How To Choose The Right Paint Finish

So you’ve finally decided to take the leap and start on that painting project you’ve been thinking about for such a long time. But now that you’ve started doing some color and comparison shopping you realize there’s a lot more to choose from than just the color.

choose the right paint finish

Now, you have to decide which finish you want for each room, and yes, the finish does make a difference! Choosing the right paint finish for your project is important to a lasting success. So, how do you know which paint finish is right for your project? Here’s what you should know about how to choose the right paint finish.

What is the Right Paint Finish?

The type of paint finish you choose will largely depend on the conditions your paint will need to withstand. Certain paint finishes will stand up better in kitchens while others are best suited for the bedrooms or family rooms. Here are the basics on each paint finish and which rooms they are best suited for.

Flat or Matte

A flat enamel offers a durable matte finish. This finish brings a bit more depth in the color tone, and when dry, the matte finish will display your chosen color in a slightly truer tone. Stains are a little more difficult to remove from this type of paint finish because the non-reflective surface is more porous than other finishes, allowing dirt and debris to be trapped more easily. This can make cleaning more challenging, so it’s important to keep this in consideration when choosing the right paint finish for your project. A matte finish is best suited for low-traffic areas like bedrooms and guestrooms.


This finish mimics the sheen on the shell of an egg – hence the name. Offering the slightest hint of a shine, this paint finish will tolerate cleaning better than a matte or flat finish. Often the go-to choice for businesses and homeowners alike, an eggshell finish offers the best of both worlds – excellent color saturation with the ability to tolerate cleaning very well. An eggshell finish is great for clean, smooth walls in low-traffic areas like bedrooms, home offices, and dining rooms.


A satin finish will deliver a smooth, velvety look, with durability to tolerate cleaning and even light scrubbing well. Most often, this finish is chosen for windows, doors, and trim. This type of paint finish is great for kids’ rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms due to its durability, resistance to humidity, and tolerance to frequent cleaning.

Semi or High Gloss

Just as the names sound, these two finishes offer a semi-reflective and a highly-reflective finish. Both finishes tolerate cleaning exceptionally well, but it’s important to note that application of these glossy finishes will require a lot more pre-paint wall preparation than other types of paint finishes. This finish is best suited for kitchens due to its durability and easy cleaning.