She liked the look of that paint and wanted it for the garage.
It does look better than flat where the ceilings are good, but not on the main ceiling in the garage where the ceiling is crap.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:35 AM   #14
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semi gloss enamel vs eggshell enamel


Not many pros I know use those $100 paint sprayers with success; if they go for a sprayer at all, they are usually talking 4 apartments, all empty, where they can mask off the windows and start spraying from 5 gallon pails.

No, other pros don't like them and see all sorts of problems with them, making them not worth the investment. Good ol' roller and pole are the favorites up here.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:51 PM   #15
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No Experience:

You said:
Quote:
I'm not talking about lines from the edges of the roller where you might leave a bead of paint.
What I'm saying is that you can see the track of the roller, sort of like when you cut grass to can see the path of the lawn mower.
What you're describing is poor hide. If you can see the roller pathways, then what you're seeing is the difference between a different number of coats of paint. If your semigloss paint was hiding in one coat, you wouldn't see any difference between one coat of paint and two, or three or four; they would all look the same.

Also, a paint roller leaves the paint with a bit of a "stipple" texture to it that you don't get with spray painting or brushing. That stipple texture will be oriented in the direction the roller was moving. So, when painting with a roller, keep the direction of roll the same over the entire ceiling (or wall) to eliminate any difference in that regard.

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