Satin is easier to wipe clean while eggshell typically needs a little more effect to clean. Ideally use a cloth and warm soapy water to wipe clean both. But eggshell's slightly rougher surface means it will typically take longer to get it clean.
Semi-gloss is more durable and easier to clean.
Because the surface is slicker, it's more resistant to moisture and easier to go over with a damp cloth or special sprays designed for minor household disasters. (Either semi-gloss or satin finish, though, beats out their eggshell and flat/matte finishes for durability.)
Glossy finishes are much more stain-resistant than satin and flat. Gloss is also very easy to wipe down and wash, while low-gloss paints take a little more effort to clean. This makes higher-gloss paints very useful in kitchens, bathrooms and some dining rooms.
○ The finish produced by eggshell paint is a very gentle luster. ○ The appearance of eggshell is a strong color with a slight sheen. ○ Eggshell is less durable and more difficult to clean than a semi-gloss paint.
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.
Satin is more durable—an advantage in high-traffic spaces.
This is why satin paint is more resistant to dents, divots, scuffs, scratches, and stains, and more durable on the whole. Eggshell paint is more likely to become damaged by these impacts and abrasions because it has fewer binders and more pigment.
Types of Washable Paint
Both eggshell semi-gloss and satin acrylic latex paint are washable. However, a high-gloss oil-based paint produces the hardest finish, which is why we often use it for cabinet painting and doors, trim, and floors.
Satin paint is very durable, making it great for high-traffic areas. It can easily be cleaned, though it can lose its sheen if scrubbed too roughly. It is advised that you clean it with a wipe and avoid abrasive scrubs.
Satin. Perhaps the best all-around player when it comes to durability. The look: Right in the middle of the sheen spectrum, a satin finish is more light-reflecting than eggshell without appearing as shiny as semigloss. The Lowdown: Hides imperfections like bumpy walls reasonably well, and it's easy to clean.
Unlike satin, semi-gloss is rarely ever used on walls. Because of its higher light reflectivity, it shows every imperfection, highlights brushstrokes, and can appear slightly darker than the same color in a different finish.
Even more reflective than satin with a smooth sheen, semi-gloss paint gives rooms a shiny, sleek appearance. Because it offers high resistance to moisture, it works well in areas with higher humidity, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, as well as high-traffic spaces like doors and utility rooms.
Semi-gloss paints are ideal for surfaces and fittings, such as doors, trim, window casings, door frames, baseboards, and even retouching and restoration of furniture pieces, cabinets, built-ins, etc. This type of paint also works well for rooms with high-humidity levels, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
With all this said, however, eggshell paint finishes aren't as durable as others. While they do hold up well on walls and can handle the occasional cleanings, they are extremely susceptible to scuffs and marks from the occasional bump or scrape.
It all comes down to personal choice as to which is the best option for your project. As a guide, choose eggshell if you want a low sheen with a soft-touch finish. And for something with more luster, go for satin.
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!
Cons of Satin Paint
Since satin paint has a slight gloss level, it can be challenging to match the sheen of the existing paint when touching up small areas. Another potential downside is that satin paint can highlight dents, cracks, and other imperfections in the painted surface.
Satin paint has some sheen to it, and is an excellent choice for hardworking rooms, like kitchens and bathrooms. It stands up exceptionally well to scrubbing and regular cleaning. However, its glossiness highlights wall imperfections like cracks, divots or poorly patched areas.
Satin paint is less likely to show brush strokes on walls than other finishes. Satin also doesn't show roller marks if the wall is painted at once.
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.
“We advise a satin or semi-gloss finish,” says Consumer Reports' paint expert, Rico de Paz. “They're less likely to trap mold and are easier to clean than flat or eggshell finishes.” For information on all the paints we test, see CR's paint ratings.
Matte, flat, eggshell, or stain finishes are slightly more delicate and need a very mild cleaning solution. Use a small amount of dye-free hand soap or dishwashing detergent dissolved in warm water.
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.
Ideally, eggshell paint is best suited for ceilings, bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas where there is not a lot of dirt build-up or traffic. In addition, its medium-level durability provides added protection that a flat finish does not. For areas such as walls, eggshell works best and is easier to clean.
"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."