How to Choose the Right Paint Finish

December 16, 2016 3 min read

Aerial view of open paint cans, showing paint inside of them.

Everything You Need to Know about the 5 Common Paint Types

When it comes to painting your home’s interior, the first – and most obvious – choice to make involves choosing a color that represents the look you are striving to achieve. But even if you’re not a paint specialist, or have little experience painting in general, there’s an even more important decision you should be making: What type of paint finish you should use.

With the new paint technology available, the decision of what finish to use, is based more on what you like rather than needing to use a certain finish to attain durability and stain release. With a few exceptions, the durability and washability of a paint is determined by the quality of the paint rather than the finish. Choosing from the five main types of paint finishes can seem a bit overwhelming, but knowing a little more about each one (and all of their differences) will help you make the right choice for your space!

Flat Paint

Characterized by its pale finish, flat paint absorbs any and all lighting due to its non-reflective finish. For that same reason, it helps cover up any marks or blemishes on the wall or ceiling it is used on. So, if you’re looking to skillfully hide any uneven areas and make walls appear smoother in general, use flat paint to get the job done. Ceilings are also a great spot to use flat paint to help hide any bumps or blemishes.

Matte Paint

Similar to flat finish, matte finish absorbs light and allows for less light reflection but with a bit more of a velvet finish which is perfect for a more elegant look. A perfect finish for walls when you don’t want light reflection.

Eggshell Paint

An extremely versatile paint finish, eggshell contains a bit more luster than flat and matte paint. This type of paint finish is great for areas that may have moisture and need to be wiped more frequently. These rooms can include your kitchen and bathroom. It’s long lasting and really easy to maintain – another reason why paint companies suggest it often. Another added bonus? Eggshell finish can resist stains better than flat can, keeping your space looking beautiful for many years. Many people like this finish for its sheen as well, which can brighten a darker space by allowing the light to reflect back.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Because the sheen of semi-gloss is strong and tough, painters often use this finish on trim and furniture. However, when dry it will show reflections from lighting wherever it is used. Therefore, it is a good choice for trim and doors but not for walls or ceilings, as it will highlight any flaws.

High-Gloss Paint

Known most for its ability to highlight furniture, trim, railings, molding and shutters, high-gloss paint is extremely shiny and hard. With a high durability rate, it is the a great choice for exterior doors or when doing interior trim and cabinets in a modern decorating theme. It isn’t normally suggested to use high-gloss for any interior walls, but using it to highlight any of the aforementioned areas will guarantee to brighten a room or space. While it does require a fair amount of prep work before using, high-gloss can be a good choice for certain decor.

Satin Paint

It may be similar to eggshell and semi-gloss in quite a few ways, but satin paint has a truly unique, warm finish and creamy look. This finish is a perfect choice for trim and furniture when it is done in the proper paint. Some people like to use this finish in kitchens and bathrooms where they want more light reflection than the eggshell finish provides.

Paint Store in PA

Choosing the right paint finish for your next painting project doesn’t have to be stressful, especially when you’ve taken all your options into mind and weigh out the pro’s and con’s. While each painting retailer, from Benjamin Moore to Pittsburgh Paint, has their own specific versions of each paint finish, they still stay true to the characteristics described.

If you find yourself needing more information, or would like to get a first-hand look at the best paint finishes available on the market, stop by and of Gleco Paint’s Pennsylvania paint store locations. In addition to carrying a variety of interior and exterior paint types and finishes, we also provide paint applicator equipment and offer Internet specials on a handful of our products. Contact Gleco Paint today at 570-839-2840, or stop by in person to say hello!

Also in Our Blog


September 01, 2023 2 min read

The old school thinking that you can’t wear white after Labour Day is as silly as believing you can’t drink coffee on days that end in Y. And we simply don’t want to live in a world where either is true.
Read More
Light blue house with a bright red front door, with green bushes and trees in front.
4 Reasons to Paint the Exterior of Your Home in Spring

May 01, 2023 3 min read

It’s time to revamp the exterior of your house! Whether you’re spending time on your deck barbecuing or hosting a backyard picnic, having a freshly painted exterior can make a difference to the overall feel of your home. 
Read More

April 08, 2023 3 min read

Have you heard the phrase, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression”? As many have experienced this first hand, they understand how crucial a first impression is. But first impressions don’t start when you say the first hello, first impressions start when the newcomer walks up the front steps to your door. No matter the colour, your front door is more than a transition from the outdoors in, your front door is the first hello.
Read More