Home Decorating Tips

Painting 101: Choosing a Paint Finish

choosing the right paint finishes and coats

Home Decorating Tips

Painting 101: Choosing a Paint Finish

Posted on June 9, 2015

Ever wondered why there are certain walls that look and feel different from others, even though you know they’ve all been painted over? Well, if you’re new to do-it-yourself painting, then you probably haven’t heard about paint finish all that much.

While most people think the job is done after they’ve picked out color schemes, they’re actually just 50% into the job. Choosing a paint finish is also another important decision you have to make. The good thing about a paint finish is there are no rules that you have to follow when you make the choice. It’s totally up to you! On the other hand, it still would do you good to know all about paint finish.

Here’s the painting 101 on paint finish including where they are best suited in your home:

What is Paint Finish?

Paint finish, also known as the sheen, refers to how the paint looks when it dries, the texture of the surface that paint creates and how it affects the way colors appear to the naked eye. This is the reason you should also consider the surface texture and finish that you want to end up with aside from the paint color itself. To help you decide, here are the four main types of finish you can use:


A flat or matte finish presents a smooth appearance. It’s best to use for formal rooms where most gatherings are held such as in your living and dining rooms. Flat finishes do not reflect light on the surface and provide the least amount of gloss. The best thing about this it helps hide imperfections as it goes smoother over rough surfaces. On the other hand, flat paint is harder to keep clean so it’s generally not recommended for kitchens and bathrooms.


Eggshell paint basically goes well with everything. In contrast with flat paint, the eggshell finish is a bit more lustrous than the flat finish but isn’t as glossy as the gloss finish. It’s easier to clean than flat paint which means it can be used in high traffic areas.


The glossy finish reflects the most light. It is the best choice for furniture that are often washed, like cabinets and doors. Glossy paint needs more coats and requires more preparation when compared to flat paint.


Semi-gloss is more durable than eggshell which means it lasts longer than eggshell. On the other hand, it reflects light which means wall imperfections will stand out.

Once you’ve decided what kind of finish you want for your room, you can now explore further color possibilities. Click here to start exploring!

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