When should you use flat paint?

Author: Fermin Gerhold  |  Last update: Friday, December 1, 2023

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.

What are the negatives of flat paint?

If your wall has imperfections like uneven texture, patches or joints, flat paint will absorb light and make them less noticeable. However, flat finishes are not very durable and need to be carefully cleaned. Scrubbing flat paint could wear down the finish and cause sheen to appear in patchy spots.

What is the purpose of flat paint?

Flat paint has a velvety, matte look and is the best choice to hide any wall imperfections. However, it's the least durable choice and doesn't usually stand up well to scrubbing.

Should I use eggshell or flat paint?

You can't really go wrong with eggshell finish on your walls. Sometimes called satin finish, eggshell has slightly more luster than a flat finish, but you won't be left with shiny walls. It also resists stains better than flat and can be wiped with a wet rag.

Should I use flat or satin interior 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.

Paint Sheen Differences Explained In 5 Minutes

What are the pros and cons of flat interior paint?

Matte and Flat
  • Pros: Matte and flat finishes cover imperfections in surface and application, making them a great choice for ceilings as well as walls in the bedroom, dining room and living room. ...
  • Cons: In general, they hold dirt and are difficult to clean because cleaning can actually remove the finish.

Should I use flat paint for living room?

Flat paint works best in low-traffic areas, such as the master bedroom, a study, or a formal living room. “Be careful if you are someone like me who is constantly moving furniture around or has children with particularly grubby fingers—flat doesn't clean up quite as easily,” Henderson says.

What paint finish do interior designers use?

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. The name eggshell stems from the fact the finish appears mostly flat with just a touch of luster... similar to a chicken egg!

What are the cons of eggshell paint?

Eggshell Finish

The Cons: It is very hard to touch up. Because it has the slight sheen to it, it's almost impossible to only add a new layer in small areas without it being visible. Usually a “touch-up” of eggshell means re-doing a full wall. Best For: Walls in any room where you want a little more sheen.

Does flat paint look darker than eggshell?

Flat has a chalky appearance in finish, absorbs light, and can make a color look slightly lighter. Semi-gloss/gloss will make a color look darker. The sheen will reflect the light, causing the color to be darker. Matte or eggshell usually the most true to color when considering finish.

Why not to use flat paint on walls?

Flat paint is not well suited to bathrooms or other high-moisture areas. It doesn't resist moisture, mold, or mildew well, so you're likely to end up with problems down the road. Instead, choose a high-quality eggshell or satin. You can even use semi-gloss if you want a shiny look.

Why do painters like flat paint?

Flat paint has more pigment than any other finish, which is why it's also known as concealer paint—it's also called matte paint. It's completely nonreflective, so the paint will soak up any light directed at it. Flat paint tends to be easier to apply than other finishes, and it also usually a less expensive option.

Does anyone use flat paint?

Flat paint will always be better for builders and painters. It costs less, downplays flaws in drywall, and can be touched up easily without showing roller marks. In new builds, it is almost always used by builders and painters. Painters often paint rooms that require modifications after initial painting.

Does flat paint wipe off?

Does flat paint wipe clean? You can wipe flat paint clean, but you'll want to use a light hand so you don't remove any paint along with dirt and debris. Wipe the walls with a dry cloth and then run a sponge soaked with warm water over any stains. Don't scrub.

Why does flat paint mark so easily?

Even if paint is not actually scraped away or scratched off, the color can be harmed by abrasion, especially on low-sheen finishes such as flat and matte. The problem is that low-sheen finishes contain microscopic hairs which stand on end and absorb light so that the surface does not reflect.

Does flat paint scratch easily?

Does matte paint scratch easily? Despite being forgiving of imperfections already present in the wall, matte paint finishes tend not to be so forgiving of scuffs and marks. For this reason, experts would usually recommend against using them in high-traffic areas.

When should you use eggshell paint?

  1. One of the most popular types of wall paint, eggshell finish provides a low sheen and a soft, smooth finish just like a true eggshell.
  2. Perfect for low- to mid-traffic areas like hallways, living rooms, entryways and family rooms.
  3. Eggshell paint is more washable than flat sheens, and it resists stains and scuffs.

Why is eggshell paint so popular?

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.

Why do apartments use eggshell paint?

Eggshell finishes are more durable and easier to clean than flat finishes, but the subtle texture can show inconsistencies like roller marks.

What paint finish is best to wipe clean?

High Gloss

The most durable and easy to clean of all paint sheens, high-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. Think appliance-paint tough. High gloss is a good choice for areas that sticky fingers touch — cabinets, trim, and doors.

What is the most popular paint finish for interior walls?

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.

What paint do most contractors use?

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.

Should living room walls be flat or semi-gloss?

If your space has huge windows and lots of natural light, a flat paint finish can work well. If you want something more shiny and reflective, choose satin or semi-gloss. If you don't want your walls totally lustrous, you can paint trim or crown molding with a semi-gloss sheen.

Does flat paint make a room darker?

Painting in a flat, matte or satin finishes will soak up light, while semi-gloss, high-gloss and lacquer finishes tend to reflect light, which make a darker room feel brighter and lighter, said Edith Gregson, partner at DJ Ireland Interior Architecture & Design, an interior design firm in Washington DC.

What color hides imperfections best?

Using Dark Color Paint:

Just like the same way, flat finishes reduce dent visibility; darker paints also reflect less light than lighter paints. This makes them a better choice for hiding drywall imperfections. The only drawback of using dark color paint often makes the room look smaller.

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