what is the best paint finish for walls and trim picture

What’s The Best Paint Finish?

Ever wonder what the best paint finish is? And what the difference between flat and eggshell paint is? Or gloss and semigloss? The following guide will help you decipher paint and sheen terminology so you’ll know exactly what you’re buying.

Basic Types Of Finishes

Paint comes in different sheens, or levels of glossiness. The “finish” of a paint describes how shiny it is on the surface once dry. Paints come in three basic finishes: flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss.

what is the best paint finish for walls and trim picture

Semi-gloss paint is the most durable finish of the three because it has more resins than flat paint. Eggshell paint is somewhere in between but has fewer resins than semi-gloss.

So if you were to rub your finger against a wall finished in semi-gloss paint, it would show less of a smudge than one painted with eggshell.

Both eggshell and semi-gloss paints are easy to clean, which makes them ideal for door and trim surfaces that get lots of use.

A Flat tends to be more formal and is best used on ceilings and other parts of the home that don’t need frequent cleaning.

Flat Paint Finish

A flat finish feels like soft sandpaper has little to no sheen, and is good for hiding flaws in walls.

It is not for areas of your home that are prone to scuffs (like kids’ rooms or high-traffic entryways).

However, it is great for hiding small cracks or imperfections.

Flat is also good if you prefer a more traditional look over a glossy finish.

Related Article Is Flat Paint Washable?

What Is Matte Finish Paint?

Matte is basically the same as flat.

A non-reflective finish that is best used for low-traffic areas and ceilings.

Where Should I Use Flat Paint?

Flat paint is a good choice for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms where people tend to be more careful about furniture placement but still want a modern look.

It is also used on ceilings because it gives them a crispy clean look.

Flat paint finishes are not ideal for high-traffic areas, kids, or pets that tend to touch the wall a lot.

Eggshell Finish Paint

The eggshell finish is a higher sheen than flat, and it is more durable. It is ideal for areas of your home that are high traffic.

Generally, eggshell has a 6-8 mil thickness. This finish is very durable, but also easy to clean.

Where Should I Use Eggshell Finish?

It can be used in any room of the house. This finish comes in a variety of colors, making it a popular choice for homeowners.

The durability of this finish makes it ideal for the bathroom or kitchen.

eggshell paint finish

What Is Satin Finish Paint?

Satin finish has a 7-9 mil thickness and has the same qualities as the eggshell finish, but is not as shiny.

It is resistant to scratching and staining.

This finish gives you that elegant look that you desire while still providing you with the durability needed in high-traffic areas.

Satin eggshell paint can be used in any room of the house where you want an elegant look.

Eggshell and Satin are very similar, therefore, some paints will not have a Satin product only an Eggshell.

Semi-Gloss Finish PaintA

A semi-gloss finish paint is a finish that is typically used to cover trim or doors.

Or if you are painting kitchen cabinets.


It is the most durable and shiny finish of the three most basic finishes (flat, eggshell,semi-gloss) because it has more resins than the others.

High-Gloss is, as the name suggests, a higher gloss sheen and more reflective, and slightly more durable.

How to paint wood bedroom doors with semi gloss paint finish

What Is The Easiest Paint Finish To Clean?

Both eggshell and semi-gloss paints are easy to clean, which makes them ideal for door and trim surfaces that get lots of use.

Flat paint tends to be more formal and is best used on ceilings and other parts of the home that don’t need frequent cleaning.

Determine the sheen you want before you go to the store.

All paint has a sheen level ranging from matte (0) to high gloss (10). The higher the sheen, the more light reflects off the surface of your walls.

What Is The Easiest Paint Finish To Clean?

What Is The Best Paint Finish For A Bathroom?

The best finish for bathroom walls is an eggshell finish.

It is moisture-resistant and easy to clean.

Eggshell finishes are great for small bathrooms with bad ventilation

Related Article What Paint To Use For Bathrooms

What Is The Best Paint Finish For A Bathroom?

Best Paint Finish To Use On Garage Walls

The most durable option would be an Eggshell finish.

However, Scuff-X is a great option for Garages because it is very scuff-resistant.

Check out this Scuff-X review.

Related Article How To Paint Concrete Garage Floors

What Paint Finish For Exterior Should I Use?

The exterior walls of a home need to be able to withstand all kinds of weather conditions.

Satin finishes are the most used finishes and the ones that I would suggest.

They are water-resistant and easy to clean.

The Most Durable Finish For Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets endure a lot of traffic therefore it’s optimal to use a sheen that is Satin/Eggshell and higher (i.e. Semi-Gloss or High-gloss).

The majority of cabinets will be a semi-gloss finish.

Related Article How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets

What Is The Best Finish For Living Room Paint?

Since living rooms are a common area they need a more durable finish than flat.

A satin/eggshell paint finish is the most commonly used amongst homeowners.

The Best Paint Finish Hiding Wall Imperfections

If you are selling a home then I would suggest you use flat paint to hide all imperfections that your walls might have.

Flat paint does not reflect light, therefore imperfections and uneven areas will not cast a shadow and become less noticeable.

Related Article Is it Ok to Use Ceiling Paint on Walls?

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