Easiest Paint Finishes To Clean 

June 29, 2022

If you have children, you know how important it is to find products that are easy to care for and clean, whether its clothes, toys, or the paint on your walls. For all the joys that children bring into our lives, they also bring messes and stains galore. 

No one likes to clean, especially when they don’t have to. So finding products that make cleaning easier (or less frequently needed) is important to maintaining sanity as a parent. 

While we can’t help you get those crayon stains off your leather couch, or the peanut butter out of your heat register, we can recommend some paint finishes that will make getting rid of tiny handprints, smudges, and marks just a little bit easier. 


Types of Paint Finishes 

There are a myriad of paint finishes or sheens on the market. As a Benjamin Moore dealer, we usually work with these seven main types of finishes. 

  • Flat
  • Matte
  • Eggshell
  • Pearl
  • Satin
  • Semi-Gloss
  • High Gloss

Finishes generally range on a scale from no shine to high shine. The higher the shine, the more reflective the coating, whereas the lower the shine, the less reflective the coating. The glossiness or shine also determines how easy or difficult a surface may be to clean. 

The Cleaning Scale 

If we are measuring how easy a paint is to wipe off marks, stains, and fingerprints, the answer is a bit complicated. The higher the shine, the glossier and more durable the out coat will be. That means that Satin, semi-gloss, and High Gloss will be the easiest to wipe away blemishes without harming the surfaces. 

That being said, not many homeowners want their interior walls to shine at that level. Usually, Satin, Semi-Gloss, and High Gloss are left to cabinets, trim, and doors. 

That leaves us at Pearl or Eggshell gloss. These sheen levels have a slight gloss to them but are still manageable when it comes to cleaning. Some experts say that these finishes are probably the best in terms of cleaning up for children, pets, and other situations that could cause a mess or stain on a wall surface. 

Matte and Flat finishes, on the other hand, are more challenging to clean if a stain has not been spotted immediately. (And who cleans constantly, really?) If you do splatter food, wine, or fingerpaints on a Flat or Matte wall be sure to clean it as soon as you notice it. That will lead to the best results. 

This chart shows a quick guide to Benjamin Moore sheens and finishes including how forgiving they are to blemishes and imperfections. 


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