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How to choose an interior paint finish

How to Choose an Interior Paint Finish

If you don’t know which interior paint finish (or paint sheen) to choose from, the first step is to identify what you need your new paint to do. Aside from the different look and shine each paint finish provides, paint finishes with a higher gloss are more durable, making them great for high traffic areas. On the other hand, paint finishes with a lower amount of gloss will give you better cover or square footage – saving you money!

The five most common paint finishes are flat (or matte), eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. In this blog, we will give an overview of each paint finish including the pros and cons of each.


Flat Paint Finish (Matte)

Given its recent popularity, flat paint is great for giving your interior a modern feel. Since flat paint has little to no shine or gloss, it absorbs light, rather than reflecting it. Without gloss, this makes flat paint much harder to clean. In most cases, repainting or touching up stains or marks on flat paint is easier than trying to clean the surface.

Use Cases: Low traffic areas are best when using flat or matte paint. Adult’s bedrooms, offices, or any room that children don’t have access to are most ideal.

Durability: Low


Eggshell Paint Finish

Eggshell paint is great for adding a sophisticated or modern look similar to flat paint, but with some added durability. This paint is great for most of the interior spaces in your home, but when it comes to your high traffic areas, like the kitchen or bathroom, you might want to consider a finish with more gloss.

Use Cases: Any area that doesn’t need require regular cleaning is great for an eggshell finish. Living rooms, dining rooms, or even bedrooms are commonly painted with an eggshell paint finish.

Durability: Low-Medium


Satin Paint Finish

Satin paint is the perfect middle ground. It has enough gloss that it can easily be cleaned, but it is not so glossy that your interior walls will look shiny. It is important to keep in mind that paints with a glossy finish will show more detail and imperfections on the wall or ceiling you’re painting.

Use Cases: High traffic areas that need to be regularly cleaned should be painted with a satin finish. Kitchens, bathrooms, entryways or anywhere else that has the potential to get messy is great for satin paint.

Durability: Medium


Semi-Gloss Paint Finish

Semi-gloss paint finish really starts to show the shine. If not applied correctly, brush strokes or rollers marks will be visible after the paint has dried, this also makes touch-ups difficult later on. Since high gloss paint is more reflective, any imperfections in the wall, such as bumps or scratches, will be visible in the light.

Use Cases: Semi-gloss paint finish can be used in many of the same areas as satin, especially if you have additional mess-makers, such as children or pets. Many homeowners prefer to use semi-gloss on interior trim and railings since it can easily be wiped clean.

Durability: Medium-High


High-Gloss Paint Finish

High-gloss paint isn’t typically used on interior walls or ceiling. A high-gloss paint finish is most common for specialized jobs where you need durability and a high amount of gloss or shine wouldn’t look unnatural.

Use Cases: High-gloss paint finish is often used on interior accessories, such as doors, cabinets, or even furniture.

Durability: High


Need some help with interior painting in Halifax?

At Sanford’s painting, our team of interior painting experts are willing to take on jobs of any size, from one bedroom to an entire home, and that’s not all we do! We also specialize in exterior and commercial painting in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Contact us to get your project start!