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Benjamin Moore Soft Gloss Vs Semi Gloss: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to paints, it's important to know the difference between Benjamin Moore's soft gloss and semi-gloss finish. While both paints offer a smooth, glossy surface, there are a few subtle differences between the two. We have researched this topic thoroughly. Here's a quick rundown of the differences:

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Soft gloss is a finish that has a softer appearance than semi-gloss. On the other hand, a semi-gloss is a finish that has a sheen comparable to soft gloss but is slightly shinier and more pronounced than soft gloss.

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider using soft-gloss paint over semi-gloss and vice-versa. Let's take a look at the differences between these two finishes in-depth. We should be able to figure out which would be the best choice for your project so read on!

Close-up of open cans of blue and green paint. In the background, a light blue interior wall prepared with blue painters tape provides copy space, Benjamin Moore Soft Gloss Vs Semi Gloss: What's The Difference?

Soft Gloss Vs. Semi-Gloss Paint: What You Need To Know

For the past few years, there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not semi-gloss paint is better than soft gloss. Many people have argued that semi-gloss is actually more durable than soft gloss. This is because of the fact it reflects light more than soft gloss, which helps it last longer.

Unsurprisingly, science affirms the factuality of the consensus.

Others argue that the two finishes look very similar. Some argue that the difference between the two, if any, is just a matter of visual perception. 

Hand in yellow rubber gloves applies a glossy white paint finish to a window frame.

Paint: A Hedge Against Property Depreciation?

Choosing the right type of paint can be considered an investment. Whether you're painting furniture or wood fences, it's important to consider the best paint for the task.

When selecting paint, it's important to consider the finish of the paint, such as whether it's a soft gloss or a semi-gloss.

Soft gloss paints are usually the best choice for surfaces that are going to receive direct sunlight. This is because they are designed to withstand the heat and glare from the sun without fading or chipping.

Soft gloss paints tend to reflect and bounce the UV rays off of the surface, which helps them last longer than other types of paint that are less glossy.

Keep in mind that soft gloss paints are typically more expensive than standard exterior paints. The higher cost of soft gloss paints comes from the fact that these paints contain more resins, pigments, and other additives that give them a higher sheen.

However, it is important to remember that you are paying for the shine that your paint will give to the surface of your home. If you want your home’s exterior to last for many years to come, then a soft gloss paint might be worth the investment. 

Soft Gloss Vs. Semi-Gloss: A Matter of Personal Choice?

Windows and doors are exposed to the elements, and it is not uncommon for staining to occur in these areas. This doesn't mean, however, that you're obligated to pay extra for additional protection. You don't need some kind of specialized surface coating on top of the paint.

On the contrary, this simply necessitates the use of stain-resistant paint on them. It is recommended that you use a can of paint with the required level of glossy finish if you want to protect surfaces from staining.

A good paint will give you a very good result with regard to protection. But it may also affect the overall look of the door or furniture, depending on what kind of finish you select. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference and budget.

Watch this video from Benjamin Moore to see the main types of finishes for their paints:

Soft Gloss Vs. Semi-Gloss: Which Offers Better Protection?

Soft gloss paints offer superior resistance to stains. This makes them an ideal paint finish to use on surfaces that are regularly exposed to moisture and elements. 

When stained with a substance or liquid, soft gloss paints are less likely to absorb the pigment of the stain. This makes cleaning easier. The reason for this is the glossy finish easily protects the surface from discoloration caused by staining.

Semi-gloss paints, on the other hand, tend to be better suited for interior use. They often have a sheen that is slightly glossier than that of soft gloss paint. However, the difference is negligible and can only be detected by a trained eye. 

The difference between the two is slightly noticeable and not so dramatic that it will significantly change the appearance of your project. In fact, there's no right or wrong choice.

The choice is largely based on personal preference. If you prefer the look of a semi-gloss paint, it will be much more versatile and less likely to chip than a soft gloss paint.

In addition, semi-gloss paints are slightly more durable than soft gloss paint and can withstand some minor scuffs, repel moisture, and resist stains better than soft gloss.

They're ideal for use on surfaces that are prone to get scratched and stained, such as doors and cabinets. 

Is Glossier Better?

Technically, the glossier the paint, the more durable and higher its resistance to stains and UV rays. If that's the case, then why is it that soft gloss paints are the best choice for exterior painting?

Why are semi-gloss paints more recommended for interior painting? Aren't semi-gloss paints glossier than soft gloss paints? You might have these questions in your head.

Apparently, the glossiness of a soft gloss paint is sufficient enough to protect the surface from scratches and UV rays. It will be overkill if you use a semi-gloss on something which a soft gloss can do.

However, if you want a truly durable finish, it is always better to go for a hardwearing semi-gloss. 

Remember, your home interior demands the additional shimmering effect that a semi-gloss can provide, for aesthetic reasons, more than the exterior. So it just makes sense to go with this type of finish.

Can of classicblue paint with brush on blue background. Top view.

What is Semi-Gloss Paint Best For?

Semi-gloss paint is often used for indoor surfaces that are visible and in areas where there is high foot traffic because of its durability. It works best for furniture, doors, baseboards, and trim.

If you have pets or kids who are prone to knocking over small objects, you’ll want to choose a semi-gloss paint because it will not chip or scratch easily. 

Can Ceilings Use Semi-Gloss?

While you can use semi-gloss on whatever surface you want, it’s a bit of a stretch for ceilings. If you want to paint ceilings, we recommend using flat paint for the job. Flat paints tend to cover imperfection better than semi-gloss.

The latter, on the other hand, tends to highlight dents and flaws because of its reflective characteristic.

Does a Semi-Gloss Paint Make a Color Darker or Lighter?

When choosing paint colors for your home, you may notice that certain shades appear darker than others. The difference between the two is the type of finish the paint has.

If you want a deeper, more defined color, choose semi-gloss paint. This will give your home a bold appearance. Alternatively, choose soft gloss paint if you want the opposite.

Is Semi-Gloss Good for Walls?

Close-up of open cans of blue and green paint. In the background, a light blue interior wall prepared with blue painters tape provides copy space, Benjamin Moore Soft Gloss Vs Semi Gloss: What's The Difference?

Semi-gloss is a popular choice for paint because it has a nice sheen that makes the surface look clean. Its stain and moisture-repelling characteristic are what makes it ideal for bathroom walls.

It can also be applied to any surface in your home where there is high traffic because of its capacity to endure daily wear and tear. It is also an excellent choice for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and other areas where moisture and stain can be a problem. 

However, flat and matte paints are often harder to work with and may cause problems when applied over high foot traffic surfaces. This is because they are also prone to scratches and can peel off of the surface.

Flat and matte paints just can't take that much abuse on a regular basis because they are intended to cover imperfections. They're perfect for ceilings and walls though.

In addition, if you have a high-traffic area with kids playing and bumping against the surface with their toys, flat paint might wear off quickly. This will potentially make the surface look dirty and worn in no time.

A soft gloss is a better choice for these high-traffic areas if you want a little bit of luster but not too much like that of a semi-gloss.

In Closing

A Benjamin Moore store in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Benjamin Moore is an American company that produces paint.

Choosing between soft gloss and semi-gloss is not rocket science. In fact, it’s a simple decision, but one that is often difficult for homeowners. The good news is that with the right information, it won’t take long to make the right choice for your home.

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