Choosing the Right Type of Paint Finish

painting utensils and paint finish. Choosing the right kind of paint for your home can be a difficult task. First you have to decide on a color, then once you’ve got a general color scheme planned out, you go to the store and are faced with hundreds of different shades of the color you had in mind.

Once you’ve settled on a color, then you have to choose which type of finish you want. Matte...semi-gloss...satin...what’s the difference between these finishes, anyway? The type of finish that would work for you all depends on the type of room you’re painting and what kind of activity goes on there. Is it a room that doesn’t get used very much or is it a bathroom, where the walls are exposed to a lot of moisture? Let’s take a look at the different types of finishes and what works best in certain areas:

Matte Since matte finishes don’t reflect light, they can be very forgiving on walls with imperfections on them. However, matte finishes are not as durable as glossier finishes, so they’re not recommended for places like kitchens, bathrooms, or rooms where young children play because it’s harder to clean the walls without chipping the paint. Matte finishes also work well on ceilings. Eggshell Eggshell finishes have a little bit more sheen and are a little bit more durable than a matte finish. They’re best used in places like living rooms or dining rooms where the walls aren’t likely to be scuffed up or need to be washed too often.

Satin Satin finishes have a nice, warm look to them, are pretty durable, and can be cleaned pretty easily, so they’re excellent for higher trafficked rooms like family rooms, hallways, and rooms where kids play. However, if you need to do any touch-ups, this finish of paint is less forgiving than matte or eggshell finishes since it will be easy to notice the difference in sheen.

Semi-Gloss Semi-gloss finishes are very durable; perfect for kitchens and bathrooms where walls will be exposed to things like moisture or grease. These finishes are good at resisting stains and won’t flake off during cleaning. They’re also a great choice for chair rails and trim since it won’t get scuffed the way a matte or eggshell finish would.

High Gloss High gloss finishes are extremely durable, but because of their extreme shininess, they aren’t commonly used on walls. Instead, they are more typically used on things like cabinets, doors, and floor or window trim, which are touched and bumped into a lot and can get dirty very easily.