How to Choose the Right Paint Finish

Home Repairs

Numerous finishes, colors and effects exist today. Matt, satin, gloss, metallic paints: this post helps you make the right choices according to your desires and your decoration.


U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joshua Hale, 314th Maintenance Group quality inspections supervisor, puts final touches of paint to the dorms during Operation DORM STORM as part of Wingman Day on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 4, 2019. The event brought together 425 supervisors and base leaders to the dorms to conduct small repairs and beautification efforts; demonstrating leadership’s commitment to the health and well-being of Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

There are three types of paint finishes: glossy, matt or satin. They make it possible to create different effects, the gloss being brighter, the matt softer, and the satin offering a good compromise between the two.

Gloss paint

Gloss paint is suitable for all rooms, which it illuminates and enlarges visually. It can be washed off and is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. However, its brilliance highlights the slightest defect in the substrate, which must therefore be perfectly smooth.

Good to know: for an incomparable shine and mirror effect, opt for natural or synthetic lacquers.

Matt paint

The matt paint, with its soft and chalky appearance, helps to create a muffled atmosphere. By absorbing light, it gives an effect of depth. Combined with a strong covering power, it helps to hide small surface imperfections.

Satin paint

Halfway between matt and gloss, satin paint creates a soft light effect by slightly reflecting it, without the mirror effect of gloss paint.

Effect paints

Pearlescent and metallic paints

There are many effect paints to personalize and boost your decoration. The effects of light are multiple: from metallic paint that plays with reflections to glittering paint that makes the light sparkle, through pearlescent paint that gives shine to the support.

Material effects

The paint is also able to imitate other materials, such as concrete, wood, marble or stainless steel. The effect is visually stunning, but cannot convey the touch of each one.

Blackboard and magnetic board

Particularly appreciated in kitchens and children’s rooms as it can be cleaned more easily, the “blackboard” paint can also be used to write with chalk. Magnetic-effect paint, on the other hand, does not focus on the material but on the magnetic effect.

If you want an impeccable result, we advise you to call on a professional, who will advise you in the choice of paint and prepare your walls according to the rules of art. If you carry out the work yourself, these 6 Professional Tips to Carry out Your Painting Work are there to help you. Hope this post helps you make up your mind which paint finish is best for your project. Don’t forget to leave your comments in the section below and tell us about your experience if you call on a professional or you carry out the job by yourself.

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