Paint Finishes: Which One's Right for You?

calander Oct 1 , 2019 user-icon Nash Painting

Simply choosing to paint your interior is a big decision in and of itself. But once you’ve made that decision, the choices only get harder. You must decide if you’ll hire professional interior house painters or do it yourself. Then, you have to consider which brand of paint you’ll use, as well as which colors will work best for each of your interior spaces. On top of that, you must also determine the type of finish or sheen you want. How do you know which paint finish is right for you?

Choosing a paint finish is both a matter of looks and practicality. Let’s go over the different kinds of paint finishes out there, how they differ, and how to make the best choice for your home interior painting project.

Different Paint Finishes

Paint finishes or sheens can be broken into five main categories that lie on a spectrum from least to most shiny and durable. These finishes include flat/matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. Here’s more info on each one.


A flat finish doesn’t reflect light but absorbs it instead. As such, these finishes tend to make rooms look and feel a bit smaller. They also do a good job of covering up imperfections.


Next on the spectrum, eggshell finishes are mostly flat but reflect some light. This is a common finish for living rooms and dining rooms.


Satin finishes exist in the middle of the spectrum, offering the best of both worlds. This durable finish isn’t glossy enough to check your teeth in, but it’s not so flat that it looks dull.


One step below the shiniest finish, semi-gloss provides a durable, moisture- and oil-resistant finish that’s not too gaudy. You might find it in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as various types of trim and rails.


As its name suggests, high-gloss paint finish is very shiny, reflecting light and, therefore, making imperfections more noticeable. It’s also the most durable paint finish and the easiest to clean, making it a popular choice for industrial settings, as well as home kitchens and bathrooms.

Which Room are You Painting

With this information in mind, choosing a paint finish largely depends on the room that will be painted. Rooms that experience more activity or that are at greater risk of damage can benefit from a higher-gloss finish. Conversely, low-traffic and lightly used rooms may only require a flat or eggshell finish. If you choose to hire interior painting services, they can help you determine which paint finishes make sense for your various interior spaces.

What Look are You Going For?

Aside from durability concerns, picking a paint finish depends on your personal preference. How do you want your interior to look? High-gloss paint may be too gaudy for many homeowners, but some might light the reflective look. If you’re trying to hide wall imperfections, a flatter finish can help you achieve this. Eggshell and satin finishes are commonly found in homes because they reflect just enough light without being overbearing. They’re also somewhat easier to clean and maintain than flat/matte finishes.

With so many considerations and options in front of you, home painting can seem like a daunting task. Not to worry: Nash Painting is happy to help you not only pick the paint finish for your home, but apply it, too. We’re not your ordinary Nashville Painting company. We don’t cut corners or rush to get done early, and we’re not satisfied until you are. For more about us, our services, and our values, call us at (615) 829-6858 today!