A Guide To Choosing The Right Paint Finish For Your Home


Choosing an interior paint finish for your home can be a tricky process and is dependent entirely on your preference. When deciding on a finish, you should have an idea of the amount of shine and durability you want the coat to have. Typically, finishes with a high shine level are going to provide more durability for your wall color. 

What Is A Paint Finish?

Paint sheen or finish refers to the amount of light that paint reflects when applied. Paints that have high sheen reflect more light whereas paints with a lower sheen absorb more light. Picking a finish for a room will not only depend on its durability but also on the kind of ambiance you want the room to have. 

What Are The Different Types of Paint Finishes?

The most common paint finishes you can choose from are: flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. If you are unsure of the benefits and strengths each finish can provide each room, use this guide below for reference. 


Flat (or Matte): Being the most opaque and shineless, this highly pigmented finish will provide the most coverage to your walls or ceilings which will save you time and money. However, this paint is hard to clean so is not suggested for kitchens, baths or kids rooms. 


Eggshell: If you’re looking for something with a little more luster, than an eggshell finish is for you. Eggshell covers imperfections in walls well and is great for spaces that don’t receive a lot of bumps and scuffs. This finish works well with decorative spaces as it cleans up a little better than a flat/matte while also providing a more sophisticated feel. 


Satin:  Arguably the most popular paint finish there is, satin has more sheen than eggshell and also cleans better. Often described as velvety, satin is a good choice for doors, hallways, bedrooms, and family rooms. The only flaw is that it is unforgiving to application flaws like roller or brush strokes. Touch-ups can also be tricky with this type of finish. 


Semi-Gloss:  A semi-gloss will give the room a subtle shine. It works great for rooms that receive a lot of moisture, drips or grease stains. Semi-gloss is also scrubbable so it works well on trim moldings, windows and doors. You can also use this in the kitchen and bathrooms. 


High-gloss: One of the most durable and scrubbable finishes there is, high-gloss is a hard, ultra-shiny and light-reflecting finish. It is perfect for areas of the house that receive the most traffic like a kitchen and bathroom. With this easy to clean finish, cabinet doors are no match for sticky fingers and you can say goodbye to food splatter or crayon marks. Just be mindful of its high shine, as it will show every imperfection on the wall so it may not be suitable for all rooms in the house. 


When you're deciding on a sheen, always keep in mind that the higher the sheen, the more dark and intense the color will be. High gloss paint reflects light and will show more imperfections on it versus a duller sheen. If you do decide to choose a paint finish with more sheen, take the time to properly prepare the walls and make them extra smooth.  


Still unsure which paint will pair well with each room? Here are our recommendations:


Kitchens: For this busy room, you will need a paint that is easy to clean and durable. We recommend using paint with high gloss or semi-high gloss finish. 


Family Room: Your family room will also need to have walls that are easy to clean and can withstand high traffic. We recommend a satin finish. 


Dining Room: Clean, smooth walls are important for dining areas, which is why we recommend a finish that will absorb more light. Use eggshell to help hide any bumps or imperfections in the walls. 


Bedrooms: Using a flat or matte finish in your bedroom will provide the most pigmented coverage, saving you time (and money) from having to apply a second coat. 


Hopefully, you found this guide helpful when choosing paint finishes! If you have any more questions regarding paints or any other aspects of designing your home, contact the expert home builders at Bay to Beach Builders!