6 Types of Paint Finishes and The Best Places to Use Them


New year, new wall?

If you’re tired of staring at the same paint color on your wall, then maybe it’s time to change it up for 2023! Repainting your walls is a simple way to increase the value of your home and protect it from any damage. At the same time, you’ll also be beautifying your interior and freshening up your home.

Before thinking about what paint color will be the best, you must first consider which paint finish you should use for each room. There are six types of paint finish and they all have different benefits, sheen, and durability. Let’s review each paint finish in detail!

1. Flat paint finish

The flat finish is a non-reflective finish that does not reflect any light, resulting in no sheen at all. It allows for more pigment to come through which makes it a good concealer paint. It can excellently hide bumps, holes, and scratches which makes for a smoother and more uniform surface.

One thing you should consider about the flat finish is that since it is entirely non-reflective, it soaks up any light directed toward it. It is also hard to clean, has low durability, and is non-moisture resistant. Therefore, you should avoid using it in high-traffic areas of the house such as the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.

The flat finish is ideal for:

2. Matte paint finish

The matte finish is another low-luster finish that provides a smooth and subtle look. It is similar to the flat finish but has a bit more sheen. It can provide the most pigment with the most coverage, therefore excellently concealing imperfections on any surface.

You should also note that like the flat finish, the matte finish also does not reflect light in a room but rather absorbs it. Matte finishes are prone to holding dirt and are difficult to clean, as cleaning them can actually result in removing the paint. It has medium durability and will do best in rooms that have low to moderate traffic.

The matte finish is ideal for:

3. Eggshell paint finish

The eggshell finish is a popular paint finish that has a soft luster that lies between a matte finish and a satin finish. True to its name, it’s smooth like an eggshell. It reflects more light than its flat and matte counterparts, making a room look brighter with a good amount of pigment and coverage. It’s easier to clean and is more resistant to dirt, stains, and scuffs. It also has a medium durability that’s perfect to use in medium-traffic areas at home such as entryways, hallways, family rooms, and living rooms.

When using the eggshell finish, you should know that it can be difficult to touch up. The slight sheen that it possesses makes it almost impossible to add new layers in small areas without being visible. With the eggshell finish, a touch-up might mean repainting the whole wall.

The eggshell finish is ideal for:

4. Satin

The satin finish is a versatile paint finish as it can be used both indoors and outdoors. It provides a soft sheen with a pear-like appearance that resists fading and mildew. It has a higher gloss and is easier to clean than the flat and eggshell finishes. Because of its versatility, satin finish is a great choice of paint for moderate to high-traffic areas or those that have some exposure to moisture.

Although this paint finish is a beautiful and versatile option, you have to make sure that you apply this paint properly. When not done right, application flaws such as roller or brush strokes can be revealed, making touch-ups trickier.

The satin finish is ideal for:

5. Semi-Gloss

The semi-gloss paint finish is a level up from satin as it has more shine which gives it a sleek look. It is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas and those that are frequently touched because of its high durability. It is resistant to mildew, moisture, and wear which makes it perfect for walls that are prone to drips, grease, and stains.

Among the finishes listed above, this paint finish is more reflective. Hence, you should note that it will most likely show blemishes, scratches, and more on ceilings and walls.

The semi-gloss finish is ideal for:

6. Gloss paint finish

The gloss paint finish is hard, ultra-shiny, and the most reflective among paint finishes. Surfaces painted with gloss finish provide a glass-like look. Of all the paint sheens mentioned, gloss finish is the most durable and the easiest to clean. Hence, it is a great choice for surfaces that are often touched like cabinets, trim, and doors.

Despite being the most durable, we don’t recommend using gloss finish for interior walls. Its high-gloss can easily highlight imperfections on the wall.

The gloss finish is ideal for:

So, have you decided on which paint finish to use for your home? More than the choice of color, picking out the right paint finish might be trickier and more challenging. You have to consider different factors depending on which area you plan to apply the paint. If you still aren’t sure which one is best to use among the finishes mentioned above, use these factors to help you decide – durability, quality of paint, ease of cleaning, amount of traffic to the area, and moisture in the room.

Deciding based on these will help you ensure that you are choosing the paint finish that will not only look beautiful and elegant but will also be durable and long-lasting.