I think flat is the best for a historic lOok, but don't know which formula is best. Are any able to be scrubbed?--we have kids. Thanks.
In the early history of oil paint, there was no such thing as flat finish. It was all glossy, until it aged and got duller. Then, they brought in tung oil from the far east and "flatting oil" became an additive to reduce the shine.
Whitewash and calcimine paints were always a fairly flat sheen.
Casey always adds something interesting; however, since you probably don't want to paint with oil-based paint and let it age naturally, I recommend the Benjamin Moore Regal Select in Matte. It's a washable flat. For bathrooms, you could go up in sheen to Eggshell, or you could find a store selling BM Aura Bath & Spa Matte.
thanks to both of you, for the great history lesson and for the the good recommendations.
Casey always adds something interesting
I would go with the Aura
I forgot to add, for an authentic-looking finish surface, you need to brush, not roll.
I'm hella boring in person, BTW.
but do people actually use a brush for large rooms with high ceilings?
If your home is ACTUALLY in a Historic-District/Neighborhood, this may be something to pursue. Otherwise, the look is lost on anyone but you....
Painters could well charge a decent premium for a slower job like this, as would I!
It WON'T however look like old plaster...
Some designers two coats of rolled on paint, followed by a brushed on coat. (Of course, some also spec 13 coats of high gloss with sanding in between, too.) Personally, I love the chalky, flat, velvety finish Farrow and Ball Estate Emulsion gives, but I wouldn't use in areas typically frequented by children or, in my case, the gallery hall with the corner on which my Great Pyrenees scratches his back, IYKWIM. ;)
Once again, something disappears from preview--should be "some designers specify." Clutzy fingers?
And, yes, I find such fascinating historic perspective when Casey posts. He and Fun ought to do a column here.
To brush out the walls in a room takes two people working in tandem, one to roll on as much paint as the roller will hold, and a second poor sap to brush out the finish and yell at the roller guy to slow down! I've had a total of two customers who insisted on brushed walls (for historical reasons). It's awful hard on the painters.
I admit to brushing the wall color in my own kitchen, for the unique appearance, but the expanse of plain wall (not covered by cabinets or wainscotting) was very small, no cursing necessary.