4 Different Paint Finishes and Where to Use Them



Painting interior walls, doors and trim is something almost every homeowner will have to do in their lifetime. Picking out a color is stressful enough and then you get to the counter and are asked..."what finish do you want?".


Here we are going to break down the four most popular finishes, where to use them and why. Let us help you take the stress out of your diy! There is a typical rule you can start with to choose your finish - The higher the sheen, the higher the shine — and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be. But you typically do not want your kids bedroom walls to be a shiny glossy paint, so there you would use a satin or eggshell. But your kitchen would be the perfect spot for a gloss finish. See below for more tips in each finish.


Matte Finish

  • matte finish is also called Flat

  • has little to no gloss or shine

  • washable but not usually scrubbable (some manufactures make scrubbable matte - check lables)

  • non reflective and hides imperfections better than a glossy paint

  • recommended for ceilings, and living area walls (bedroom, living room, dining room)

  • not recommended for kitchens, kids rooms or bathrooms



Satin


  • silky smooth finish

  • reflects light more than matte

  • washes well with mild detergent and water

  • does not hide imperfections, touch ups will show

  • recommended for high traffic areas, bathrooms, kids rooms, trim, hallways & kitchens

  • eggshell and satin typically cover more space with less paint, making it cost efficient


Eggshell


  • subtle shine without the smooth finish of satin

  • has the sheen of an egg

  • reflects more light than matte

  • hides imperfections better than satin

  • washes well with mild detergent and water

  • recommended for high traffic areas, bathrooms, kids rooms, trim, hallways & kitchens

  • eggshell and satin typically cover more space with less paint, making it cost efficient


Semi Gloss/Gloss


  • semi gloss and gloss are great for areas that get dirty and take abuse

  • stands up to scrubbing and washing well

  • has a high reflective surface

  • recommended for trim, kitchens, cabinets, doors and bathrooms


Keep in mind the area you are working with, does the wall have a lot of imperfections and sunlight? Then go with the lowest sheen. Dark, rich paint colors also increase sheen, so you may want to go down a level of sheen with them. If money is a factor, the lower the sheen, the less it costs typically. But you also want to make sure you buy a paint and finish that will last, so you do not have to do this all over again! Happy painting!






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