Home Decorating Tips

An Introduction to Eggshell Paint

what is eggshell paint finish and when do you use it

Home Decorating Tips

An Introduction to Eggshell Paint

Posted on November 24, 2021

In choosing paints, color usually takes center stage. We often forget that there are other aspects to consider like sheen or finish, which affects the register of paint color. It can also influence the mood of a room, and even the maintenance of a surface. Arguably, this makes it an important feature to consider.

One of the more popular types of sheen is eggshell paint. What is eggshell paint?
As the name would imply, it actually does look like the surface of an eggshell. If you don’t want shiny walls, but want a little more luster than a flat finish, eggshell paint is perfect for you. Learn more about eggshell paint uses in this introduction.

Why You Would Choose Eggshell Paint

Better Cleanability

Eggshell paint is suitable for those who prefer low-maintenance interior surfaces. It is stain-resistant and is often used in high-traffic areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and kids’ rooms. 

Unlike flat finishes, eggshell paint has more gloss to prevent stains from soaking in. It also prevents burnishing or the lightening of paint when it is rubbed too much.


Eggshell is hard wearing. From the moment that it is drying, this paint finish forms a protective outer surface around itself. It is perfect for rooms like living areas where there are always a lot of people.

Easy Application

If you’re familiar with lapping, you know how difficult it is to paint adjacent rows. Lapping happens when paint lines begin to show and overlap with each other. With glossier paint, this issue is more prominent.

Although it has a little luster, eggshell paint is flat enough for lapping to be unnoticeable. This saves you time in application as stripes melt into each other, making for a cleaner finish.

Surface Flaws Cover Up

With reflective surfaces, flaws are highlighted. In other words, the more reflective a surface is, the more it can highlight imperfections on your surface. This makes high or even semi gloss paints to show more flaws than eggshell. The general rule is that the more matte the finish, the better it is to hide pitting, scratches, and bumps.

Mural Painting

For those who are considering murals for their rooms, eggshell paint finish is the most popular option. You can paint layers above it, plus you won’t have to use any top coat to maintain a sheen. Top coatings can make murals turn yellow, and you wouldn’t want to mess with a work of art.

More Decorative

Unlike flat paint, eggshell leaves your room with a more decorative feel with its soft sheen and gleam. It’s not too shiny to be too extravagant, but leaves just the right kind of enhancement a room needs.

Eggshell paint also offers a balanced combination of pigment and strength. This is because when the pigment of a paint decreases, the strength of a paint is increased. With eggshell sheen, you get durability without sacrificing shine and luster.

More Cost-effective than Satin

Sheen is one of the factors that affect paint costs. The rule of thumb is, glossier paints tend to be more expensive than flatter paints. Even when you compare paint pails, glossier paints tend to be heavier because they have more solid binders.

Although eggshell paint may only be four to five percent less costly than satin paint, the difference is more noticeable when you need to buy multiple gallons to coat many rooms, a house, or even entire buildings.

When To Use

Eggshell paint is ideal for a lot of areas. It’s perfect for kids’ rooms as it’s hard-wearing, easy to clean, and can make a room look larger. It’s good for high-traffic areas like living rooms for its durability. While bathrooms and kitchens benefit from eggshell finishes as these areas need more cleaning than others. 

Eggshell paint can be used for furnishings too. This type of finish gives it a more moisturized and rich look without being too shiny. It has the added bonus of hiding imperfections like the unavoidable scratches on your furniture, especially for those with pets! Touch-ups will be easier with eggshell paint.

When Not To Use

There are also limitations to eggshell paint uses. For surfaces that generally should not have a flat sheen, eggshell paint is not recommended. Particularly, do not use this for the ceiling, and architectural details like door frames, and window trims. Semi-gloss or even high gloss paints are needed for these areas to stand out from the relatively flat nature of walls.

Eggshell paint is a highly viable interior and even exterior paint finish option. With different eggshell paint uses, it’s no wonder why it can be an easy choice for some homeowners. We hope your questions were addressed and this introduction guided you to learn about what eggshell paint is.

Read more about paint finishes and other home improvement needs here

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