Guide to Paint Finishes

Choosing the wrong type type of paint could end up costing you twice as much.

Picking the right sheen is important not only for look but also for durability. Choosing the right sheen can help walls that have something to hide or draw your eye to beautiful accents.

The higher the sheen, the higher the shine, and the higher the shine the more durable the finish.

High-gloss is all shine, and flat paint has no shine at all. In between are eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss, each has its own job to do.

High Gloss

The most durable and easiest to clean of all the sheens.

It looks hard, super-shiny, and light bounces off it.

High Gloss is great for areas that get lots of abuse, think kitchen cabinets and doors or areas you want to highlight like crown molding. Wow it is a highly durable paint it does come with some drawbacks, It will highlight any mistakes on the surface it is on. It is important to makes sure the surface is perfectly prepped before applying or bumps will stick out like a sore thumb.


A very durable and easy to clean paint sheen.

It looks shiny but is not as in your face as a High Gloss.

Semi-Gloss is a great for rooms that take a lot of abuse. Like rooms that might get a lot of moisture, drips and grease stains, think kitchens and bathrooms. It is also a go-to choice for trim work in common areas that get alot of traffic, or chair rails.


A (perfect) balance of shine and durability and the most common sheen we use.

It is often described as velvety.

Satin is great for all rooms. It is durable, cleanable, and has a just enough shine. Think kitchens, family rooms, hallways, kids rooms. The biggest drawback is the way it show application flaws, like brush strokes and roller marks.


Can be described as between satin and flat on the sheen and durability.

Named eggshell for its flat but some shine like an chickens egg shell.

This can be a great choice for areas that don’t get alot of bumps. Eggshell helps hide the marks a more novice panter may make and still holds a little more durability then Flat or Matte.

Flat or Matte

Ideal for rooms with something to hide and ceilings.

Flat colors soak up light, so it's a great choice for walls that have something to hide. It has the most pigment too and will provide the most coverage. The drawback is this sheen does not clean well. When wiping smudges from the wall it is not uncommon to see your paint come with it.