The Ultimate Guide to Interior Paint Finish | Know your style

Every once in a while we decide to redecorate our homes, and during the process of redecoration we generally come across a situation where we are not able to decide the paint color. Once we narrow down the paint shade, we often struggle with the decision on the ideal combination of Paint Finish. Remember, choosing the wrong type of paint finish could mean a do-over that costs twice as much.


This article will share various kinds of Paint Finishes available in the market and will also help you select the right one for your DIY project (Read more: 17 DIY Home Decor Tips)!


  • Matte paint FINISH

Matte paint finish has the least amount of shine. Because it doesn’t reflect light, it’s the best choice to hide any imperfections like bumps or small cracks on walls. It also goes on smoother over rough surfaces, so it’s a good option for textured walls. Keep in mind, flat paint a little harder to keep clean, so it’s not recommended for high traffic areas like the kitchen or bathroom.

matte paint


  • Matte-enamel paint FINISH


As the name suggests, matte-enamel paint finish is very similar to matte. Just like the option above, it comes with a flat finish and little-to-no shine. However, this finish comes with one more added benefit. The chemical makeup of matte-enamel paint has been altered slightly so that a bit of film forms on the surface as it dries, making it easier to clean.


The extra durability of matte-enamel paint finish makes it an especially good fit for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. If you’re looking for these paints at a local home improvement store, they will most likely be labeled as “washable,” owing to the fact that they’ll stand up to a light scrubbing with mild soap and water.

matte enamel paint finish


  • Eggshell paint FINISH


You can’t really go wrong with eggshell paint finish on your walls. Sometimes called satin finish, eggshell has slightly more luster than a flat finish, but you won’t be left with shiny walls. It also resists stains better than flat and can be wiped with a wet rag. Eggshell finishes are often used in bathrooms, kitchens, kids’ rooms, and other high-traffic areas.

eggshell paint finish


  • Satin paint FINISH


This silky, smooth paint finish actually retains its pearl-like sheen when dry. A satin finish reflects more light than matte and stands up well to washing. Use in high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, the kitchen and a kid’s room as well as on trim and molding throughout the house. However, satin paint finish does not hide imperfections in surface or application; any touch ups will stand out.

satin paint finish


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  • Semi-gloss paint FINISH

Semi-gloss paint is similar to satin paint finish. However, the extra sheen guarantees that more light bounces off, making the shade you choose appear darker than it would with a satin finish.

Again, semi-gloss finishes are a good choice for any rooms with walls that need to be frequently cleaned (heads up, parents with kids who like to draw on the walls). The shine of semi-gloss also makes it a perfect fit for any individual design elements that you want to emphasize. Consider using it for things like kitchen cabinets, fireplace mantels or banisters.

semi gloss paint finish


  • Gloss paint FINISH

Reserve gloss paint finish for window and door trim. It’s also a great choice for furniture, because of its hard and shiny finish. Want a glam look? Try using glossy paint on the walls!

gloss paint finish


glossy paint


Tips For Choosing the Right Sheen

If your paint color is dark and rich but you don’t want a super shiny effect, step down at least one level on the sheen scale. That’s because the darker and richer the paint color is, the more colorant it has, which boosts sheen. Ditto if you’re painting a large, sun-washed, or imperfect wall. The higher the sheen, the more defects will show.

sheen guide

It’s perfectly fine to mix a few types of finishes within the same room. While you’ll probably want to keep your walls a little more on the matte side, you can add in some high-gloss finishes on furniture, and semi-gloss finishes on accents like doors and trim.

interior paint finish


We hope that this article clarifies the fundamentals of Paint Finishes and helps you choose the right one!


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