All paints are available in a variety of sheens that range from flat to high gloss. The basic rule of thumb to go by is simple – the higher the sheen the shinier the finish and the higher the durability. To summarize, a flat paint has low to no sheen, and low durability, while a gloss would have high sheen and high durability. As always, cheaper products will have much lower durability than a high-quality product. For example, a low-quality semi-gloss might have the same level of durability as a high-quality eggshell. As to what finish is the best for your project – Let’s take a look.

Flat – Flat paints have low to no shine. The advantages of flat paints are they provide the easiest application with the most uniform finish. Since there is no sheen, flat paints also hide imperfections the best, and generally touch up well. The main drawbacks to flat paint is they hold on to dust and dirt more easily and they don’t wash very well. Usually if you scrub a flat paint it will smudge. Flat paints are a great option for new construction, ceilings, and on walls that have been repaired to hide remaining imperfections. A flat paint is not recommended on kitchen or bathroom walls.

Matte – Matte paints have a very low sheen that gives them more durability than a flat (think the sheen of a sheet of plain white paper). The product that we carry – PPG HiHide Ceramic Matte works great in just about any area of your house including bathrooms and kitchens. If you want a low sheen and good scrubbability. A matte finish would be a great choice.

Eggshell – The next step up in sheen is Eggshell. Eggshell is probably the most common sheen selected as it will do well in just about any area of a house from living rooms to bedrooms to bathrooms. The only drawback to eggshell is they have enough shine to them that they start highlighting imperfections, so they aren’t the best choice for walls that have been repaired or need repairs.

Satin – Satin paints have more sheen than eggshell and go great in high traffic areas due to their high scrubbability. They work well in bathrooms, kitchens, and commercial spaces where you would expect to need to wipe down dirty walls without smudging your paint job. Whether you like to have a shine on your walls is a matter of preference, but note that satin is where you start to see a noticeable shine on your walls.

Semi-Gloss/High Gloss – These are the highest levels of shine available in paint. They work great on areas that are subject to high wear such as trim, doors, and window frames. Their high sheen gives them a high level of durability. Protecting against wear from hands touching doors, or vacuums bumping against trim. However, do remember that you get what you pay for, and a cheap semi-gloss may not actually be that durable at all.

There you have it – Your guide to paint sheens. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at our store in O Fallon [[cms:phone]]. We carry the highest quality PPG and Porter Paints. With 60 years of experience in the business, we have the experience and the know-how to help you get your job done right.

Interior walls

PPG Hi-Hide Interior
PPG Manor Hall Interior

Interior trim/doors
PPG Hi-Hide Interior (Semi-Gloss)
PPG Manor Hall Interior (Semi-Gloss)

PPG Advantage 900

PPG Breakthrough

PPG Acri-Shield Max

Exterior Doors
PPG Acri-Shield Max

PPG Breakthrough