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Should kitchens be painted in flat or high gloss paint?

Answered by Brendan ~ March 18, 2010 ~ 3 Comments » | Respond to this question

My husband and I are having a debate about what kind of paint to use in our Texas kitchen. He says that painting the kitchen walls in a flat or eggshell paint will look the best. I disagree. It may look good, but its not practical. I believe that kitchens should always be painted in a semi or high gloss for easy clean up of grease and fingerprints. We need an expert's opinion--please help!

Fiona S. ~ Victoria, Texas

Brendan Fowler

Let me start by saying that there is no right or wrong answer here. In my opinion I think that you should use whatever paint sheen you like the best. There is value in a high gloss paint when it comes to clean ability, it does clean up easier than a flat. However, I will submit that if you have a painted wall surface that is continuously exposed to grease and other grime, requiring constant cleaning, maybe there should be some other surface there to begin with.

For example if you have a range with a painted wall behind, perhaps tile, stone or metal would be a better solution in the long run. Generally, kitchens do not have a huge amount of wall area exposed to anything that requires more than the occasional wipe down. If you find that your walls are greasy in your kitchen, I would look at improving the ventilation in your cooking area to remove greasy cooking smoke to the exterior of your home. A good vent hood can virtually eliminate all air bourn grease from cooking, keeping your kitchen and the ceilings in the rest of your home much cleaner.

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