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What paint finish is best for drywall?

6 times you should absolutely choose an eggshell paint finish

Is eggshell the perfect paint finish? Here is when the answer is ‘yes’

Veronica Sparks

By Veronica Sparks September 24, 2022

Remodeling your home is always exciting. It’s a thrill to reimagine a room and give it a modern, stylish facelift that matches your style perfectly. Part of that process is the inevitable task of repainting the space. While picking out a paint color and a brand of paint may seem like a simple decision, there are a lot of variables to consider. One variable is the type of finish you want for the space.


  • What is eggshell paint and how is it unique?
  • Should I use eggshell or flat paint?
  • When should you use eggshell paint?
  • Painting projects you should NOT use eggshell paint for

There are so many paint finish varieties, including matte, flat, high-gloss, and eggshell, all with different benefits and appearances. To help you out, we’re going to talk about six times you should definitely go with an eggshell paint finish.

Man and woman next to a ladder painting a wall white

What is eggshell paint and how is it unique?

Among all the types of paint finishes, there are a few things that make eggshell stand out. The level of glossy reflectiveness it gives off – also known as its “sheen,” is moderate, somewhere between the low-gloss finish of flat paints and the super reflective sheen of high or semi-gloss paint. This means eggshell paint can offer the best of both worlds: It covers imperfections on the surface well, similar to flat paint, but it also brings a bit more color depth, much like higher-gloss finishes.


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Female hand painting wall

Should I use eggshell or flat paint?

When compared to flat paint finish, eggshell is much more durable and cleanable, and eggshell can be used in high-traffic areas where flat paint would chip or become damaged. While flat paint is typically cheaper than eggshell, it doesn’t last as long since it will become chalky and fade faster than eggshell. Where flat paint outperforms eggshell is when covering severe imperfections on wall surfaces, but eggshell finishes do a pretty good job with that coverage as well.

Vintage-style living room with blue wall paint

When should you use eggshell paint?

Medium traffic areas

Due to its moderate durability, eggshell does well in areas that see a moderate amount of traffic. It’s ideal for interior rooms like bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.

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Spaces that may see some dirt

Cleaning walls that were painted with an eggshell finish won’t rub through or damage the paint since it has a bit of a glossy finish that is on the durable side. This means it’s suitable for walls in the bathroom or kitchen that tend to get a bit of grime on them.

To cover imperfections on surfaces

While it doesn’t cover major flaws on wall surfaces as well as flat paint, eggshell still does a good job of blending slight drywall imperfections for a smooth, clean-looking finish. It’s also really easy to touch up nicks and damages down the road. That’s because eggshell paint goes on smoothly so you won’t see the new brush strokes.

In rooms that you won’t paint again for years

Eggshell lasts a long time, so any room you’re not interested in painting again for many years is a good space to use eggshell paint in. For example, if you’re painting high walls or a vaulted ceiling, using an eggshell finish means you won’t have to get up on a ladder again for years to come.

When you want to keep your painting budget low

While it’s not as cheap as flat paint finishes, eggshell isn’t much more expensive and will probably save you money in the long run since it’s more durable and long-lasting. In addition, eggshell paint tends to be much less costly than higher-priced finishes like satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

When you’re an inexperienced painter

Since it goes onto the surface so smoothly and doesn’t show brushstrokes visibly, eggshell paint is a great finish to use if you’re new to painting. If you use high-gloss paint, both brushstrokes and painting errors will be much more visible.

painting exterior wall yellow with a paint roller

Painting projects you should NOT use eggshell paint for

While eggshell seems to check all the boxes when it comes to the perfect paint finish, it does have limitations. If you’re looking to paint any of the following areas, you may want to choose a paint finish that’s more fitting for the project.

Extensive drywall imperfections

While eggshell paint offers decent coverage and hides some mild drywall imperfections, if there are large areas of drywall with major imperfections, an eggshell finish probably won’t hide them completely. In this instance, a flat paint finish will be a better option.

Exterior surfaces

Obviously, exterior paints are needed to paint the full scope of the outside of your house, but what about exterior doors and trim that don’t see as much weathering? For surfaces that experience moisture or temperature fluctuation, an eggshell finish may not be the best option. While it’s durable, it’s not as durable as a high-gloss finish, which is the better option for those exterior surfaces.

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High-impact areas

It’s true that eggshell finishes are durable enough to handle being used in medium-traffic rooms in the home. But when it comes to high-traffic and high-impact areas, they may not hold up to the beating. When painting doors, door panels, mudrooms, or garage spaces, it’s better to go with a high-gloss sheen since it’s the most durable option for interior paint.

While painting a room can be a lot of work, the finished result is really rewarding. In order to make sure your paint job looks pristine and stands the test of time, choose the right type of paint finish for the particular space you’re painting. Eggshell paint offers a good balance when it comes to sheen, durability, coverage, and cleanability, and it’s a great option for almost all interior spaces.

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Moving out? Get your security deposit back quickly with these simple tips
These tips for renters will help you save money

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Moving out of an apartment is already a hectic event. But when you’re trying to get your security deposit back from your landlord, that stress only grows. After all, that’s a large chunk of change you’re owed—and one that would be much better off in your savings account or going toward decking out your new place. Whether your landlord has been slow to return your deposit or you’re just anxious to get your money back, here are a few tips for renters to get your security deposit back in full without a fuss.

Review your lease
When you decide to move out, one of the first things you should do is re-read your lease. This document lays out all the terms and conditions for ending your lease, giving your landlord notice about your move, and getting your deposit back. Oftentimes, your lease will also let you know how many days your landlord has to return the security deposit (usually 30-60 days after move-out) and any other move-out requirements. You may be required to return your keys, clean the property, and revert any alterations you made to their original condition before your deposit is returned.
Give your landlord proper notice
Giving proper notice before moving out is crucial to getting your full security deposit back. If you don’t give enough notice, you may be required to pay an extra month’s rent—even if you’re not living there. Not only will you have to give your landlord more money, but you may also have to wait longer to get your deposit back.

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Blue house in autumn

October is the prime time for home maintenance. Fall is the best season to prepare your home and landscape for the upcoming change in weather and ensure your family stays cozy through the colder months. This fall house project checklist will help you focus on the right tasks to wrap up the gardening and lawn care season so your house can withstand the winter.

Fall home maintenance checklist
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As the first frost arrives and the leaves change to ruby and golden hues, you should start winterizing your lawn to prepare it for the dormant season.

Thinking about installing sliding barn doors? 4 essential questions to ask yourself
Considerations before installing sliding barn doors in your home

Sliding barn doors in a modern home

Sliding barn doors are a trendy, do-it-yourself design upgrade that can really transform your home’s aesthetic. The increased popularity of farmhouse-style homes has made sliding barn doors more common than ever.

Basically, a sliding barn door is a door you can install anywhere in the home, and it’s usually a wood or metal door hung on a sliding track. Instead of opening and closing like a traditional door, it slides to the side and hangs neatly against the wall. People love them because they can easily revamp a space and add lots of character. Plus, installing sliding barn doors is pretty simple if you love to DIY. But before you delve into the trend made famous by Magnolia’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

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How to Choose the Right Paint Sheen for Your Walls

A woman paints her wall a rose color, carefully choosing the right paint sheen.

Paint finish or paint sheen refers to a paint’s glossiness or how light reflects off the painted surface. There are many types of paint finishes, but generally speaking, the higher the paint’s gloss level, the shinier the end result will appear. Some people like the aesthetic of a shinier finish (it’s also more practical and “scrubbable”), while others prefer a matte finish. And if you like both, remember that different sheen types are suitable for different areas of your home.

How do I choose a paint finish?

When deciding on a paint sheen or type of paint finish, you need to consider aesthetics and practicality, which may be influenced by which room you’re painting. The types of paint finishes range from matte or flat to high-gloss or shiny.

Flat (or matte) paint sheen has lower levels of resin and higher levels of pigmentation. High-gloss paints have more resin than pigment. High-gloss finishes have higher visual appeal, but they are not ideal for imperfect walls. Meanwhile, matte or flat finishes aren’t ideal for areas like the bathroom because they might not stand up to the high moisture levels.

Some of the factors you should consider when choosing a paint sheen include:

  • Room size and lighting. For smaller rooms and not-so-well-lit rooms, you might want to choose paints with glossier finishes. This is because the light will bounce off the walls better, creating the illusion of a larger room.
  • The wall surface’s texture. Walls with cracks or patches are best suited for flat or matte finishes.
  • How the room will be used. When choosing a paint sheen, you need to consider factors like how often you’ll be cleaning the room, as well as how susceptible it will be to wear and tear.

Interior paint sheen types

Flat (or matte) finish

Paint with a flat or matte finish has the most pigmentation compared to other types of paint. It’s low-luster and non-reflective, so it will soak up almost all of the light.

Best for:

Flat (or matte) paint sheen is ideal for areas with less foot traffic or those that will not be exposed to a lot of dirt. Flat paint sheen is also ideal for scratched or bumpy walls because it easily obscures blemishes. You can use this type of paint sheen on drywall with imperfect taping or one that is patched. You may prefer paints with matte or flat finishes in your bedroom, dining room, living room, or on your ceiling.

Our paint recommendation:

For a perfect matte finish, we recommend the Ultra Matte Paint from Rust-Oleum. This paint has a low-odor formula that dries in under thirty minutes. It is available in a wide variety of colors, including Aged Grey, Coastal Blue, and Farmhouse Red.

Eggshell finish

Paints with eggshell finishes are not shiny, but they’re also not completely flat. The percentage of gloss in such paints is between 10% and 25%. This means that they are only glossy enough to make your paint job pop. Eggshell finishes are easier to clean compared to matte surfaces.

Best for:

Eggshell finishes are ideal for bedrooms, ceilings, dining areas, and living rooms that are not exposed to lots of traffic or dirt build-up.

Our paint recommendation:

Regal Select Interior Eggshell from Benjamin Moore is our top recommendation for an eggshell finish. This paint is easy to apply, and it’s formulated with stain-release technology that enables you to clean the surface with minimal scrubbing.

Satin finish

Paints with a satin finish can be either acrylic- or oil-based. Oftentimes, satin paints are classified alongside eggshells due to their low luster. However, they have a higher resin level, resulting in a higher gloss. Surfaces with a satin finish are easy to clean and will provide you with the same benefits as matte or eggshell finishes.

Best for:

Satin is a good choice for bathrooms, children’s bedrooms, dining rooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Satin is also tough enough to be used on a building’s trim. You may also want a satin finish to make your kitchen or bathroom cabinets pop.

Our paint recommendation:

For a smooth satin paint sheen, we recommend the Interior Satin Enamel No. 7750 that is manufactured by Behr Ultra. The paint’s formulation features a NANOGUARD® technology that makes it easy for you to clean the surface, thus making it look newer for longer.

Semi-gloss finish

A semi-gloss finish is more or less like a satin finish; the only real difference is a more noticeable sheen. While they’re reflective, their shine is still minimal compared to high-gloss surfaces.

Best for:

Paints with a semi-gloss finish are perfect for rooms where water drips, grease stains, or general grime accumulates on the walls. This finish makes them perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, and children’s playrooms.

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Our paint recommendation:

We recommend the SuperPaint® Semi-Gloss Interior Paint from Sherwin Williams. The paint’s formulation has a high consistency that makes it quite easy to apply. It also doubles as a primer. As such, you will not need to prep your walls with a primer before applying the paint.

High-Gloss finish

High-gloss paints provide you with a glass-like finish. They have the highest durability, however, they’re also the hardest to apply compared to other paint finishes.

Best for:

High-gloss paint is not only fashionable but also functional. The high level of sheen makes it easy to clean dirt, oils, and stains, making this paint ideal for high-touch areas like doors and trims.

Our paint recommendation:

We recommend Aristoshield® from Dunn Edwards Paints for the best high-gloss finish. This water-based paint is made using a urethane alkyd resin. The resin is responsible for its superior adhesion and durability, and despite being a high-gloss paint, it is rather easy to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, eggshell, or satin?

Eggshell and satin finishes are more or less the same, with the latter providing you with a silkier finish. On the other hand, eggshell finishes are velvety and not so easy to clean. They’re not well-suited for high-wear surfaces such as bathrooms, children’s playrooms, entryways or the kitchen.

Which paint finish is best?

There are no set rules for which paint finish is best. The type you choose depends entirely on your preferences. However, you will need to consider such factors as the room’s use and its susceptibility to wear and tear.

Does sheen affect the paint’s color?

Yes. The glossiness of your paint impacts the apparent color. For instance, you might want a low-level sheen scale on dark and rich hues. The same case applies when it comes to imperfect walls. The higher the sheen levels in the paint, the more visible the imperfections will become.

How do I ensure paint sheen uniformity?

To ensure sheen uniformity, be consistent in the amount of paint you use on the entire surface. Use a brush that’s specifically designed for the type of surface you are painting. If necessary, use a primer designed for that specific surface.

Kirstyn is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement content. When not writing, you can find Kirstyn with her nose in a book. She has a huge collection of classics, including Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and more.

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What is the Difference with all the Paint Finishes You Ask?

What is the Difference with all the Paint Finishes You Ask? 2019-08-06 2021-07-31 PG PAINT & DESIGN 200px 200px

paint finishes for interior and exterior painting

Homeowners can spend hours and days agonizing over choosing the perfect paint colour for their next home painting project and may not realize that picking the right paint finish and the quality of the paint brand is just as important.

Unless you are an interior designer or professional painter you may not know that there are five common paint finishes that you should familiarize yourself with before deciding on the final paint colour choice your make.

The reason why the choice of paint finish matters is because you need to know the LRV or light reflectance value before you make a paint colour decision and know the durability and suitability for which room the paint is being used in. If you have been wondering what exactly is a paint finish or paint sheen and what is the difference between each of them then read on.

What Are The Different Paint Finishes

The most commonly used paint finishes for interior painting are Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Semi-Gloss and High-Gloss. There are other types like Pearl, Satin, Gloss and Ultra-Matte but they are not as frequently or commonly used.

Choosing the wrong paint finish can increase the reflection of any drywall imperfections while the selecting the right paint finish will help deflect them. Ensuring that all the prep work before starting to paint the walls or ceilings is done also plays an important role in hiding any imperfections, holes, dents etc. on the walls or ceilings.

Important factors to know when choosing a paint finish are things like it’s wash-ability and durability. Knowing the differences of how paint finishes also known as sheens stand up to normal everyday situations is important.

When choosing a paint finish you should consider things like the purpose of the area to help you make the right decision. Because some areas of the home like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements are higher humidity areas you should consider the best finish to use in the different rooms like kitchens and bathrooms to help prevent mold and mildew buildup.

The most commonly used paint finishes for most rooms are Eggshell for the walls, Flat for ceilings, and Semi-gloss for painting of trim and baseboards. Using the highest quality paints will ensure you have the best paint finish that is washable and long lasting.

What Is A Paint Finish

A paint finish is the level of shine or gloss of the paint once it is painted onto the walls. The most commonly used ones are flat, satin, matte, eggshell, semi-gloss, gloss and high gloss for interior painting of walls, baseboards, trim, doors and crown molding. Flat paint on ceilings is most often recommended as it is the best finish to hide all imperfections and reflects the least light.

The higher the shine of the paint the higher the paint’s LRV or light reflectance value will be. Depending on the artificial or natural lighting in the room you may get undesirable affects of what the paint colour actually is.

The paint’s LRV = light reflectance value will affect how the shade of the paint colour shows as well as enhance any imperfections on the walls. Flat paint finishes do not reflect light as much as the semi-gloss or high-gloss paints do.

The Difference Between Paint Finishes

The difference between all paint finishes is ultimately how much shine is reflected once painted on walls, ceilings, trim or baseboards. How shiny you want the walls to look as well as how durable and easily maintained they are makes a difference for rooms like the bathroom or kitchen where higher levels of moisture can build. Painting bathrooms or kitchens requires not only the right finish or sheen but the highest quality paints that will make the biggest impact on preventing mold and mildew.

Note that the higher the gloss of a paint is the harder and tougher the finish will be. In other words when choosing a flat paint finish which is more porous and traps dirt particles easily, it will be a weaker paint and not withstand much scrubbing or washing without you noticing the streaks or paint rubbing off as opposed to painting with a gloss or high gloss that are the most durable and can take on the extra scrubbing and washing. Here are our recommendations to help guide you for your next painting project.

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Flat Paint Finish

A flat paint sheen or finish helps to conceal flaws and imperfections to the drywall and as the name suggests it has absolutely no shine. Flat paint finishes are best used on surfaces that require little to no washing. Best in low traffic rooms such as dining rooms and living rooms, closets and bedrooms. A flat paint sheen is also perfect for painting walls in older area homes because of its ability to hide the imperfections. Flat like a matte finish does not reflect light, has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, however it is tougher to clean without removing some of the paint while rubbing or scrubbing off the dirt or grime.

Matte Paint Finish

Just like a flat finish the matte paint finishes are ideal in low traffic areas like a dining room or bedroom. With hardly any shine or gloss to it, it hides many surface imperfections. Worth noting is that both the matte and flat paint sheens are less durable in the washing or scrubbing department.

These types of finishes can be washed with a soft cloth but know that the area will dis-colour and you will definitely notice it once it is dry. This is why you would not want to paint rooms that are busy like the family room in these types of finishes.

Satin Paint Finish

A satin paint finish is similar to the eggshell where there is just a hint of a shine but not too glossy. Consider it to be a step up from the eggshell due to the extra resistance to washing and scrubbing. It is easy to keep clean with just a damp cloth and can also handle soap if required, making it ideal for any room. Satin paint finishes will give a slightly more reflective finish than the eggshell at the same time giving the look of a glowing and silky finish.

Eggshell Paint Finish

Eggshell paint finish is an easy maintenance paint sheen that has a slight shine to it but not enough to call is glossy. It is a durable paint that can take on more of the washing and scrubbing than a flat paint might. A simple wiping up of most fingerprints or dirt with just a damp cloth does it for this paint finish. Eggshell paint finishes are perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and family rooms.

Semi-gloss Paint Finish

A semi-gloss paint sheen or finish does has a slightly more visible shine than the flat, satin, eggshell or matte and will definitely show most wall imperfections. It does take it up a notch in the durability department as it very washable and scrubbable. Semi-gloss paint finishes are recommended for painting trim, baseboards, crown molding and other woodwork along withrooms such as the bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms as they have a higher level of humidity and moisture and a semi-gloss paint is a stronger sheen for these spaces.

When painting kitchen and bathrooms, make sure to ask for a mildew resistant formula for these high moisture areas to help prevent mold from building. We recommend using a high quality paint like the Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa Paint.

Gloss Paint Finish or High Gloss Paint Sheen

A gloss paint is a very shiny yet durable product, that can withstand more dirt and stains. A high gloss paint is at the highest level of shine and is almost mirror like. Both the gloss paints and the high gloss paints are equal in durability and ease of maintenance as they both can withstand washing and scrubbing without leaving streaks or marks. You will however want to note that because of the higher shine it will reflect all imperfections on the interior walls you are painting.

It is best used for painting trim, baseboards, doors, crown molding and other architectural woodwork elements, as it easy to wipe or scrub away any scuff marks or stains. These finishes can easily be washed or scrubbed with soap and water and extra elbow grease. It is not recommended to use abrasive cleaners as they may leave scratches.

If starting your own DIY painting project always refer to the product labels found on the paint cans that provide detailed instructions from the paint manufacturing companies. If you have hired a painting company to do the work for you and you can’t decide on what paint finish to choose they should give you their professional recommendation on which is the best paint finish to use for painting every room.

If tackling a painting project on your own is not something you want to get started with we offer interior and exterior house painting services in Ottawa. If you need guidance on what type of paint finish to choose our consultation services can help you make the decision.

This post was originally published on Aug 06 2019 and updated on July 31, 2021

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