I was going to make a window ledge for my bathroom and paint it white.
hwoever the last time I painted a (hard flat) wall the finish was far
from perfect with brushstrokes left in the finish. I was using 'silk'
paint - maybe silk emulsion.
Which brings me onto my next question what is the difference between
paint, emulsion, silk, matt and gloss.
It sounds like you were using an emulsion - most wall paints are
emulsions. If you want a perfect finish on your window ledge with no
brushlines, then I would suggest using a "liquid gloss", although more
tricky to use as it is not "non-drip" it does give a good finish.
Alternatively, if you're not confident of this, then how about using a
spray finish - like plasti-kote? If neither of these sound OK, then
use a non-drip gloss or satinwood (which is not as shiny as a gloss).
As to your second question - all of them are paints, just different
types. Most emulsion paints are designed for use on walls (although
there are exceptions!). Silk emulsions have some "gloss" to them, i.e.
they are a bit shiny (though not as shiny as gloss paints). Matt
emulsions paints are not glossy at all. Most "gloss" paints are not
designed for use on walls, but are for wood, metal etc....
If you want the best possible gloss finish, car spray paint is the
one. If you dont want to spray, and the far from perfect result of
household gloss paint is ok, thats 2nd choice.
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