The House & Home Guide To Paint Finishes

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We break down the different paint finishes and how to best use them below.

matte paint finish living room

Matte/Flat 

Why: Creates a rich, soft and slightly chalky-looking finish that absorbs light well to help hide any surface imperfections.

Where: Low traffic surfaces with little washing required, such as living rooms and ceilings.

Eggshell/Satin 

Why: Contains a slightly higher sheen level and is easier to clean. Reflects light for richness.

Where: Higher-traffic areas, where fingerprints may appear. Also, kitchen cabinets, trim and baseboard moldings.

high gloss paint finish living room

Semigloss 

Why: Provides a radiant look that’s resistant to moisture. Gives a polished sheen to woodwork.

Where: Use on trim to highlight and create definition. Also, use on walls in bathrooms, kitchens and kids’ rooms.

High Gloss 

Why: Glamorous shine that looks wet. Will accentuate imperfections, so be sure to sand and prime walls carefully first.

Where: Architectural details worthy of attention. Also good for ceilings to reflect light.

Want more inspiration? Discover House & Home‘s Best White Paint Colors.





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