No Room is Complete Without the Proper Paint Finish

When you’re planning your next paint project, remember that you’ll not only be choosing paint colors, but you’ll be deciding on a paint finish as well. There are typically 5 standard paint finishes to choose from within every paint manufacturers’ line that range from matte (no shine) to high-gloss. From an aesthetic perspective, the finish you choose will add visual interest to your project. From a practical standpoint, the paint finish will determine how long the paint job lasts and how easy it is to keep clean. We wanted to share these tips to help you make the right choice for every job.


At one end of the spectrum, you’ll find the flat or matte finish that has no gloss or shine to it. This paint finish absorbs light and helps hide surface imperfections, making it ideal for areas of the home where irregularities or slight damage may exist.

Matte paints contain the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, which translates to time and money savings. However, flat paint isn’t very durable, so scuff marks and scratches may appear over time and you may actually remove some of the paint when you try to clean it. It’s best to use matte paint in low-traffic areas, adults’ bedrooms, and other interior rooms where kids don’t typically hang out.


Next up is eggshell, which has a bit more gloss than flat paint, giving it a slight luster that’s similar to that of a chicken’s egg, thus the name. Eggshell covers wall imperfections well but isn’t as durable as shinier paint finishes. It’s easier to keep clean than completely flat paints, but it’s still best used in space that don’t get a lot of bumps and scuffs like dining rooms, guest rooms, or formal living rooms.


Semigloss paints reflect light for a bright, shiny appearance. Use it in areas of the house you want to brighten up like kitchens and bathrooms, but not in bedrooms or dens where more muted tones are usually preferred. The big advantage of this paint finish is that stands up well to water and moderate scrubbing, which is another reason it’s ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms that are cleaned more frequently. This finish is also good for trim, doors, and furniture. Keep in mind that if there are any imperfections in your painting surface, then semigloss paint will highlight those flaws.


Satin paint is similar to semigloss, except it has more of a warm, pearl-like finish. Satin paint is also excellent at resisting mildew, dirt, and stains, and is much easier to clean than eggshell or flat finishes. Try this finish in hallways, children’s rooms, and woodwork that will need to withstand modest wear and tear. Its biggest drawback is that it reveals application flaws, such as roller or brush strokes and touch-ups later can be tricky.


High-gloss paints show depth of color better than any other paint finish, making it ideal for deep, jewel-toned colors such as ruby reds, forest greens, and navy blues. Design experts love this finish for wood surfaces that are often touched and get lots of use like cabinets, trim, and doors because it’s the most durable and easiest to clean of all paint finishes. However, high-gloss paint is too much for entire walls and it will show every blemish in your painting surface. Prep work is essential to create a smooth painting surface.

Metallic Paint and Specialty Finishes

If you’re looking to give your interior design a little something extra to really make it pop, then consider one of the metallic and specialty coatings offered by Spray Finishes. We offer 7 durable, earth-friendly options not typically found in most paint manufacturers’ product lines, including Liqua pearl, Zolatone, and Solid Metal.

If you have a paint project in mind, but aren’t sure about what paint finish to choose, contact Spray Finishes, a division of Stone Services.  We’ve been in the electrostatic spray painting business since 1938. We specialize in painting residential and commercial properties and have a 10,000 square foot shop for large off-site jobs. Contact Spray Finishes today for estimate on your next painting project.

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