Eggshell? Semi-Gloss? A Guide to Paint Finishes
Selecting paint colors for your home can be challenging—and the task isn’t complete when you finally choose a color!
Deciding the appropriate paint finish is also a consideration. Below, a primer (no pun intended) on the five most common paint finishes:
Eggshell – If you can envision the very subtle sheen of the shell of an egg, you have an idea of how eggshell paint will appear when applied to a wall. With only a slight hint of shine, eggshell paint is ideal for most walls, and stands up to cleaning.
Flat – Flat (or matte) paint does not reflect light, making it another wise option for most walls. Flat paint camouflages bumps, small cracks or imperfections, and is washable.
Glossy – High-gloss paint has a near-reflective quality, mimicking the look of enamel or plastic. It is best applied (for dramatic effect) on cabinets, furniture or trim in contemporary or formal settings. Glossy paint magnifies surface imperfections, so sanding is essential before applying.
Satin – Satin paint has a smooth, velvety appearance, and is most often applied to doors, ceilings, windows or trim. It is particularly suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and in areas that see a lot of traffic.
Semi-Gloss - Semi-gloss paint is commonly applied to cabinets, doors and trim because it is easy to clean. Be diligent when preparing the surface for semi-gloss paint—the finish will accentuate a poorly-prepared area.