As much as we talk about favorite paint colors and paint color trends on this blog, we haven't taken a deep dive into the second most important decision about paint yet. That happens today! Welcome to the discussion about choosing the perfect paint finish and how they impact the overall look and feel of your space.
Let's start by which paint finish makes sense in different scenarios in order to help you pick the right one for your home!
Choosing the Perfect Paint Finish
This finish has low reflectivity and tends to hide imperfections, and this is my go-to choice for ceilings. This finish, however, is not as easy to clean, so I would not recommend this in high traffic areas or high moisture spaces, like laundry rooms and bathrooms.
And word to the wise - patching a spot on a matte finish paint will never look right, now that the wall/door/trim has had contact with hand oils, hair oils, or any kind of stain with oil in its chemistry. Obviously the ceiling won't encounter a lot, if any, interaction at all, and would give you no real reflection, and that is why flat is my go-to for that area.
Eggshell has a very subtle shine and offers a washable finish that makes it a great choice for family rooms, hallways, and bedrooms. This is my personal go-to for walls because of the cleanability and of course the slight shine!
Designer Tip: I've recently started specifying eggshell finish in smaller secondary bathrooms upon the recommendation of my favorite paint contractor due to moisture resistance over flat paints while still maintaining a lesser sheen of shine.
We're stepping up the shine factor with a satin finish, but that shine makes this a really good choice for high traffic rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and children's bedrooms. Satin paint is a moisture resistant and therefore good for rooms where mold and mildew are a concern, so it's definitely a good choice for these types of rooms, as well as kitchen and bathroom cabinets. This finish is also used often for door and window trim for a touch of reflectivity as well.
Semi-gloss had a bit of a moment for kitchen cabinets back in the day, because the high shine factor made them very easy to clean. However, I personally now specify satin finish more often these days. A semi-gloss finish is a purposeful choice when you want that light reflection and possibly a more polished look, especially if we're talking about going all in on a dramatic color for walls, trim, and ceiling.
All of that being said, you are in charge of the ultimate decision for your own home, unless we're working together on your project, in which case I am here for guidance every step of the way!
I personally tend to recommend and specify either Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore colors, but I do recommend asking the contractors you're working with about their favorite paint. Paint technology updates so often that I have to trust the paint professionals that are actually applying the paint day in and day out.
Do you already have a go-to finish for your walls? If you're an eggshell paint connoisseur, give me a holler in the comments!