Which is the perfect interior paint finish for your project?

A simple way to renew the look of your home's interior is to add a fresh coat of paint. You'll be able cover smears and imperfections on your walls, plus brighten up your space.

Once you choose the color, the next decision is selecting the type of interior paint. Choosing the right paint for your project begins with understanding the different options.

Flat paint. This type is often used by contractors. It has a matte finish and does not reflect light. Flat paint does not wash well so cleaning the wall will result in loss of paint saturation on the wall. However, its main advantage is that it hides imperfections on walls well.

Eggshell. Eggshell paints have matte finishes and an attractive, understated shine. It will wash slightly better than flat paints, allowing for light cleaning when needed. However, it will not hide imperfections on surfaces as well as flat paints.

Satin. A satin features a medium gloss finish that reflects a greater level of light. It's a common choice for bathrooms and kitchens. The final finish is not high-gloss, but it is very smooth and attractive. Imperfections will not be hidden, but the paint is highly washable and will stand up to high levels of humidity.

Semi-gloss and high-gloss. These types of paint are the most reflective paint finishes. They are excellent choices for kitchens, bathrooms and high traffic areas as they can withstand high humidity and a great deal of washing. Semi-gloss and high-gloss are often picked for painting baseboards and other trim pieces due to how easy the finish is to clean. Also, these types are ideal for furniture as they give a nice sheen to the wood. Like satins and eggshells, semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes will not hide imperfections on the wall well.

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What Kind of Paint Is Best for a Master Bathroom?


paint, master bathroom
Whether you go for custom paint work or a coat of semigloss, repainting can transform your master bathroom. (Photo courtesy of member Emily C. of Clifton, New Jersey)

When remodeling, the type of paint you select for your bathroom is more important than the color. Semi-gloss or satin? Depends on the condition of the walls.


The information on flat wall paint is somewhat outdated and misleading. Some home improvement shows and articles are misleading the public into thinking that flat wall paint is not washable. This is simply not the case these days. The Ultra-Premium Paint Lines nowadays can have a great deal of washability, and some are even scrubbable. Porter's “Silk N Touch” Flat is our Preferred Wall Paint because it is Highly Washable in Flat, even Stain “Resistant”, Self Priming, and is superb at hiding imperfections in drywall. And let’s not forget what the previous gentleman said “you can go back and touch up any area and there are not telltale marks where you did the touch-up”. Hiding drywall imperfections, in my opinion, make flat wall paint the preferred sheen for most walls in residential homes. With flat paint being washable these days, I don’t see any reason to use anything else on walls. With just a couple of exceptions such as: wall’s in bathrooms where there is a high humidity levels from those that like to take a lot of hot showers, or baths, and above countertops and stoves where constant cleaning is needed. Most residential builders require a level 3 drywall finish. I even see level 3 finishes on homes priced over 500k. A Level 5 finish is the highest finish available and a level 4 is a lot more expensive than a level 3. One of the biggest mistake’s I see homeowners make when painting walls is applying a wall paint with a sheen, like Satin, to walls that have a lot of natural light. “Light walls” as their called, are walls that stand perpendicular to a light source. When viewed at an angle the drywall imperfections are highly noticeable on light walls making them a really choice for shiny wall paint. I think some people believe that Satin is more “luxurious” or that is more “High End”. I’ve even heard a few people tell me that they like the way it “feels”. Which I think is kind of funny because I for one don’t go around “feeling” walls.

Flat paint is preferred by contractors because it is "forgiving"- tht is, you can go back and touch up any area and there are not telltale marks where you did the touch-up. With ANY other finish, even matte, if you find, let's say a bubble or you remove a picture hook later on in the life of the paint job, your touch-up will show.

i would like to be able to print the articles. a link for friendly print would be nice on your website.

Clear, basic, helpful information.

I tend to like an eggshell on interior walls. Applied correctly it looks great. Some flat/matte paints are quite cleanable now days.

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