Paint finishes – a guide for every room

Selecting the very best paint finishes for your household can appear to become as being a daunting task. From eggshell, matte, satin and gloss to milk, distemper, chalk and limewash, there is a apparently endless report on paint finishes, each utilizing their own characteristics and recommended usage.

Paint finishes may have because the result with an area since the color, which means you should make an informed decision when attemping to produce your paint tips to existence. Typically, matte paints are ideal for low-traffic areas that are unlikely to acquire scuffed or marked while glosses tend to be durable as well as for top-traffic rooms or individuals that are uncovered to high-levels of moisture and humidity.

‘If you’re finishing the job yourself, consider a water-based finish since these are easy-to-apply, quick drying and they have almost no odor,’ recommends Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. You’re going to get water-based paints in a wide array of finishes therefore you aren’t limited inside the look the paint will achieve


Choosing the right paint finishes for your household is determined by what you are painting where it’s located. Everybody knows the primary distinction between exterior and interior paint, however, beyond it feels a lot more complicated, specially when each brand appears to acquire their own names for each finish.

‘When selecting paint, matte and silk are ideal for walls. Matte tends to supply a more chalky appearance while silk features a slight sheen which is wipeable,’ states Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown. ‘Gloss and satin or eggshell are wonderful options for woodwork, nevertheless the paint finish you need is gloomier to taste. Gloss is a lot more from the statement, satin or eggshell more subtle.’

After you have selected the most effective paint finish for that space, make certain to learn to paint a wall to make certain you accomplish professional results.

While there is no universal classification for gloss paints, most companies utilize a percentage system to reflect the amount of sheen produced by their paint finishes so that you can get yourself a better understanding from the appearance it can make: the higher the proportion, the glossier the final outcome.


While using least expensive amount of sheen (between and 3 %), flat paint finishes, also called ultra flat, have a very smooth appearance and without any reflective characteristics. Since flat paint doesn’t reflect light, it is a great choice for walls including imperfections which can be highlighted by paint finishes with elevated sheen.

Despite being forgiving of imperfections already within the wall, flat paint finishes are very unforgiving of marks and stains. Consequently, flat paint finishes might be best appropriate for ceiling ideas and periodic-traffic places that they’ll retain their perfect appearance for longer.

Interior paint can also be referred to as flat matte – this means it has almost no sheen. For example, Farrow & Ball’s flat matte emulsion features a sheen amount of just 2 %.


Matte paint finishes are some of the most broadly used options for interior ceilings and walls. Offering a really subtle sheen (between three and 10 %), still produces almost no reflection but improves upon the durability of flat paint. Matte paint’s slightly velvety finish helps it be particularly well suited for family area paint ideas, diner color ideas and master bedroom color ideas.

‘Sheen level, like color, could be a personal preference. I like a deluxe matte finish, it appears especially wealthy and scrumptious in additional dark shades, as matte paint finishes afford an authentic depth for the shades due to the subtle texture of the chalky surface,’ states Ruth Mottershead.


Eggshell has really a sheen than flat or matte but much under gloss. Getting a sheen quantity of between 10 and 25, eggshell paint finishes are the ideal all-round choice .

‘Because of the durability, eggshell is fantastic for greater traffic areas as being a lounge or hallway. Small houses would fare best using this eggshell paint finishes as people and objects frequently touch walls where space is fixed,’ recommends Lyz Igwe, expert at Dowsing & Reynolds. ‘Also for individuals who’ve children’s sticky hands to cope with, then likewise use eggshell paint all over the place.’

However, you need to be cautious when working with eggshell incorporated in bathroom paint ideas since it will peel when considering into reference to moisture and humidity. There are 2 exceptions with this rule though. You need to use Acrylic Eggshell in the bathroom because it provides a tough acrylic resin that will repel the moisture, nonetheless it arrives with a glossier finish than straight eggshell. Acrylic Eggshell is extremely hardwearing and resistance against condensation, it’s even found in commercial kitchens. Additionally, there are some particularly formulated bathroom eggshell paints that have been designed to withstand the moisture and humidity from the space while still retaining an even more matte look.


Named after luxuriously soft fabrics, satin, velvet and silk paints are very similar paint finishes. Known as mid-sheen paints, they offer a midpoint involving the flat matte emulsions as well as the glossier paint finishes. Satin, velvet and silk paint have between 25 and 35 % sheen and are ideal for high-traffic areas that need an even more durable paint do not want the sleek finish from the gloss – perfect for painting cabinets.

If you are battling gloominess within your space, a silk finish is a good choice since it will reflect any light in to the room, instantly brightening the region. Choose lighter paint shades too as this will further raise the paint’s reflective characteristics.

Satin is particularly ideal for low moisture bathrooms and is a good choice when looking for paint finishes for that powder room ideas. However, if you are keen on a hot shower that generates plenty of steam inside the bathroom, consider going for a greater-gloss finish. If you are painting your bathrooms, it is also worth trying to find bathroom formulas or top jackets that will help your paint to face up to the moisture levels too.


Becasue it is name suggests, gloss paint features a glossy finish. Unlike its matte and eggshell counterparts, gloss paint features a high-sheen plus a reflective quality, bouncing light in the surface and in to the space.

Due to its reflective quality, it is best used sparingly to pay attention to details inside the room for instance mouldings or rails, to be able to offer added durability to high-traffic details for instance skirting boards, balustrades and colored kitchen cabinet ideas.


Chalk paint is most generally found in furniture upcycling projects. ‘People frequently think it’s referred to as chalk paint because chalk can be a key element, but it’s really with the way the paint looks. Its luxurious, textured finish as well as the depth of pigment gives upcycling projects a greater-finish feel,’ states Annie Sloan, founding father of paint company Annie Sloan. ‘Chalk paint dries with a velvety matte finish, so when sealed with either Wax or Lacquer, with regards to the look you would like, gives you a really hardwearing finish.’

An additional advantage of employing chalk paint could it be is relevant to practically any surface without making use of priming or sanding. ‘Eliminating the irritation of prepping furniture to paint will be a complete game-changer, enabling visitors to restore and re-love their existing furniture in almost no time,’ continues Annie, ‘You could make washes of colour, thick and textured paint, layered colours, or possibly an even modern finish.’