Eggshell, Satin, and Matte, Oh My!

How to choose the perfect paint finish for every room in the house.

So you've come up with an amazing color scheme and you're ready to go to town on those walls. Not so fast! There is one very important thing to consider before you get started: paint finishes. Choosing a paint finish is a practical and aesthetic choice. Appearance, of course, is of utmost important to all homeowners. But each paint finish also has its practical advantages. There are a few useful rules of thumb that will help you make the best paint finish choice for every room of your house. The rules are simple. You'll be ready to get going in no time. The finishes below are organized from most matte (least reflective) to glossiest (most reflective).


Otherwise known as "flat," a matte finish gives walls a soft, velvety appearance. Of all of the paint finish options, it reflects the least amount of light. This blurs imperfections like dents and scratches. Walls painted with matte paint can be cleaned with a wet sponge, but it doesn't wipe clean quite as easily as its higher gloss counterparts (more on those later). So matte paint isn't the best choice for high traffic areas, but it's perfect for adult bedrooms, ceilings, and dining rooms.


Also known as “satin,” eggshell paint reflects more light than matte and can bring a slightly more lustrous appearance to your walls. It is better at resisting stains than matte, and it’s definitely easier to clean. It’s not ideal for super high traffic areas, but it can certainly take a little wear and tear. Eggshell paint is the perfect choice for areas that need some extra protection but wouldn't benefit from a glossier appearance. Think children's bedrooms, hallways, and so on.


Semi-gloss paint is a fantastic solution for high traffic areas. George Schneider Painting makes sure your walls are in good condition before painting because imperfections will definitely be noticeable with semi-gloss paint. If little hands smear Nutella® on walls painted with semi-gloss paint, don't worry--a semi-gloss finish is extremely easy to clean, which makes it just perfect for kids’ rooms. Kitchens, bathrooms, and recreation rooms are also smart places for easy to clean and durable semi-gloss paint.


Gloss paint does not mess around. It is by far the most durable, shines like a diamond, and wipes clean as a whiteboard. One important thing to keep in mind is that dark paint colors tend to exaggerate the look of glossy finishes. When going dark, go down one sheen level from what you would ordinarily choose. Gloss paint is a popular choice for window frames, door trim, banisters, furniture, and accent walls. It can be a lot of fun to experiment with; where can you envision it in your home?

In summary...

The higher the sheen, the more the imperfections on the surface of your walls will stand out. The more matte, the better imperfections will be hidden. Matte paint wears easier and is harder to clean. Higher-gloss paints are more durable and easier to clean. Easy enough, right? Call Bob Schneider and let us help you choose all the finishes for your house. 215-901-5254.