There are five different types of paint sheens: flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

We will discuss types of paint sheens so that you can get further information about them.


Flat paint has more pigment than other types of paint sheens. It’s also famous for concealer paint and matte paint. This type of paint isn’t reflective so it will soak up any light directed at it. Flat paint is more accessible to apply than other finishes and is usually a less expensive option.

  • Flat paint is a perfect choice to hide wall imperfections because it has a velvety, matte look.
  • But it’s the least durable choice and doesn’t usually stand up well to scrubbing.

Where Should I Use Flat Paint

Flat paint provides a simple smooth appearance. Because it doesn’t reflect light directly, imperfections in walls and ceilings are much less noticeable.

Where Shouldn’t I Use Flat Paint

Don’t use flat paint on high-traffic areas like bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms because it’s hard to clean. But, if you use high-quality flat paint, you can scrub away any imperfections on the wall after 30 days of painting the surface.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Flat Paint Sheen

Hides wall surface imperfections
Easier to apply               
Less expensive
        Less durable
Scrubbing removes paint
Not moisture-resistant  


Eggshell paint sheen is famous for many good reasons. Eggshell is cleanable and resistant to wear and tear.

Eggshell looks and feels flat but with a slight gloss to it. Eggshell paint is between matte and satin paint sheens.

Eggshell paint reflects more light compared to matte. The low luster with an eggshell paint sheen pulls out more of the paint’s color than a flat sheen. It can give the room a soft glow.

Where Should I Use Eggshell Paint

If you called any paint sheen universal, it would be eggshell. In fact, except for the ceiling, you can use it on any surface.

Eggshell paint sheen is perfect for walls in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, offices, and finished basements. You can apply it in higher-traffic areas.

Where Shouldn’t I Use Eggshell Paint Sheen

You shouldn’t use eggshell paint on a heavily textured ceiling because it draws more attention to the uneven texture.

Eggshell paint isn’t perfect in high-traffic areas.

This type of finish isn’t durable to last in high-traffic areas.

You should avoid this finish if you have kids or pets since kids tend to smear dirt or touch the walls.

Benefits Of Using Eggshell Paint Sheen

Eggshell paint applies easily and cleans well.

Conceals Surface Flaws

Eggshell has more excellent reflectivity that highlights flaws on the surface. Eggshell paint covers imperfections pretty well. It doesn’t reflect much light and thus does a good job of hiding flaws. The more matte the paint sheen, the better it is at hiding bumps, grooves, and pitting.

Easy Application

All you need is a good roller. You shouldn’t use more than moderate pressure and roll from floor to ceiling in one direction.

This helps in avoiding roller marks. You may do two coats for the best results.

Other glossier paints demand a professional painter, as fixing any flaws you make while painting is complex.

Easy To Clean

Eggshell paint is easy to wash and provides good resistance to scuffs and stains.

Eggshell paint has enough gloss to prevent stains from soaking in. Also, burnishing is a problem with matte paint. Burnishing happens when you rub the paint too much. Eggshell’s light gloss prevents or disguises burnishing.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Eggshell Paint Sheen

Easy to apply   
Hides imperfections
Hard to touch up  


Satin is one of the types of paint sheen that falls directly in the middle of the range of interior or exterior paint sheens. It is glossier than eggshell finish paint but flatter than semi-gloss paint. Unlike gloss or semi-gloss paint, satin paint doesn’t produce reflections in low light.

Satin paint is versatile; it can also look different according to the light.

Where Should I Use Satin Paint Sheen

It is possible to use satin paint for applications where cleanability and durability are important. You can use satin paint on select low-impact surfaces like door casings, door and window trim, and doors and windows.

Satin paint is perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, offices, and finished basements.

Where Shouldn’t I Use Satin Paint Sheen

To avoid reflection, you should not use satin paint on walls that receive a lot of direct sunlight.

Satin paint is a wrong choice for walls with numerous imperfections in them. This paint is expensive, so stick with the more economical options if you’re trying to brighten a room on a tight budget.

Benefits of satin paint sheen

Easy To Clean

Satin paint is a good option for children’s rooms and kitchens as it cleans up so well. Satin paint’s tight pores mean that markers, food stains, dirt, and liquids clean off well. Because of these tight pores, satin paint stands up moderately well to water.

Easy To Apply

Satin paint is easy to apply. It’s not as easy as flat paint, with its rapid drying time (30 minutes or less) and resistance to lap marks. However, drying and curing don’t take as long as gloss paint (2 to 3 hours or more). Moreover, lap marks are difficult to avoid in gloss and semi-gloss paint.

Satin paint may take about an hour to dry in optimal conditions. When applying satin paint, lap marks are unlikely to appear.

Advantages and disadvantages of satin paint sheen


  • Resists moisture better than matte or eggshell paints
  • It can use indoors or outdoors
  • It provides a subtle glow that adds depth to a room.
  • More Durable than other finishes
  • A richer gloss due to increased pigment particles.
  • Easier to clean
  • It hides flaws better than semi-gloss or high-gloss


  • Excessive scrubbing causes loss of sheen.
  • Requires more prep work.
  • Pricier than matte or eggshell paint
  • Yellows over time
  • Not ideal for older homes,
  • It dries quickly


Semi-gloss paint is a classic finish that you can use throughout your house. It sits between a high-gloss and flat finish which makes it perfect.

Semi-gloss has much more sheen than satin paint sheen. This type of paint sheen is thick due to the high sheen in the paint. It dries slowly. On average, semi-gloss paint may take 2 hours to dry enough for a recoat.

Semi-gloss paints may not have the high shine or luster of high-gloss finishes. But they are more durable than flat paints with a matte finish. It is stain-resistant.

Semi-gloss paint is easy to apply for minor touch-ups to furniture and toys. But it can also be ideal for a larger project like refinishing your bathroom walls.

Where Should I Use Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss paint can be perfect for rooms where moisture, drips, and grease stains frequently appear on the walls. It’s durable paint. You can scrub clean of imperfections due to its high level of sheen. It is the perfect choice for kids’ bedrooms and playrooms.

It’s also an appropriate finish for your home’s trimmings, like mantels, stair railings, cabinetry, and crown molding. Because the sheen makes these architectural elements pop.

Where Shouldn’t I Use Semi-Gloss Paint Sheen

It would be best not to use a semi-gloss paint sheen on imperfect surfaces since the light reflectance may accentuate those flaws.

Benefits Of Semi-Gloss Paint Sheen

Durable and easy to clean

It’s best to opt for a higher gloss finish for easy cleanup of messes like fingerprints and smudges. Semi-gloss is an excellent choice as its slick surface is moisture-resistant and can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth or special sprays.

Semi-gloss is a higher sheen. It’s easy to clean it without making it lose its shine. If you have kids, semi-gloss paint is better than satin paint.

Advantages and disadvantages of semi-gloss paint sheen

Highly resistant to moisture
Easy to clean
Reflects a significant amount of light  
Reveals some imperfections in whatever surface  


High gloss paint is famous for being super shiny and light reflecting, giving it an almost mirror-like look. Most designers consider it a specialty finish since it creates a brilliant sheen.

High gloss is your best bet if you’re looking for paint with a gleaming and reflective appearance. Not only does it look great, but it’s also the most durable and stain-resistant finish available. Additionally, cleaning high-gloss paint is a breeze.

You can use them on doors and cabinets exposed to dirt and oil. It is possible to use them for trim and some woodwork. High gloss paint can emphasize surface imperfections.

Where Should I Use high-gloss paint?

You may use high-gloss finishes on interior doors, trim, high-traffic areas, and exterior doors. High-gloss finishes are perfect for anywhere you want to create a unique atmosphere. But it requires good preparation.

High-gloss finishes may be a great way to add dimension or detail to a room. You should consider using the same color on the walls and trim but vary the finish.

Where Shouldn’t I Use High-Gloss Paint

As with semi-gloss paint, you shouldn’t use it on an area that is not entirely smooth because it reflects so much light it will highlight any flaws. Plus, it is not advisable to use it for furniture and walls.

Benefits Of High-Gloss Paint

More Durable

High-gloss paints are famous for durability and the ability to repel stains, smudges, and rain from unprotected surfaces. Since high-gloss and sheen paints are more durable, they’re a go-to choice when homeowners are looking for a finish that will last many years.

Moisture Resistance

High-gloss paint is resistant to moisture far better than paints with less sheen. The paint holds up well even in a bathroom where steam from a shower or bathtub condenses the walls and ceilings.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of High-Gloss Paint

Very shiny
Easy to clean
More durable  
Shows imperfections  

Paint Sheen’s Durability, Dry Time, Usage, And PVC Range

Paint finishesSheenDurabilityDry timePerfect forPVC range
FlatNoneLow30 minutes to 1 hourImperfect walls, ceilings, low-traffic rooms like diving rooms and bedrooms40-80%
EggshellMedium-lowMedium-low1 hourMedium traffic areas: Hallways, kids’ bedrooms, living rooms, and laundry rooms35-40%
SatinMediumMedium2 hoursHigh-traffic areas: trim, doors and millwork, cabinets/furniture, architectural details30-40%
Semi-glossHighHigh1 hourHigh-traffic areas: trim, doors, millwork, cabinets/furniture, wainscoting.15-25%
High-glossHighHigh1 to 1 ½ hoursHigh-traffic areas: trim, doors, millwork, cabinets/furniture, and wainscoting.0-15%


As you learned above, types of paint sheens include Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-Gloss, and High-Gloss. All types of paint sheens offer their distinct benefits. When choosing a paint sheen, it’s essential to consider the area you are painting. We hope that this article will help you with your future project.