Paint is one of the easiest ways to change the feel of a room – or even a home. A fresh coat of paint in a trendy color can update a room in an instant. Choosing the color is only one aspect of picking the right paint; the finish or sheen are also important aspects to the look and feel of the space.

Matte Finish

Matte finishes is are basically a flat finish. There is no sheen at all.  Today’s matte finishes reflect rich tones and are much more luxurious than the dull finishes of the past.   The reflectivity of this finish is 0-10%.  Using a matte finish is perfect for rooms that don’t see much foot traffic or dirt.  A matte finish on a wall also has the ability to hide imperfections.  The best use for matte finishes would be these recommended areas:

  Dining Rooms

  Formal Living Rooms

  Adult Bedrooms



Eggshell Finish

The eggshell finish offers slightly more sheen than a matte.  Rating between 10-25% reflection or sheen, an eggshell finish should still be used in low traffic areas.  It is more durable than a matte finish and slightly easier to clean.  Keep in mind though, they are not as durable as a satin or low or high gloss finish.  This paint finish has a medium level durability. The recommended areas for an eggshell finish would be:



Living areas

Dining areas


Satin Finish

Satin paint finishes have long been confused with eggshell finish because of their low luster.  They satin finish however is more a more durable paint with a 25-25% gloss finish.  The satin finish is also much easier to clean than matte or eggshell finish and provide an elegant finish.  This type of paint is recommended for rooms with higher traffic area, like these below along with other suggestions:




Door trims




Family Rooms

Children’s Bedrooms

**Note – You can also use a semi-gloss or low gloss in these same recommended areas.  A semi-gloss/low gloss has a wide range of reflectivity of 35-70%.


High Gloss

A high gloss finish offers a 70% or higher, reflective finish.  This paint is perfect for accents, such as:

Door Trims




Stair Railings/ Bannisters


Each of these types of paint finishes have variations as well. Today’s paints, whether you work with Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards or others, all have a gorgeous, rich colors to choose from.  Choosing the right paint finish throughout your home really takes planning for each room and the amount of traffic and cleaning you expect to do.  Hopefully this breakdown will help you make those choices!  Article information provided impart by