Home Pros Team
Comparing Interior Paint Finishes Flat vs Matte vs Satin vs Eggshell, etc.
There's no doubt that choosing paint colors for your home is exciting but finalizing your color choices is only the first step. Before the paint goes onto the walls, you also need to decide about what paint finish you want also - this is something people rarely take into consideration or seldom understand the difference between the finish options. However, making the wrong choice could end up costing you far more money as you will have to pay to redo any rooms that were painted in the wrong finish. If this is starting to sound a little overwhelming, don't worry as we are here to help; we've detailed below the finish options you have so you can make the right decisions for your interior painting job, and in turn, have the best results possible.
Flat and Matte
Flat or matte paint has more pigment than any other finish, therefore, this type of paint is perfect to use as a concealer of marks and blemishes that may already be on the wall. This kind of finish soaks up the light rather than reflecting it, and so no matter what you are trying to hide, you will be able to easily with this. Additionally, because of these concealing qualities, you can get far more coverage on your walls than other types, therefore, you get to save some money at the same time.
However, there are a few downsides to this finish, firstly, it is pretty much impossible to clean without accidentally scraping the paint off the wall, and since this finish attracts dirt and stains easily, you'll want to make sure that you don't use it in rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, or kid's rooms where to potential to get dirty is high.
Gloss is the shiniest finish of all the options, it's super reflective of the light and can instantly brighten up a room. The smooth texture of the finish also makes it incredibly easy to clean, therefore, it is perfect in rooms such as the kuchen where food splashes and dirty marks will occur frequently. It's also an excellent choice for anywhere you think sticky fingers might touch such as kitchen cabinets, and doors, especially if you have children in the home. While gloss has all of these advantages, including, being the most durable, the positives can also be a problem. Because the gloss shows up every imperfection possible, the preparation of an area prior to painting has to be thorough and perfect in order to get an immaculate finish. Additionally, you won't be able to touch up the paint as you can with a matte, after it has dried, as this will create a patch on your wall.
Semigloss is fairly similar to gloss, but as the name implies, the finish is slightly less shiny, as is the durability, although it is still an excellent finish and can handle dirt, and wipe downs really well. Semigloss should ideally be used in your bathroom as the paint does not soak up any of the moisture and the walls can be easily patted down or dried if necessary. Even though the final shine from semigloss is a little less than gloss, you still get a fantastic bright and radiant finish that really makes a room, or your interior trim stand out. However, keep in mind, that just like with gloss, this type of paint cannot be touched up in small areas and the final sheen will be different.
Satin reflects light well but not as much as a gloss, a stain is somewhere in the middle of a gloss and an eggshell and has a pretty well-rounded score when it comes to final look, durability, and application. While it will show up imperfections such as roller or brush strokes (so it must be applied well), it will still give you better coverage than a gloss. The final look of satin paint is often described as velvety or silky, and this is a wonderful choice in high traffic rooms such as the family room or a dining room as the surface can be cleaned easily enough, and the smooth finish reflects light beautifully.
Eggshell is called this because just like an eggshell of a chicken's egg, for example, the finish has very little shine to it but it's not as flat as a matte paint. Eggshell is a good all-round choice for spaces like your family room or dining room, the light does reflect a little but not distractingly so. Like a matte finish, eggshell covers marks well, and any imperfections from the application will not stand out so much. This finish is more durable and easier to clean than a matte, but definitely not as easy as satin or a gloss. Think of an eggshell finish as somewhere between matte and satin when it comes to sheen, durability, and visible flaws.
Best Finish by Room
To make your understanding even easier, we have summarized below the best finish to use in each room in your home, some rooms have more than one option!
Flat or Matte
Once you see them written out, it is much easier to understand what's best for your job at hand, and hopefully, this article has been able to help you make the right choices for your requirements. Therefore, have a good think about what it is you need, or consult with a professional painting and decorating company if you would like some extra advice - it's much better to take your time and ask questions if you're uncertain, and ensure that you are not going to be wasting your time or money. Finally, it's also important to remember that while some finishes may be more expensive than others, choosing the cheaper ones in an unsuitable room will ruin the look of the room, and will always cost you more in the long run when you have to redo it.