When it comes to painting, you can’t just pick a colour and paint. It’s a bit more complex than that. Each paint you see will have a different ‘sheen’, most commonly gloss, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell or matte. Again, you shouldn’t pick the one that you think looks nicer. Different sheens of paint are better suited to different types of room, based on the purpose of the room and the amount of traffic in the room, as well as lighting.

We’ll go through each common sheen of paint and explain what type of room it is best suited for based on a number of factors. 


Gloss

Gloss sheen paints are very popular and that’s for good reason. A paint with a gloss finish will provide a very durable coating that’s easy to clean, as well as having hard, shiny and highly reflective properties. All of these properties make a gloss finish paint perfect for kitchens, and you’ll have no issues cleaning your kitchen and bathroom with a gloss finish paint.

Suitable for: Kitchens

Pros:

  • Highly reflective
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • The shine can be too much for interior walls
  • Highlights bumps and rolls


Semi-gloss

A semi-gloss finish, similar to a gloss finish, is suited for rooms that are susceptible to moisture, splashes and grease stains. A semi-gloss finish won’t be quite as durable as a full gloss, however it’s still highly suited for a bathroom or kitchen. 

Suitable for: Kitchens, Bathrooms, Trims

Pros:

  • Reflective
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Highlights bumps and rolls


Satin

A satin finish can be very classy in the right colour, making it ideal for rooms with high traffic such as your living room or hallway. The finish is also suited for bedrooms. A satin finish is easy to clean and looks good, however it’s a devil for revealing preparation floors such as inconsistent paint strokes. 

Suitable for: Living rooms, bedrooms hallways

Pros:

  • Good durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Attractive finish

Cons:

  • Reveals application flaws


Eggshell

An eggshell finish provides no shine whatsoever and is perfect for a standard finish. It will cover up application imperfections, as well as preparation flaws and is perfect for a public space such as an office, as well as dining rooms and living rooms. The only downside of this paint is that it’s not as durable as other finishes, but it will still get the job done with a decent level of durability.

Suitable for: Public areas, dining rooms, living rooms

Pros:

  • Covers up imperfections

Cons:

  • Not the highest durability


Flat/Matte

A flat/matte finish of paint will soak up light, as oppose to a gloss finish which would reflect light. This paint finish will provide high coverage, saving time and money during application. The one downside is that it’s difficult to clean without damaging the coating. This paint is perfect for a room that requires a class finish that won’t take much dirt or roughing up.

Suitable for: Living room, bedrooms

Pros:

  • Hides imperfections
  • High coverage
  • Absorbs light

Cons:

  • Low durability
  • Hard to clean


Now that you know which paint you require, it's time to paint. Check out our guide here for tips on how to paint your first wall.