paint-finishThe process of picking out a new color for a room in your home can seem exciting at first, but once you get in front of the paint counter it can become challenging fairly quickly.  Most people show up with a specific color in mind that they will use to brighten up their kitchen or change the look of their den.  The detail they don’t always come prepared for is what type of finish will be best for their home improvement project.

Not all folks who are new to home improvement projects are aware of how many different options there are when it comes to paint finishes.  This decision can have a big impact on the final outcome as the finish you select will not only affect how the room ends up looking but also how durable your new paint is and how easy it is to clean.

Flat Finish

A flat finish (also referred to as matte finish) is easy to work with and provides excellent coverage.  This type of finish will help mask some tiny imperfections and is easy to apply on even lightly textured surfaces.  A flat finish is also the easiest to touch up or blend if you need to make future repairs.

This style of paint, while probably the easiest to use, does have one big disadvantage though – it can be very difficult to clean.  This makes flat finishes better suited for areas that don’t get a tremendous amount of traffic or handling like ceilings, hallway walls, or spare rooms.

Eggshell Finish

An eggshell finish provides a little more shine and reflects light better than a flat finish.  It is also a bit more durable and a bit easier to clean than flat paints.  This makes eggshell a good option for older kid’s bedrooms, dens, finished basements etc.

Satin Finish

Satin is the middle ground and the most popular of all finishes.  It is much easier to clean than a flat finish and much more durable which makes it a great option for higher traffic areas of the home.

Satin finishes also have good light reflective properties which help brighten up the rooms they are used in.  This finish is an excellent choice for kid’s bedrooms, playrooms, kitchens, and other high traffic areas in the home.


This finish has higher reflective properties than a satin finish and is more durable and easier to clean.  Semi-gloss finishes are also better at resisting damage from moisture and humidity.  These properties make this finish an excellent choice for rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom which get plenty of traffic and plenty of use and abuse.

High Gloss

True to the name, a high gloss finish will deliver the most sheen of any paint finish.  This finish is a bit too much for walls and ceilings but serves as a great choice for trim and woodwork.  High gloss finishes are very durable and very easy to clean but it can be very difficult to hide flaws with this finish.

With all of the choices at the paint counter your decision can feel a bit overwhelming.  When you are armed with the right information though, picking the right finish for your new home improvement project becomes fairly easy.  When you know the primary properties of each finish available you can make the best choice for your project in order to ensure that your renovation ends up exactly how you envision it.