Satin finishes are the most commonly used paint for interior walls. They are easier to clean than flat and eggshell paints, which makes them a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, and playrooms.
Eggshell is the most commonly used sheen for interior walls. It is a good middle ground, having enough sheen so that it is easily washable, but not too much to where any wall imperfection will stand out. The look of the eggshell finish is quite attractive for interior painting projects.
For paint that will provide decent durability without the reflectivity of high-gloss finishes, choose a satin finish. Cost: Eggshell paint is more cost-effective than satin paint. Homeowners looking to save at the paint store or repaint large areas are better off going with an eggshell finish.
Eggshell is a good option for those who like flatter finishes but still want to wipe down the walls from time to time. While satin is undoubtedly a more durable option, eggshell is a good all-around sheen for any room. If you like the eggshell look in your kitchen or bathroom, don't be afraid to use it.
In the living room and dining room, opt for an eggshell or satin finish.
Shelby Girard, vice president of Havenly's design team, says her rules of thumb are to do an eggshell or matte finish on walls and ceilings, especially in ancillary spaces like bedrooms and offices, but to use satin on trim and doors.
The best paint finish for walls
Eggshell is always an interior designer's preferred paint finish, which is why our founder, Nicole, an interior designer, chose this as our ultimate finish for walls.
From the perspective of a Color Designer/Consultant, I typically specify eggshell on walls for multiple reasons that benefit the people who are dwelling in the home. Eggshell paint cleans easier, covers better, wears better, and lasts longer than flat paint.
It depends on the surface you are painting. For interior walls in high-traffic spaces like a mudroom, satin or eggshell finishes work best. Flat or matte finishes work best for most ceilings and semi-gloss is recommended for interior trim and doors.
We recommend matte paints for bedrooms and as living room paint finishes where the walls are exposed to less moisture, choosing a glossier eggshell finish for kitchens and as a paint finish for bathrooms, which are more prone to moisture, as well as children's rooms, which might need more regular cleaning.
Pros: A satin finish reflects more light than matte and stands up well to washing. Use in high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, the kitchen and a kid's room as well as on trim and molding throughout the house. Cons: This finish does not hide imperfections in surface or application; any touch-ups will stand out.
Best for: Family rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. Satin, which is a little more hard-wearing than eggshell, works well in those rooms and also in kitchens, dining areas, children's bedrooms, and bathrooms. Many satin finishes are tough enough to use on trim as well.
"It is the easiest paint to wipe clean and is great for all areas of the home, including bathrooms and kitchens," she says. "I only use a gloss or semi-gloss paint on base, case, trim, and cabinetry."
A washable finish is a necessity for high-traffic rooms, so flat or matte paint finishes are out. Eggshell or satin finishes are a good choice for stain resistance, durability, long wear, coverage, and ease of cleaning.
Satin and low-lustre paints have a slightly higher sheen than eggshell finishes. Paints in this category are warmer and provide a greater appearance of depth than flat paints. They also resist stains better than flat paints.
Choose your sheen based on how much traffic the area receives. Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections. It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.
It's no secret that light colors make a room look larger, especially if the space is bathed in natural light. Eggshell or satin finishes will help reflect the light, creating the appearance of even more space. What's more, it works no matter your aesthetic or room type.
In many such situations, the builder, seller, or low-cost painter used a low-grade flat paint for three reasons: the first is that it is inexpensive; the second is that it is easy to touch up; the third is that it hides imperfections in the drywall walls.
Satin finish paint has a smooth, velvety look with a bit more gloss than eggshell. It is most often used for windows, doors, trim, or ceilings, but it can also be used as wall paint. This is particularly suitable for kids' rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas that get a lot of traffic.
Eggshell paint sheen is popular for many good reasons. It is an attractive, one-size-fits-all paint sheen that draws out the best in a paint's color. At the same time, eggshell is cleanable and somewhat resistant to wear and tear.
You should be using flat paint on walls and areas that have a lot of bumps, scratches, or holes. Since it can conceal these blemishes easily, it'll be the one paint finish you'll want to be using. It's best for low-traffic rooms that have a ton of light like offices and more formal rooms, like dining rooms.
Eggshell finishes are more durable and easier to clean than flat finishes, but the subtle texture can show inconsistencies like roller marks.
The more reflective or glossy the paint sheen, the more noticeable those imperfections will be. Conversely, flat or matte finishes absorb light, helping to hide bumps and bruises. So, paint with a flat finish is the most effective paint for hiding wall imperfections.
Eggshell paints are more washable and scrubbable than a flat or matte option. They have a slightly lower sheen than satin, but offer a similar level of durability. Eggshell paints are ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and family rooms with more traffic and fingerprints since they can be wiped clean more easily.
Contractors are often requested to use low- or zero-VOC paints, and this is something they can get from Sherwin-Williams in a variety of their paint lines. Sherwin-Williams paint is thick because it uses more solids, which makes it easier to work with and will cover more surface area.