Tips For Choosing the Right Paint Finish

With so many different paint finishes available, choosing the right one can be confusing to someone who has never worked with paint before. Using the right finish for the surface being painted ensures durability. Painting trim in flat paint, for example, would be a terrible choice.

Paint finishes include flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, gloss and high gloss. The glossiness of a paint finish varies between companies, or even brands within the same company.

We helps customers make the best decision when choosing paint for the house. This article explains the most common paints available and where you should use them in your home.


Flat paint usually costs the least amount of money per gallon. The paint is typically dull, with no gloss, although some flat paints are a little glossy. Sherwin Williams paints like CHB and Eminence, are true flat paints that we use often when painting ceilings.

Flat paint reflects very little light, which can actually make a room feel smaller and enclosed when used on walls. It works well for hiding imperfections on drywall. It looks great on exterior stucco. The problem with flat is it doesn't clean well when wiping the surface. This paint should not be used on walls in a kids bedroom, bathroom, stairway walls, trim, or doors.


There are many variations of matte. Some paints look very dull, some look shiny. For example, Duration Home in the matte finish, a paint we use a lot, looks more like an eggshell finish. Matte is usually a good choice for those wanting a dull surface with a touch of gloss for better cleaning.


Eggshell paint is a little more glossy than matte and can be cleaned easier. Eggshell is one of the most popular paints used on interior walls and bathroom ceilings. But as mentioned earlier, the gloss factor varies between brands.


Satin is very glossy, but less shiny than semi-gloss. Satin is a good choice for trim and walls, although some folks find the paint to be too glossy on walls, and when darker colors are used, wall imperfections (seams, uneven areas, nail pops) become very noticeable. It is an excellent choice for exterior trim and doors because it doesn't accumulate airborn debri as much as flat and can be cleaned easier with a garden hose.

Semi-Gloss, Gloss and High Gloss

These paints are the most glossy out of the group and are best for painting cabinets, furniture, doors, trim, or walls in commercial settings that need to be cleaned frequently. Semi-gloss is commonly used for painting trim and doors.

We paint cabinets and interior wood work with semi-gloss. Gloss and high gloss are extremely shiny and we rarely use them. Semi-gloss is the best option that won't make a surface as reflective as a mirror.

If you haven't picked out colors yet for your painting project, check out these house paint color schemes. For information about our services, or to request a quote, call us at 847-845-6876. You can also send your request for a free estimate online and we will follow-up with you.

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"I called Advantage Painting for an estimate on removing wall paper in my home. Matt the owner was on time for the estimate and was very friendly. He was very professional and did the job in less than a week! I was amazed with how clean and great of a job he did! I felt very comfortable with him being in my home and he is defintely is someone you can trust! I highly recommend you give him a call, you will not be dissapointed!"

--Jacqui Majesky

Island Lake, IL

" I would absolutely recommend Matt and anyone from his team at Advantage Painting Services. Great job, great price and flexible around my tight timeline."

-- Brad Miller

Crystal Lake, IL