Sheen levels are subjective to a degree as different paint manufacturers have different interpretations of how much reflectivity a matt, satin and gloss paint should have. In general, matt paints produce a finish that has no or very little sheen. These paints are usually used on walls and ceilings and are less likely to show any surface imperfections.
Another way to describe satin is eggshell. In other words, the sheen level is about the same as the surface of an egg when 1 coat has been applied. 2 coats will very slightly increase the sheen level.
Gloss finishes have a higher reflectivity than satin or satin-gloss paints. Some paints and varnishes are even labelled as super-gloss. Typically, you will be able to see a good reflection of objects in a gloss paint. Gloss paints are more commonly used for home fixtures such as skirting boards, architraves, doors and so on.
Chalk paint is a popular product for up-cycling interior furniture. It offers a little protection for surfaces; however it is more of an aesthetic finish. Wax is the most common surface sealer for chalk paints, but you can also use a varnish, taking care not to overwork the varnish, as this can pull the paint. Varnishing over chalk paint will typically 'warm' the colour. E.g. shades of white become creamier.
This is a difficult question to answer as it can depend on the type of substrate, the preparation of the substrate, the application and type of paint and the amount of weathering that the surface is subjected to. As an example, paint on a cliff top property that is subjected to high winds and sea air will wear more quickly than paint on a sheltered town house. Some manufacturers supply paints that are advertised lasting up to a specified number of years as long as the correct preparation and application conditions are met.
Polyvine Decorators Varnish is an exterior-grade clear, water-based acrylic varnish for use on wood, paintwork, wallpaper, fabric, plaster and much more. It contains UV filters to protect coloured surfaces from fading and biocides that protect against algae, mildew and fungal attack.
Oils would not be suitable as they need to penetrate into the wood and cannot if the paint has formed a coating on the wood. They are also more likely to discolour the finish due to the nature of the ingredients they are made from.
We can never guarantee one manufacturers product over another and a test area is essential to test product suitability and final finish.
If you don't fancy the shabby chic look you can strengthen a surface coated with clay or chalk paint with a perfectly clear varnish. These are usually water-based and need to be non-yellowing to avoid the discolouration of the paint.
Manns Extra Tough Interior Varnish is a clear, non-yellowing, polyurethane interior varnish that is suitable for any interior wooden project, including flooring. It is also available in 4 separate sheen levels to add a unique twist to the project if you require. Another great example is Polyvine Decorators Varnish. This ideal for almost any interior project including wood, fabric, wallpaper and much more. Unbeatable protection against finger marks, stains, scuffing and fading.
Disclaimer: Whilst every attempt has been made to provide product information that is as accurate as possible, it's important to clarify that trees and the wood that they produce can be affected by many factors. For example, the same species of tree grown in the same wood, even in close proximity, will be affected by age along with the amount of sunlight and water they receive. Other naturally occurring biological and environmental factors will also influence the density and grain of the wood as well as the moisture and oil content of the timber. No two trees are the same, meaning each piece of wood has the potential to look and react differently to the same wood finish. For example, product adhesion, colour variations, absorption rates and sheen levels. It is for this reason that we always strongly recommend carrying out test areas before starting any project