How to Choose the Right Paint Finish

Do-It-Yourself

The paint finish you choose will determine how vivid details appear in a specific space. If you’re having trouble deciding on which paint finish to go with here is a quick guide to help you finally decide:


Flat or Matte

At the end of the spectrum you’ll find the chalky finish, known as “flat,” which features a matte sheen. It absorbs light and helps hide surface imperfections.

NOTE


All flat paints aren’t created equal.

Durability Level: Medium to low

PERFECT FOR


High traffic areas, such as bedrooms and ceilings.

Eggshell

Eggshell contains more luster than flat paint, and offers better scrubbability to flat finishes. It also covers wall imperfections well.

NOTE


Recommended for a smooth looking finish and for low traffic areas. 

Durability Level: Medium

PERFECT FOR


Dining rooms or living rooms.

Satin

Satin paints are similar to eggshell and semigloss – however, they tend to have a warm, pearl-like finish. They are excellent at resisting mildew, dirt and stains.

NOTE


Reveals roller or brush stroke imperfections. Touch-ups can be tricky. 

Durability Level: High

PERFECT FOR


Hallways, children’s rooms, woodwork, family rooms, and foyers.

Semigloss

Semigloss paint reflects light for a bright, shiny appearence most vivid in rooms with a strong light source.

NOTE


Generally, shinier paint finishes are the most durable and are easier to clean.

Durability Level: High

PERFECT FOR


Kitchens, bathrooms, closet doors, trim, and chair rails.

High-Gloss

High-gloss paints have a greater depth of color. The higher the sheen, the more vivid and rich the color will appear.

NOTE


Shinier surfaces make flaws more evident.

Durability Level: Very high

PERFECT FOR


Reds, forest greens, and navy blue paint colors and/or kitchens, doors, and window trim.


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