Choosing the Right Interior Paint Finishes


Once you’ve decided on the perfect colour for your room/house, you will need to decide which finishing you want for them. Knowing the benefits of each finishing will help you determine the right one for your job. There are some particular application specifics that you should consider when selecting an interior paint finish.

Maintenance and Durability

Most manufacturers have developed all paint finishes with good cleaning qualities, with the shinier the paint finish, the better it will stand up to washing and cleaning. When painting children\’s rooms, use an eggshell or satin paint on the walls and semi-gloss for doors and moldings as these finishes are formulated to better withstand repeated cleanings.

Rustic Looks

In order to give a worn or old look, use flat finish paints for walls or furniture. If maintenance is an issue, you might select a flat enamel for trim or an eggshell finish for walls.

High Gloss Looks

Instead of using high gloss paint for a whole room, use it sparingly in selected locations, as brilliant surface can appear a bit cold and uninviting. Use it only on doors or trimmings, and remember to spend extra time preparing the surfaces to be painted glossy, as this finish tends to really point out any surface imperfections.

Ceiling Paint

Premixed finish paints can be bought from home improvement store and can be cheaper as maintenance or coverage is not of particular importance in consideration. Most ceilings are painted with a flat finish. An eggshell finish can also be selected if the surface of the ceiling is flawless. You can choose a glossier finish for reflection, but make sure that the ceiling is newly resurfaced and has no blemishes.

Kitchens and Baths

Semi-gloss paint is ideal for kitchen or bathroom, as surfaces will be exposed to water, splashing, or steam.

What Kind of Finishes Are There?

Matte Finish

Good to hide small wall bumps, cracks or other imperfections because it does not reflect light. This paint finish is usually used on interior walls. While some flat paints are washable, you will need to touch up scratches or marks by covering with a bit more paint, so remember to keep some on hand after finishing the paint job.

Flat Enamel

Flat enamel is a paint with a durable flat, matte finish. It\’s a good choice for powder rooms and halls, as it holds up to occasional cleaning.

Eggshell Finish

Eggshell finish has a tiny amount of sheen to it and is often used for windows, doors, trim or ceiling. It is good for walls and holds up better with cleaning than a flat finish paint. It is a good choice for interior walls and washes slightly better than flat wall paint. 

Satin Finish

A satin finish paint has smooth, velvety look with a bit more gloss. It is suitable for kids\’ room walls, kitchens, or bathrooms, or in areas which get a lot of traffic. Paint with a satin finish is formulated to hold up to cleaning and light scrubbing. Satin paint finishes do not hide imperfections in surfaces or application as well as the aforementioned finishes, and will reflect more light than eggshell and is a great choice for kids\’ rooms and trim as it stands up well to washing.


Semi-gloss paint is most often used on doors, trim, and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms and can be easily cleaned. It has a nice, subtle shine, without being too shiny. Ensure to prepare the surface well, as poorly prepared surfaces can be a bit distracting when highlighted by a semi-gloss surface.


High gloss paints will magnify any surface imperfections, so remember to prepare your surfaces well. Sanding is essential before painting with high gloss paints. It has a reflective quality, as their shiny finish mimics the look of enamel or plastic. It is popular for a dramatic look on cabinets, trim, and furniture in very formal and very contemporary settings.