Gloss or Eggshell: Do Paint Finishes Really Matter?

Posted on Jul 12th 2022

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Gloss or Eggshell: Do Paint Finishes Really Matter?

It's easy to spend hours choosing between paint swatches to find the perfect color for your next painting project, but you may not realize that paint finish requires just as much thought. Selecting an effective finish for different areas and surfaces of your home will help highlight the most flattering aspects of your home. Here, we've explained why your paint's finish matters and provided a guide to help you choose. From gloss to eggshell, we've got you covered.

Why Do Paint Finishes Matter?

Sheen, or the amount of light reflected off the paint's surface, determines a paint's finish. Some paints contain little to no sheen and give walls a matte appearance, while other paints are glossy and smooth due to the high amount of sheen.

Finish plays an equally important role in the look of a room as color. Different areas of your home require different paint finishes depending on the effect you want the room to have. There are six common paint finishes to keep in mind before deciding on the perfect paint choice for your space.

Choosing the right paint finish can be tricky - Painter1 can help.

High Gloss Finish

A high gloss finish contains upwards of 85 percent sheen, giving it an almost mirror–like effect. It's a popular finish for bold shades due to the depth and richness of the gloss. While this finish contains too much shine for most interior walls, it's ideal for dim rooms and surfaces that see more wear and tear, such as cabinets, trims, and doors. The biggest drawback to high gloss paints is that they are difficult to apply and show imperfections easily, so prep work is more time–consuming. But don't worry, the experts of Painter1 are great at what they do and will apply high gloss plaints quickly with no imperfections.

  • Pros: Durable, easy to clean, resistant to moisture
  • Cons: Low coverage, requires more prep work, difficult to apply

Semi–Gloss Finish

Semi–gloss is a more livable glossy finish, containing only 35–75 percent sheen while retaining higher durability. Though it's too reflective for use in living rooms or bedrooms, it works well for trims and cabinets in spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms that experience a lot of moisture.

  • Pros: Durable, easy to clean, resistant to moisture
  • Cons: Low coverage, requires more prep work, difficult to apply

Satin Finish

A satin finish appears velvety or pearl–like on interior walls and contains a 25–35 percent sheen. It is easy to clean and relatively durable, though flaws can still peek through due to its low coverage. Many homeowners find satin finishes a flattering and functional choice for walls in high–traffic areas.

  • Pros: Fairly durable, easy to clean, resistant to moisture
  • Cons: Low coverage

Eggshell Finish

Less lustrous than a satin finish with a 10–25 percent sheen, an eggshell finish appears almost matte with a subtle polish. It covers flaws well and is easier to clean than flat and matte paints, making it a popular choice for living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, and other rooms that experience a low level of moisture.

  • Pros: Better coverage, easy to clean, resistant to moisture
  • Cons: Slightly less durable

Matte and Flat Finish

A matte or flat finish contains only 0–10 percent sheen. These finishes absorb light rather than reflect it, allowing more paint pigment to come through. This creates a high coverage that will hide virtually any flaws found on walls. The tradeoff is that they are less durable and can only take a light, infrequent cleaning. Homeowners will find these finishes best used on ceilings or in low-traffic areas of the home where there is less chance of scuffs and scratches.

  • Pros: High coverage
  • Cons: Easy to damage, difficult to clean, not resistant to moisture

An Essential Decision

The finish of your paint is just as essential a decision as color in every painting project. We hope this guide gives you a better idea of the different paint sheen options and how to use them effectively.

At Painter1, our professional house painters can answer any questions you have about what paint finish is best for your home. Once you've decided on your paint color and finish, you can rely on our trustworthy crew to do the job, from prep to clean up. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Our professionals at Painter1 are happy to help you navigate colors and finishes.