How Paint Finish Can Make (or Break) a Room 

December 23, 2020

Matte, Eggshell, Glossy, Super-glossy, Satin, and Flat are just a few of the terms you will wrestle with when choosing a sheen or finish for your paint color. While we have visited the paint sheen or finish debate before, today we want to talk about how the finish, rather than the actual color can make a huge difference in every room. 

From the entryway, to the kitchen, and even to the high traffic room bathroom, finish (also known as sheen) makes a huge impact on how a hue diffuses in a room as well as how easy the surface can be cleaned. Here’s a closer look at how a finish can make or break the overall look of a room. flat brush

Types of Paint Finishes

When it’s time to paint a room in your home, color isn’t the only thing to consider. The sheen or finish is of utmost importance and can determine the overall look of the room. 

While different painters, home improvement stores, and brand name paints, like Benjamin Moore, use different terms, most finishes come in these main categories. 

  • Flat or Matte Paint is a term for a finish that does not reflect light, resulting in no sheen or shine reflection at all. This lack of reflection allows more paint pigment to come through. This also allows for imperfections in the wall such as scrapes, unevenness, and dings to be hidden thus creating a uniform surface.
  • Eggshell/Satin finish is popular with professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike. It has a low-sheen reminiscent of flat or matte, but it is infinitely more durable than its namesake.
  • Semi-gloss is one of the highest sheen looks. It is perfectly suited to highlight the architectural details of your home and create dimension on millwork, trim, and doors. 

blue room

Where To Use Each Finish

It’s important to understand which finish or sheen works best in certain spaces. High traffic spaces such as main hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens may do well with sheens or finishes that can be cleaned easily such as Eggshell, Satin, or even, Semi-gloss. Trim and moulding is also a good location to use higher sheen finishes as they tend to get the most fingerprints and smudges that will need to be wiped down with warm water and soap regularly. 

For areas that see less traffic, it may be a good idea to choose light absorbing sheens such as Matte or Flat paints. While these levels of sheen tend to be a bit less durable, they do make for a softer look that hides any imperfections in the walls. Plus, no one really wants their main rooms shining with semi-gloss. Save those for high traffic rooms. 

The Final Word

The finish of any color can truly make, or break the look of a room. Be sure to test out which finish you like best in each space. Talk to our specialists or try some of the virtual rooms that you can see you color and sheen in before you commit. 

Check out our Facebook page and portfolio page for inspiration for your next painting project. 


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