Oct 22, 2007

Full Sheen Ahead

Most everyone seems to appreciate higher sheen or gloss finishes when it comes to trim and molding, the shinier the easier to clean.

Personally, I prefer a true semi-gloss to semi-satin finish and I have been known to mix 50/50, equal parts to achieve the sheen I like. Sometimes I like high-gloss on stained stair systems then other times I like true satin finishes.

Regardless of your preference, this topic covers how to achieve a full sheen that holds gloss levels true to its formulation. There is no known paint to me that holds gloss regardless of 1 coat, 2 coats or 3 coats. Typically you’ll experience this, the second coat is shinier than the first coat and the 3rd coat is shinier than the second coat. So when does the sheen stop getting shinier and become true to its formulation?

The answer depends on what is under the finish paint. For example, if we paint a PVC casing with semi-gloss, the dried finish is going to be shiner than if you painted a piece of primed wood. The PVC will not absorb sheen but the primer coat will. Not all primers absorb sheen the same. Some primers if not sanded will not absorb any sheen and the same primer sanded will. I’ve been known to do one coat of an oil primer on bare wood and one coat of an acrylic primer prior to two coats of finish. Again, not all primers and finishes are equal. Generally primers dry flat, I know of one primer that dries like an eggshell and that is ICI Gripper. Because Grippers sheen is eggshell, you are already one step ahead over a flat primer to achieve a full sheen.

Regardless of which primer you choose, the absolute best finish will come from one coat of primer sanded smooth and a second coat of primer not sanded, and then apply 2 coats of semi-gloss. I know, four coats of paint is not realistic and many homeowners do not want to pay for it, but it looks great!

See also: Iridescent White Trim as seen in above photo along with SW Totally Tan.

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