What is the difference between flat and ultra flat paint finishes?

How different are flat and ultra flat paint finishes from each other? When might you want an ultra flat finish instead of a regular flat finish?

Asked by Michael on 12th May 2022
Expert Trade Answers
"Flat paint finishes are low shine, basically matte paint. They give a kind of suede finish if using coloured paint, although white is almost chalky. An ultra-flat finish is a completely non-shiny finish, it soaks up all the light compared to a silk finish which reflects the slightest bit of light.

Both flat and ultra-flat finishes would ideally be used on walls that have lumps, bumps, and other imperfections as they won't reflect the light to highlight the poor surface so are best used for covering these imperfections.

I wouldn't recommend using either finish in a kitchen or bathroom as the air moisture can affect the paint long-term."
Answered on 12th May 2022 - Member since Aug 2021 - report
""Flat paint finishes are low shine, basically matte paint. They give a kind of suede finish if using coloured paint, although white is almost chalky. An ultra-flat finish is a completely non-shiny finish, it soaks up all the light compared to a silk finish which reflects the slightest bit of light"
Answered on 14th Jul 2022 - Member since Oct 2021 - report
"Most emulsion are reflective and cad show blemishes and touched up areas, especially on ceilings. Flat and Ultra Flat solve this problem. Ultra more so than standard flat."
Answered on 21st Jun 2024 - Member since Apr 2024 - report
"I'd use and ultra flat finish on ceilings, where light might highlight imperfections and unavoidable overlaps.
Flat finishes are fine for walls."
Answered on 29th Dec 2023 - Member since Dec 2023 - report
"Flat and ultra-flat paint finishes are very similar, but there are some differences between them.

Flat paint has a matte finish with very little sheen, giving walls a smooth, non-reflective appearance. Flat paint is great for hiding imperfections on walls and is often used on ceilings and in low-traffic areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms.

Ultra-flat paint is even more matte than flat paint and has a finish that is almost completely without shine. It is the most non-reflective paint finish available and is great for hiding imperfections on walls. It is often used in theater, photography, and film sets to create a completely matte surface. It is not recommended for high-traffic areas or areas that require frequent cleaning, as it can be difficult to clean without leaving streaks or marks.

There are several reasons why someone might choose an ultra-flat finish over a regular flat finish. One reason is to create a completely non-reflective surface for artistic or photographic purposes. Another reason is to achieve a more modern, minimalist look on walls or ceilings. Ultra-flat paint can also help to hide imperfections even better than flat paint and may be a better choice for walls that have more texture or unevenness.

Overall, while flat and ultra-flat paint finishes are very similar, the decision of which to use may depend on the specific needs of the project and the desired look and feel of the space"
Answered on 11th Mar 2023 - Member since Sep 2022 - report
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