Walls, woodwork and fitted furniture: all aspects of a public, commercial or corporate space which require a painted surface. The importance of achieving the correct combination of appearance and function is unique in business and educational environments. This is largely down to the scale of use and the physical demands of such an extent of footfall, but also because people spend a great deal of time in the workspace or classroom, so the appearance of that space carries a keen impact. So once you have decided which colours will work for your business, how on earth do you make the next decision (which is the finish that should convey that colour)? Finish is more than just the look; you should consider the ease with which it can be cleaned and the contact that you expect it to sustain.
This is a super matte finish, with minimal gloss content and low levels of light reflection. For this reason, it’s a great finish to hide flaws and imperfections in a surface. However, it does not take cleaning very well, indeed excessive cleaning can quickly damage the finish and make the surface appear patchy and ragged. So think about it for ceilings or low use areas.
The standard matte emulsion is a smooth classic finish, helping to hide imperfections whilst remaining durable enough for most walls. For frequent use areas that need to take knocks and traffic without being perpetually cleaned and maintained, this finish is a functional one. It is great to convey deep, bold colours, so for accent spaces or wall graphics, this is ideal.
Offering a subtle sheen, satin finishes are utterly adaptable as they reflect light whilst still playing down any imperfections on a surface. Seemingly covering every base, the main disadvantage to this finish is that overuse can strip the character from a space. It’s important when considering this all-purpose finish, to look at how more extreme finishes can be used in contrast – especially as part of a branded colour scheme.
Although traditionally designed and used for woodwork, the modern office can successfully use this finish in a space to create modern and easily cleaned surfaces. Especially if your design requires fitted furniture, unconventional use of gloss finishes can really bring spaces like reception or foyer areas to life. However, there’s nowhere to hide with this finish so it cannot be applied to a laxly prepared surface.
What Lies Beneath
Of course, freedom to use the surface finish that you really want is enabled by attentive preparation of the surface. We believe that any painted surface should be thoroughly cleaned and prepared, but this is even more true of the glossier finishes. We don’t think that you should count out a finish simply because of wall imperfections; if your corporate decor scheme can be optimised by using gloss finishes, we want to ensure that your desired effect is achieved.
Whatever finish or combination of finishes you want to utilise in your office, commercial building or educational space, a knowledgeable professional decorator can source the best quality product to achieve a top standard of decoration. After all, it is only worth spending all this time deliberating over the right finish if you’re going to have the highest quality product on your walls.
The real answer to the finish debate is that there is no single answer. For corporate and public spaces especially, a working environment can be optimised by using the correct colours and finishes. A brand can be conveyed, learning potential enhanced and maintenance assisted: all by your choice of paint. So while plumping for the middle ground is often tempting, it’s important to make a decision based on your own needs and to employ a decorator who holds dear the principle of strict preparation and can apply your chosen finish both professionally and with a high level of quality.