Brush up on Interior Paint Finishes

When you want to paint the rooms inside your home, not only will you have to pick a color, but you’ll have to select a paint sheen, too! The sheen refers to the gloss level and appearance of the paint. The higher the gloss level, the greater the shine! Finishes include gloss, semi-gloss, flat/matte, satin and eggshell, and each have their benefits and drawbacks. Read on to discover which type would work best for different applications in your home.


Of all the paint types, gloss has the highest sheen, providing an eye-catching, glass-like finish. It’s also easy to wipe down and is very durable. However, the high shine makes it very reflective and imperfections more noticeable. In addition, it can be tricky to create a smooth finish without any streaks. Gloss paint is best suited for door and window trim, baseboards and moldings.

The Malta floorplan - Kitchen


Semi-gloss paint gives a sleek and shiny look. It’s very durable and highly resistant to moisture, making it a good choice for rooms where walls may be affected by moisture, drips or grease stains, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It’s simple to wash and to wipe down to remove dust. Similar to gloss, it is also great for trim and woodwork, but can be difficult to apply and make existing blemishes more obvious.


If you want some sheen, satin is a good choice that provides an almost pearl-like finish. It can be used for high-traffic areas of your home, such as the Family Room, hallways and bedrooms, since it stands up well to scrubbing and resists stains better than non-reflective paints like flat paints. Because of satin’s shine though, it can highlight any cracks, divots or poorly patched areas in the wall. Any touch-ups will also be difficult to blend into the existing finish.

The Kahneman II floorplan - Family Room


If you have kids who are sure to leave fingerprints on the wall, consider eggshell paint, which is less glossy than satin paint, but shinier and simpler to wash than flat paint. It helps cover up wall imperfections and has moderate durability, making it the recommended finish for moderate traffic areas in your home, such as the living room or the dining room.


Flat, or matte, paint helps hide flaws in walls and ceilings as it has very little to no shine. Instead, it offers a smooth, velvety and uniform appearance and is the least reflective of the paint types. It requires less coats to achieve its color, making it easier to touch up. However, it’s the least durable of the paint finishes and any scrubbing is likely to wear down the paint. Flat paint works best for walls in adult bedrooms and low-traffic rooms.

Before painting, take some time to determine how often the room is used, how much shine you want there to be and the likelihood of it being scuffed up to determine the best paint finish to use. You’ll then be one step closer to bringing your vision to life!