Satin vs Gloss Finish

If you are a painter, at some point, you must choose one in the satin vs gloss finish.

But, until that happens, here’s what you need to know…

The finish of a coating product is crucial to the overall success of a painting project.

It will determine the best place to use the product, the intensity of its color (if pigmented), and how best to maintain the surface.

Today’s popular finishes are flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

You require basic knowledge about all of them to select the one most suitable for your particular project.

You must know what makes each finish unique and analyze its benefits and drawbacks to narrow your choices.

This article will discuss Satin vs. Gloss Finish to get you started.

The contrast between a satin and gloss finish is based on their sheen level.

Sheen refers to how much light reflects off the surface after the finish cures.

A gloss finish reflects a high amount of light; therefore, it is shiny and has a mirror-like appearance.

It is durable, feels smooth to the touch, and is simple to clean.

On the other hand, a satin finish reflects very little light, just enough to give it a low, warm shine instead of a glare.

It looks velvety like a matte finish, but the little shine sets it apart.

Both finishes highlight imperfections on surfaces.

However, the flaws stand out more under a gloss finish than a satin finish because it reflects more light.

Furthermore, both finishes are durable, moisture resistant, and easy to clean; therefore, they are ideal for use in high-traffic areas and areas that require regular cleaning.

The sheen level may help you differentiate between a satin and a gloss finish, but it is not enough.

There are other differences in durability, maintenance, cost, etc., that you must understand before picking a finish and getting to work.

In this article, I’ll discuss satin and gloss finishes in depth to give you insight into their other special features, benefits, and best uses.

I’ll also compare their differences by product – focusing on paint, varnish, and polyurethane. 

What Is a Satin Finish?

Image of Satin Black Furniture In: Satin vs Gloss FinishA satin finish is one of three finishes that reflect light.

It reflects the least amount of light ranging from 26%-40%.

When light hits it just right, it produces a warm dull glow that creates a cozy feel in any space.

Moreover, the surface of a satin finish has a velvety feel like that of a slightly waxed surface.

The soft sheen of satin doesn’t draw much attention to it.

Therefore, it hides little bumps, cracks, and other surface imperfections better than other reflective finishes.

However, you must remember that the ability to hide imperfections does not mean that you should skimp on the surface prep.

The little bumps might show, especially if the light hits the surface at certain angles.

Products with a satin finish are moisture-resistant and can fend off damages caused by abrasion or forceful impacts.

They can also withstand consistent wiping and washing without worrying about dulling their shine.

On the downside, touching up a satin finish is very hard, especially after it dries.

When you apply the fresh product over a dried area, It will “sit” on top of the already dried product instead of blending in with the rest of the finish.

Consequently, it will create a variance in the sheen and stick out like a sore thumb. 

Since it is hard to touch up a satin finish, you must pay more attention to your techniques during application.

Otherwise, you will leave brushmarks or streaks in the finish, and you won’t be able to remove them without ruining the finish further.

Best Uses for a Satin Finish

Image of Kitchen Cabinets. So, Is It Better to Paint or Stain Kitchen Cabinets?A satin finish is perfect for high and low-traffic areas because it is low maintenance.

You can use it on your kitchen cabinets, countertops, doors, trims, and any other surfaces you use and clean constantly.

You can also use it on the walls of your living room, dining area, or bedroom if you want your space to have that warm glow without glare.

Note: A satin finish may offer moisture resistance, but only for the first few months after you apply the coating.

It gradually loses its moisture protection as you continue to use and clean your finished items.

Therefore, your surface could easily incur moisture damage if you are not careful.

Pros of Satin Finish

  • It is durable
  • It is moisture resistant.
  • It is easy to clean.
  • It hides imperfections better than other reflective finishes.

Cons of Satin Finish

  • Its thickness makes it hard to apply
  • It is hard to touch up
  • It loses its moisture protection gradually

What Is Gloss Finish?

Image of a Glossy Finished Coffee TableA gloss finish reflects more than 70% of light; therefore, it is the shiniest of all finishes.

It has a mirror-like appearance, and its surface feels smooth to the touch.

Gloss finishes are thick; thus, they dry into a rigid, durable coat that protects your surface from dents and scratches.

The coat is also moisture resistant, making it difficult for water or even oils to penetrate and ruin the finish. 

Furthermore, it is easy to clean a gloss finish by wiping it with a damp cloth and some water.

If the stain is a little greasy, you can substitute water with your regular household cleaning chemicals without fear of ruining the finish.

One drawback of gloss finishes is their thickness makes them difficult to apply.

Sometimes the product fails to level out, leaving streaks and brushmarks in the finish.

These blemishes look ugly and stand out when the finish dries.

If you want a gloss finish to appear flawless, you must sand between each coat to level the brushmarks.

This little action works, making applying this shiny finish more difficult.

Gloss finishes also take too long to dry.

They require between 4-6 hours to dry to touch and 16 hours to be ready for sanding and a second coat.

So if you want to spruce things up with a gloss finish, you must be ready for your project to run for a little bit longer than usual.

Furthermore, this finish tends to highlight all surface imperfections to the tiniest crack because of the light it reflects.

Therefore, you must always do extensive surface preparation before using products with a gloss finish.

Best Uses for Gloss Finish

Even though a gloss finish is smooth and durable, you should only use it in moderation to avoid glare issues.

You can use it to highlight different aspects of a piece of art or decor in a room.

It is also suitable for high-traffic areas like doors, trim, and furniture pieces.

I do not recommend applying gloss finishes to walls because the light glare can sometimes overwhelm you.

However, there are a few exceptions.

You can use gloss products on the walls of poorly lit rooms or when you want to make a smaller room appear bigger.

You can also use them on wooden floors if you want something durable and easy to clean.

Pros of Gloss Finish

  • It resists dents and scratches.
  • It is moisture resistant.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain
  • It is resistant to staining
  • It brightens up spaces

Cons of Gloss Finish

  • It is challenging to apply.
  • It highlights surface flaws when it reflects light.
  • It can be overwhelming when used in large spaces or rooms with a lot of light.

What Is Semi-Gloss Finish?

Image of Semi Gloss Paint. But Which Is Better In Eggshell Vs Semi Gloss Paint Comparison?A semi-gloss finish is also shiny when dry, but it lies right in the middle of satin and gloss finishes.

It reflects more light than a satin finish but a little less than a gloss one.

Therefore, it is shinier than satin and less shiny than gloss finishes.

Semi-gloss finishes are durable; thus, they protect surfaces from damage caused by impact.

They can also stand up to regular scrubbing without peeling or losing their luster.

Furthermore, semi-gloss products dry into thick moisture-resistant coats that protect your items from water damage.

The major drawback of a semi-gloss finish is that it highlights surface imperfections due to the light it reflects.

Like gloss, you must ensure that your surface is flawless before applying the products.

You must seal all cracks and dents before application and sand down raised surface points.

Semi-gloss finishes are also hard to apply due to their thick consistency.

Without proper techniques, you can leave brush marks or other blemishes in the finish during application and ruin the whole look.

Products with this finish also take a long time to dry; therefore, it will take you longer to finish your project.

Best Uses for Semi-Gloss Finish

The durability of semi-gloss products makes them suitable for high-traffic areas such as hallways, playrooms, and living rooms.

You can also use them on areas that require regular cleanings, such as doors, trims, kitchen tops, and floors.

Pros of Semi-Gloss Finish

  • It is durable
  • Its shine is moderate, unlike gloss finishes
  • It is moisture and stain  resistant
  • It is easy to clean and maintain

Cons of Semi-Gloss Finish

  • It highlights surface flaws.
  • It takes too long to dry
  • Applying it is challenging

Types of Satin, Semi-Gloss, and Gloss Finish Products

These products include:

  • Paints 

Paint is the most common product used for crafting and commercial use because it gives the surface color.

It also comes in various bases, including latex, oil, acrylic, and sometimes solvents, allowing you to use it on several materials.

Color aside, paint products are also available in various sheens, including satin, semi-gloss, and gloss, thus giving painters more finish choices.

  • Clear Coats

Clear coats are inexpensive for protecting all kinds of surfaces, especially outdoors.

You can use them to preserve art pieces or add extra flare to a painted or stained surface.

A few good examples are polyurethanes, polyacrylics, lacquer, and varnish.

Since clear coats are the last layer you’ll apply to a surface; they will dictate the final look of the surface, including its sheen.

Therefore, manufacturers created them to dry with various sheens, including satin, semi-gloss, and gloss, to widen your options.

  • Aerosol Coatings

Paint manufacturers started making aerosol coatings to give painters a medium that was quick and easy to use.

Instead of brushing the product onto the surface, you press a nozzle, and your work is done.

Aerosol coatings come either as spray paints or clear coats with varying sheens, including satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

The one great thing about aerosol coatings is that manufacturers sometimes put in some additives that bridge gaps between the finishes.

For instance, you can find gloss spray paints that are a little more muted than brush-on paints of the same finish.

Alternatively, you can also find a satin coating with a smidge more shine than usual.

All these make for some exciting and unique finishes in aerosol coatings.

Note: Some products are not naturally shiny, but you can buff them or mix them with some additives to make them glossy.

A good example is furniture wax. The more you buff it, the brighter it gets.

So you can buff it a little to give you a glow similar to a satin finish or buff it more to make the shine resemble a gloss finish.

Comparing Satin vs Semi-Gloss vs Gloss Paint

Before comparing the different sheen levels in paint, you must first understand what brings about the difference in the first place.

Paint comprises three primary ingredients – a pigment, a resin/binder, and a solvent.

The pigment gives the product its color, while the resin/binder holds the pigment particles together on the surface like glue.

Both pigments and binders are solid components; thus difficult to apply independently.

So paint manufacturers put them in a solvent to make transferring them from the paint container to the surface easier.

The ratio of binders to pigments used to make the paint determines its sheen level.

Paints with a low Pigment Volume Concentration (PVC) and more binders reflect a lot of light after drying; therefore, they appear shinier.

Furthermore, their colors are less intense due to their formula’s low pigment concentration. 

On the other hand, paints with low binder and high PVC ratios reflect very little light and sometimes no light at all.

As a result, they have a dull appearance when dry.

The higher pigment concentration makes such paint products more opaque with more intense color.

Now that you understand what causes the varying sheens in paint. Let’s compare satin, semi-gloss, and gloss paint finishes.

Appearance

Satin, semi-gloss, and gloss paints appear shiny when dry, but their level of shine varies, and that’s what sets them apart.

Satin paint shines the least because it has the lowest binder ratio of the three finishes.

Fewer binders in its formula mean that its pigment concentration is higher.

So the color of dried satin paint is intense, like that of flat paints, but it has a slight glow.

Semi-gloss paint has a slightly higher binder ratio than satin paint; therefore, its shine is slightly brighter.

It also has a lower PVC than satin.

Therefore, when you look at a satin and a semi-gloss paint with the same color, the satin one will appear more intense than the semi-gloss paint.

Gloss paint is the shiniest because it has the highest binder ratio and the lowest PVC.

It may be challenging to differentiate between semi-gloss and gloss paint because their sheen level is almost similar.

Luckily, their color intensities vary. Semi-gloss paints will always appear slightly darker than gloss paints.

Since all these finishes reflect some light, the light hitting their surfaces will also affect their color.

The effect on color will be all the more evident if the light bounces off another object with a different color.

This characteristic often makes these shiny paints look darker or lighter depending on where you apply them or what you put near them.

Durability

The durability of paint refers to its ability to retain its color, sheen, and adhesion to the surface for a long time.

Gloss paint is the most durable because the high amounts of binders in its formula make it strong and resilient.

The binders form a rigid coat that protects the surface and firmly holds the pigments.

For this reason, gloss paint can resist the most common causes of damage, including chemical spills, adverse weather conditions, and constant scrubbing when cleaning.

Semi-gloss paints are just as durable as gloss paints because their formulas have a slight gap in the binder ratio.

They can also resist dents and scratches and won’t lose color when regularly cleaning them.

Satin paints have the least binder ratio; therefore, they are the least durable of the three.

On its own, satin paint is durable and ideal for high-low traffic areas.

However, it is not the best durability champion compared to semi-gloss and gloss.

It will lose its color and sheen quicker and may start peeling off sooner if you expose it to frequent harsh treatments.

Area of Coverage

The paint coverage refers to the amount of product you need to cover a specified area, often gauged in gallons per square foot.

Satin paint has the best coverage because it has the highest Pigment Volume Concentration (PVC).

More pigment makes the paint more opaque, thus making it easier to achieve good coverage with fewer coats.

As a result, you would only need a small amount of satin paint to cover a large area.

On the other hand, gloss and semi-gloss paints have minimal pigment.

Therefore, you will need to apply several coats before you achieve the opacity that matches the color you want.

The more coats you apply, the more product you will need.

Therefore, the area of coverage of the gloss paints is relatively small.

Note: Some paint brands today make “one-coat” paints in all sheens.

So It is possible to find gloss and semi-gloss paints with good coverage. However, the results aren’t always guaranteed.

Ease of Application

The ratio of binders to the pigment in paint affects more than just the durability and appearance of the product.

It also determines whether using the product will be simple or require the expertise of a professional painter.

A high ratio of binders makes the product thick with a high viscosity.

Accordingly, it is more challenging to apply and achieve a smooth finish.

With that in mind, it is more challenging to apply gloss and semi-gloss paint than it is to apply satin paints.

The high reflection of gloss and semi-gloss paints make it easy to notice all the mistakes you make during application.

When you accidentally rub off some paint or miss a spot, it will cause an inconsistency in the sheen, and the light will make it stand out.

And most of the time, these inconsistencies only show up after the paint dries.

For this reason, I recommend using these shiny paints only after you master all the painting techniques properly.

Until then, call a professional whenever you want a smooth paint job with glossy paint.

On the other hand, satin paint flows more easily; hence it is easy to transfer it from the container to your surface.

Moreover, the low shine makes it harder to notice mistakes, giving you some leeway during application – especially if you are a beginner.

Maintenance

Maintaining a painted surface is one of the ways to make it look good and last longer.

So it helps to purchase a paint you can maintain with as little hassle as possible.

All three paint finishes are generally easy to maintain, varying only slightly due to differences in durability. 

Gloss and semi-gloss products are the easiest to maintain because they don’t accumulate dirt too quickly and thus need minimal cleaning.

However, if dirt accumulates, you can scrub it as necessary because the coat won’t incur damage.

On the other hand, satin paint attracts more dust and is easier to stain; therefore, it requires cleaning more regularly.

Furthermore, regular cleaning gradually causes it to lose its glow and strength, which is a disadvantage.

Touching up paint is also part of maintenance; satin paint takes the cake in this category.

It is much easier to touch-up satin paint because the fresh areas will blend in well with the rest of the finish. 

On the other hand, touch-ups don’t work so well if you’re using gloss or semi-gloss paint.

The touched-up areas won’t blend well with the old finish, leaving patches all over the surface.

Additionally, there will be noticeable sheen differences where the patchwork meets the old finish, especially in well-lit rooms.

Drying and Curing Time

Paints generally require 6-8 hours to feel dry to the touch and between 2-4 weeks to cure fully.

However, this time varies slightly between products, often based on the thickness of the product.

The thicker the product, the more time it needs to dry properly.

Gloss paint takes the most time to dry because it is the thickest, followed closely by semi-gloss paint.

Satin paint requires the least time to dry, but it does not deviate too far from the standard six hours.

Even though these paints dry at different rates, they only surpass each other by no more than 2 hours.

Cost

The cost of paints varies by brand; however, the criteria to establish cost are often similar across the board.

The products that offer the most convenience to the user will cost more than those with several drawbacks.

Paint manufacturers often look at durability and ease of maintenance to give a product the price range it deserves.

Durability and maintenance are important because nobody wants paint that will always fade within weeks or get dirty.

Gloss paint is the most durable and easy to maintain; therefore, it is the most expensive of the three finishes.

Some people might not be attracted to its high sheen, but its ability to remain unscratched is undeniable.

Semi-gloss paints also fall in the same price range as gloss paints because they possess the same abilities.

On the other hand, satin paint costs the least because it isn’t as durable as gloss and takes more effort to maintain.

Nevertheless, the price difference between satin and gloss paint is less than $5 – $10.

Comparing Satin vs Semi-Gloss vs Gloss Polyurethane

Traditionally, polyurethane was purely a high gloss finish.

However, painting needs and finish requirements have evolved over the years, prompting manufacturers to produce polyurethane in sheens that are duller than gloss.

They introduced a flattening agent known as zinc oxide in their formula to help disperse light, thus reducing the sheen of polyurethane.

The amount of flattening agent used in a formula directly impacts its sheen.

Polyurethane with a lot of zinc oxide will have a more matte appearance than one with a small amount.

So manufacturers played around with the ratios until they achieved all the gloss levels, including satin and semi-gloss.

You will notice that every polyurethane label instructs you to stir the product properly before application.

This step is necessary because zinc oxide sinks to the bottom of the container during storage.

Therefore, stirring disperses the particles uniformly in the product to avoid leaving patches with different sheens on your surface.

The sheen change is the most evident effect of adding zinc oxide to polyurethane formulas.

However, there are also some unseen alterations in maintenance and cost.

So let’s compare the different poly finishes and see how much the formula changes with an increase or decrease in the amount of flattening agent.

Appearance

Satin-finish polyurethane has the highest amount of zinc oxide in its formula.

Therefore, it has a medium to low luster lower than semi-gloss and gloss polyurethanes.

The low luster enables it to hide scratches while still being clear enough to see the beauty of your surface.

It is easy to mistake a satin poly for a matte poly, but the cloudiness of the matte variety should help you out.

Semi-gloss has very little zinc oxide, just enough to remove the glare of high gloss polyurethane.

However, It still reflects a lot of light; therefore, it does not hide smudge marks and pet scratches like satin polyurethane.

Contrastingly, gloss polyurethane does not contain any flattening agent; therefore, it is the shiniest of the three finishes.

It attracts the most attention because of its glare.

However, that attention is also a drawback because it makes pet markings and other smudges stand out.

Sheen aside, the appearance of satin, semi-gloss, and gloss polyurethane also depends on the base of the poly.

Oil-based polyurethanes (no matter the sheen) have a somewhat amber tint or will eventually turn amber with time.

On the other hand, water-based polyurethanes are completely clear and will remain clear throughout. 

Durability

The choice of sheen in polyurethane does not affect its durability or longevity.

All polyurethanes, regardless of the sheen, have the same formula, which is always durable.

Therefore, if you want to gauge the durability of any polyurethane product, you have to consider its base.

Oil-based polyurethanes are more durable; therefore, they last longer than water-based polys.

They are perfect for all the high-traffic areas around your home because they can resist damage from impact and moisture.

Take the example below.

An oil-based polyurethane in a satin finish is just as durable as another oil-based polyurethane in a gloss finish.

On the other hand, an oil-based polyurethane in a satin finish is more durable than a water-based polyurethane with a gloss finish.

This example undoubtedly indicates that sheen plays no role in the durability of polyurethane, unlike in paints.

Cost

There isn’t much difference in the cost of satin, semi-gloss, and gloss polyurethane because they have the same formula (except for the amount of flattening agent).

However, you’ll notice a slight gap in the cost of gloss polyurethanes because they have the original untainted formula.

You will also notice that the oil-based varieties cost much more than the water-based ones because of their unbeatable durability. 

Note: There is a newer version of polyurethane on the market known as “water-based oil modified” polyurethane. This variety offers the best of both bases.

For instance, It has the durability of oil polyurethanes. However, it dries quickly and maintains its color like water-based polyurethanes.

Ease of Application

The sheen of polyurethane products doesn’t affect the difficulty of application.

No matter the sheen, you must follow specific steps when applying polyurethane to achieve a flawless finish.

First, you must ensure that your surface is well-prepared before applying the polyurethane.

Remember, polyurethane is a clear finish, so if you apply it on a flawed surface, it will highlight the blemishes.

After preparing the surface, apply the polyurethane in thin layers and sand between each coat to knock down bubbles and brush marks.

If you follow this procedure, all your poly applications will be smooth and easy, no matter the sheen.

Area of Coverage

The amount of polyurethane you will need to cover a specific area is the same regardless of the sheen.

A gallon of poly will cover between 300 and 600 square feet, depending on the number of coats you apply. 

Drying and Curing Time

On average, all polyurethanes take 24-48 hours to dry to the touch and 30 days to cure fully – regardless of the product’s finish.

The difference in drying time stems from the base of the polyurethanes.

The water-based polyurethanes dry quicker than the oil-based variety.

Maintenance

Gloss and semi-gloss polyurethanes require more effort to maintain their shine.

The significant amount of light they reflect draws attention to even the slightest smudge or footprint on their surfaces.

Even dirt particles are easier to see on a shiny poly finish; therefore, you must constantly clean and wipe the surface to keep it spotless.

On the other hand, keeping the natural look of satin polyurethane is easier because it has less “shine” to maintain.

For this reason, satin polyurethanes are the best option for areas prone to a lot of dirt and moisture.

Comparing Satin vs Semi-Gloss vs Gloss Varnish 

Varnish is an old finish that combines natural or alkyd resins with drying oils, chemicals, solvents, and other additives.

Together, these compounds make the varnish a strong protective coating and toxic.

Like polyurethane, the varnish is naturally shiny and it is because of the oils in it.

Therefore, manufacturers had to incorporate a flattening agent in their formula to reduce the gloss and produce different low gloss varnishes.

The amount of flattening additive used alters the gloss level of the varnish.

Accordingly, manufacturers had to tinker with the ratios to make products with different sheens such as matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

Before using varnish, I recommend that you stir the contents in the container with a wooden rod.

Stirring the contents will re-mix all the additives in the varnish so that the finish will be uniform across the surface.

If you fail to stir the contents, you will have a glossy finish, even if the product label says matte or satin.

The following is an in-depth look into the essential features of varnish and how they differ with changes in sheen.

Appearance

Standard varnish has a gloss finish with a 60% or more sheen level – depending on the brand.

It contains the drying oils, resin, and solvent that are the main ingredients of varnishes without the flattening agent.

Varnish with a glossy finish is highly reflective; therefore, it will make your surface look like it has a mirror on it.

It is ideal for one or two statement pieces but will be too overwhelming to use on all your furniture.

Semi-gloss varnishes have a small amount of flattening agent to reduce the sheen level from 60% to around 40%.

Its shine is a little less overwhelming than the gloss, making it ideal for finishing furniture in your main living area or any other surface that needs a glow.

Satin varnishes have the most amount of flattening agent, reducing their sheen level to about 24%.

It emits a more subtle and inviting glow ideal for all applications; however, it may make your surface appear darker than usual.

Durability

When it comes to durability, the finish of the varnish does not play any role.

In this case, the formula’s determinants are the amount of drying oils and resins.

There are two types of varnishes: long oil and short oil varnishes. 

Long-oil varnishes have a higher ratio of drying oil to resins.

As a result, they are flexible enough to move with the surface as it expands and contracts, thus preventing cracking.

Furthermore, they are more water resistant; hence perfect for use outdoors.

Since long oil varnishes have more oil, their resin count is low. For this reason, they won’t do very well on regularly used items such as furniture. 

On the other hand, short oil varnishes have a higher ratio of resins to drying oil.

The high resin count allows it to dry into a hard film that lasts long, even on items that you use frequently.

Cost

The cost of varnish is not affected by its sheen level. The drying oil used in the formula sets the product’s price.

For instance, linseed oil is the cheapest drying oil available; therefore, varnishes made with it tend to be more affordable.

In contrast, a drying oil like tung oil is of higher quality; therefore, varnishes made with it tend to be pricey.

Ease of Application

As with cost, the sheen of varnish does not determine whether or not it will be easy to apply. Instead, the oil-resin ratio is what determines this factor.

Long oil varnishes have more oil than resin; hence they flow more easily.

As a result, applying them on surfaces using a brush or a little rag is easier.

On the other hand, short oil varnishes are a bit thicker because of their higher resin ratio.

They are challenging to apply, but you can still achieve a flawless finish if you follow the correct application procedures.

If you have a short oil varnish in a higher gloss, you may notice that the shine may not be as high as indicated on the container.

On the bright side, you can hand rub it a little after it dries to give it more shine.

(The hand rubbing might be a good thing, but it adds to the work, therefore increasing the difficulty of application.)

Drying and Curing Time

The sheen of varnish does not affect its drying or curing time either. This feature is also determined by the drying oil-to-resin ratios.

Because of their high oil content, long oil varnishes take a long time to dry.

But why is that? Drying oils, unlike water and solvents, do not evaporate.

Instead, they oxidize as soon as they come into contact with oxygen in the atmosphere.

Therefore, the more oil in the formula, the longer the product will take to dry.

On the other hand, Short oil varnishes will take a shorter time to dry because of the small amount of oil in their formula.

Note: Since drying oils oxidize, they start hardening at the top because the top is the first part to contact oxygen.

After a few hours, your finish may feel dry to the touch, but it will still be wet underneath.

Therefore, allow your varnished items to remain untouched and unused until all the layers harden to avoid smudging the finish.

Conclusion

Surface coatings like paint, polyurethane, and varnish do more than protect and decorate surfaces. They also determine the final look/finish of the coated item.

Several finishes are available today, varying in appearance, durability, and cost. In this post, our discussion was on…

Satin vs Gloss Finish

A satin finish has a lower sheen than gloss because it reflects very little light.

Its look is warm and velvety like a matte finish when you touch it.

It is the perfect finish for surfaces with many imperfections like cracks and dents because the little light reflection does not draw so much attention to the surface.

Furthermore, it is moisture resistant and easy to clean, although regular cleaning may cause it to lose its strength and luster over time.

Contrarily, a gloss finish is the shiniest, having an almost mirror-like appearance.

Its surface feels smooth to the touch and can resist cracks and dents better than satin finishes.

It is also more moisture resistant and easy to clean with soap and water.

Conversely, gloss finishes tend to highlight surface imperfections because the light they reflect draws attention to the surface.

Therefore, you must carry out extensive surface preparation before using any product with a gloss finish.

I hope this clears up everything concerning Satin Vs. Gloss Finish.

If you need me to clarify anything or have personal experiences with any of the finishes, please feel free to reach out in the comments below.

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