How to Choose the Best Paint Finishes for Different Rooms in Your Home

Whether you’re embarking on a full-scale remodel or simply giving your walls a fresh coat of paint, choosing the right paint finish is essential to achieving the desired aesthetic and durability of painted surfaces. Different rooms in a home call for different finishes, considering factors like traffic, moisture levels, and the room’s purpose.

Paint Finishes

This blog post will guide you through the diverse types of finishes, such as matte, eggshell, satin, and gloss, and provide insights on where each finish fits best in a residential setting.

Understanding Paint Finishes

Before we delve into which paint finish is suitable for different rooms, it’s vital to comprehend what a paint finish is. A paint finish, or sheen, refers to the glossiness or shininess of the paint once it dries. It determines how light is reflected off the painted surface and how visible imperfections and marks will be. It also impacts the paint job’s durability and how easily it can be cleaned.

Different Types of Paint Finishes

Let’s take a look at the spectrum of paint finishes available, ranked from the least to the most glossy:

Matte or Flat

Matte or flat finishes offer the least reflection of light and give walls a velvety, luxurious look. They are excellent at hiding imperfections due to their non-reflective nature. However, matte finishes aren’t particularly durable and can be challenging to clean, making them less suitable for high-traffic or high-moisture areas.

Recommended use: Matte finishes work well in adult bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and ceilings, where the traffic is lower and the need for frequent cleaning is less.


Named for its resemblance to the low sheen of an eggshell, this finish strikes a balance between matte and glossy. It offers a slight shine and is more washable than matte finishes. Eggshell is also good at hiding wall imperfections and is quite durable.

Recommended use: Eggshell is ideal for family rooms, kids’ bedrooms, hallways, and other areas that see moderate traffic and need occasional cleaning.


Satin finishes have a smooth, velvety look with a moderate sheen. They are more durable and easier to clean than eggshell or matte finishes, resisting mildew, dirt, and stains. However, satin finishes can highlight wall imperfections.

Recommended use: Satin suits high-traffic areas and rooms prone to moisture or dirt, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and playrooms.


Semi-gloss finishes offer a high shine, reflecting light well and providing a bright, clean look. They’re durable, moisture-resistant, and easy to clean, often requiring a wipe to remove marks or stains. However, their reflective nature will make any wall imperfections more visible.

Paint Finishes

Recommended use: Semi-gloss is an excellent choice for doors, trim, cabinets, and areas with heavy use or moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens.


The most reflective and durable of all finishes, high-gloss is almost mirror-like in appearance. It’s highly resistant to moisture and is the easiest finish to clean. However, a high-gloss finish will highlight any wall imperfections and may look too bright in large areas.

Recommended use: High gloss is best reserved for surfaces that need frequent cleaning or endure heavy use, such as doors, trim, and furniture. It’s not commonly used on walls due to its extreme shine.

Choosing the right paint finish for your home involves considering each room’s function, traffic, and moisture level, as well as the condition of the surfaces to be painted. By understanding the characteristics of each finish, you can make an informed decision that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your rooms while also ensuring the longevity and cleanliness of your walls. So the next time you decide to give your home a new lease of life with a fresh paint job, keep these guidelines in mind. Happy painting!