Different Kinds of Interior Paint Sheens

We understand that you want to be proud of their homes, especially when it comes to painting the interior of your homes. This is something you see and live with every single day and you want to feel good when you walk into a particular room. However, there’s a lot to know and a lot to do prior to painting. One important thing is picking out a paint sheen, not just a color. One big mistake many people make is picking out the wrong sheen for the room they’re painting. This article helps you understand the different kinds of interior paint sheens.

A lot of people just don’t understand what the difference is in the different interior paint sheens are and what type of rooms need to what kind of sheen. We hope that we can help you with this so that when you go out to buy your paint you’ll be able to find just the right sheen that is going to give your rooms the best finish possible. It can be very disappointing after you finish a project and it just doesn’t look right. Not only can it be disappointing but it could be costly if you end up deciding to repaint it.

A Good Rule of Thumb

A basic rule to always remember is this, the higher the sheen that a paint has the more of a shine your interior paint job is going to have. It also means that the more shine that your interior paint has the more durable the paint is going to be. So, this also can help you decide what type of room needs a particular sheen.

For example, a flat interior paint isn’t going to have any shine at all as compared to a paint that’s considered high-gloss is going to be all shine. Then there are types of paint that come between the flat and high-gloss which are satin, semi-gloss, and eggshell. Every one of these different paints will have their own different decorating purposes.

Interior Painting

Different Paint Sheens for Your Home

The chart below is to help give you an overview of the different paint sheens and what rooms they best work in. We hope that this will help you easily see which paints you might need to use in order to get the best paint job for your needs and the look you want.



Room needs paint that’s durable and can take a lot of abuse. High traffic area.


High-gloss or semi-gloss.



Can handle high traffic and it should be an easy paint to clean off.


Satin finish.



Need for smooth and clean looking walls and is an area of low traffic.


Eggshell finish.



Often a room with a need for high color but has very low traffic.


Flat or matt finish.



Room with high traffic, needs to hold up to high humidity, must be easy to clean.



High-Gloss Paint

This type of paint has the highest shine and it’s the most durable of all the interior paint choices. When it comes to a high shine, it also means that it reflects the most light as well. When it comes to its durability think about a kitchen appliance and how durable the paint is on them.

High-gloss paint is the ideal paint for rooms that get a lot of traffic and abuse from lots of sticky fingers and other grimy and dirty things that might attach itself to the walls. This kind of paint is great for kitchens, but also good for any kind of cabinets that are used often along with door frames throughout your home. All of these areas are touched often and need to be be cleaned easily. You just need to make sure you do good prep work prior and when you paint make sure to do so very carefully because the shine of this paint will show off any mistakes or bad brush strokes.

Semi-Gloss Paint

This is a great choice for rooms that have somewhat high traffic as well as have a lot of humidity or moisture such as your bathroom or your laundry room. These are rooms that need a hardy paint job as well as being relatively easy to clean and semi-gloss can do both. Semi-gloss can also be used for trim work.

Satin Paint

Rooms that have been painted with a satin paint often give off a really soft or velvety look which can give off a soothing feel. Like high-gloss and semi-gloss, satin is also a paint that can be used in rooms with somewhat high traffic because it’s quite easy to keep clean. The only drawback to satin is that it does easily reveal any flaws in the walls or the paint job itself, so you need to be careful when using it.

Satin is a popular sheen to use in living/family rooms as well as kid’s bedrooms since it can be easily wiped down.

Eggshell Paint

 This sheen probably falls between satin and flat when it comes to its durability and the sheen. This paints finish has a tiny bit of luster to it, sort of like that of an egg and that’s why it’s called eggshell.

Eggshell is a good paint to use on walls that might have imperfections because it hides them well. However, the durability isn’t as tough so it does better in rooms with lower traffic where there won’t be as much abuse, like a den or a study.

Matt or Flat Paint

 This kind of paint is the all-time best friend to walls that have things to hide. If you have walls with imperfections you’re going to want to consider using a matt or flat finish. This is because this kind of paint actually soaks up the light instead of reflecting, so it’s easier to hide imperfections. It also gives you the most coverage which means it saves you both time and money.

Flat or matt paint should be used in rooms that have low traffic such as adult bedrooms because this is one of the hardest paints to clean off. It’s definitely not one you’d use for a kids bedroom.

No matter which type of paint sheen you decide on, always remember to do all the right prep work that needs to be done first because that’s the only way any paint is going to look good. The last thing you want is to be unhappy with the work you’ve done and then decide you need to do it all over again.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *