Choosing the Right Commercial Wall Paint

Choosing the Right Commercial Wall Paint

Your Michigan commercial property is an important investment, which is why constant maintenance is required to ensure it always looks good. If you're thinking of repainting your commercial property, remember, the finish you choose is just as important as the color. The various types of paint not only affect how a color looks, but also how well it covers imperfections and cleans up.

If you're not sure of what paint finish is best for your commercial property, this article will show you how different paint finishes affect the overall look of your building.

Flat (or Matte)

Flat paint is generally not recommended for commercial environments. Typically used in areas and on surfaces that receive minimal use (e.g. ceilings, storage areas, etc.), flat paint is non-reflective and is not washable. The one advantage to using flat paint is that it tends to hide imperfections and usually touches up well. It is also good for high turn-over properties such as apartments.

That said, there are high-end mattes on the market that are great for most any room or area. One such product is O’Leary Paints Ceramic Matte. Other manufacturers may offer similar products. If a finish is desired with a very low sheen (i.e., shine) and high washability, this is an ideal one.


Eggshell finishes are T. L. Hart's go-to product for almost every commercial paint situation. Offering a modest sheen, this finish is more durable compared to flat and is easier to clean. Eggshell paints provide a pleasant, non-glare appearance, overall good washability, and can be touched up. They are not, however, good for high-traffic areas and are not recommended for use on trim and doors.


Satin paints are products with a sheen in between eggshell and semi-gloss finishes. Popular because they are generally easier to clean and more durable, they are a great alternative to the shinier semi-gloss.

One thing to keep in mind for all products is that they come in varying degrees of quality. There are both low and high-end paints in all types of finishes. In the satin line, for example, there are latex products, and there are acrylic products. The latter is always more expensive--and is a better paint, than the former.

Good quality, acrylic satin finishes are well suited for wood or metal trim and doors. They are also good for use in high-traffic and ‘wet’ areas (i.e., restrooms). As they are less shiny than semi-gloss paints, they make for good products in homes and other high-end properties.


Semi-gloss paints are the commercial standard for restrooms, high-traffic areas, and industrial settings. Significantly more durable and washable, semi-gloss finishes are also the usual product used on windows, doors, and trim. Shinier than all the other products, the end-user should consider carefully before using on walls in offices or other low-use areas, as they are not only highly reflective, but they highlight imperfections and can be somewhat gaudy.

Again, as mentioned above, there are varying grades of quality in this finish line. Less expensive semi-gloss paints can be rubbery, even somewhat ‘sticky’ once dried. Low cost semi-gloss, for example, should never be used on horizontal surfaces such as cabinets or shelving. In general, and depending on usage, T. L. Hart, Inc. recommends a good quality acrylic paint if semi-gloss is the choice of products.


Rarely used in interior commercial situations, high-gloss finishes typically offer maximum durability and cleanability. Common usages include restrooms, labs, and other potentially wet areas. Gloss products are also typical to floor coating paints. Other applications include structural steel and protective components such as guard posts, columns, stair steel and railings, etc. Generally, gloss finishes are either oil-based, acrylic or epoxy products--epoxies being the hardest and most durable. In general, high-gloss paints are not recommended for walls except as noted.

When it comes to painting and choosing the ideal finish for your commercial property, you need a quality painting contractor that can advise you . Call T. L. Hart, Inc. today for a recommendation on what paints to use as well as a free painting estimate.

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