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Interior Paint Problems: Poor Sheen Uniformity

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Image of blue wall showing poor sheen uniformity.

             Blotches and uneven sheen due to poor
                                paint application
                     (Photo: The Paint Quality Institute)

Poor sheen uniformity leads to shiny spots or dull spots (also known as "flashing") on a painted surface.

Use the following preparation and painting techniques to avoid dull or shiny wall spots and patches.

What Causes Poor Paint Sheen Uniformity?

  • Unevenly spreading the paint as you apply it
  • Failing to maintain a wet edge, which can lead to lapping
  • Not properly priming a porous surface, or a surface with variable porosity

How to Prevent Poor Paint Sheen Uniformity

  • New substrates should be primed and sealed before applying the top coat to ensure a uniformly smooth surface. Without the use of a primer or sealer, a second coat of paint will more likely be needed to produce a uniform sheen.
  • Make sure to apply paint from "wet to dry" to prevent lapping.
  • Applying an additional coat of paint will even out sheen irregularities.

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