Choosing the Right Paint Finish: Matte, Satin, Gloss, or Semi-Gloss?

Achieving your desired look through interior house painting requires more than picking the colors. The finish you select will also significantly impact the paint scheme’s appearance and durability. It even affects what maintenance routine your home will need moving forward. Matte, satin, gloss, and semi-gloss are the paint finishes most commonly used today. In this article, we’ll discuss all four types of finishes to help you decide on the right finish for your home.

Define Interior Spaces Better by Using a Matte Paint Finish

According to House Grail, natural colors make the inside of a home feel larger. Meanwhile, neutral colors make it easier for people to envision themselves living within a particular space. Using natural and neutral colors to expand living spaces inside your homes is an excellent idea, but what if you’re looking to do the opposite? How should you decorate the inside of your home if your goal is to create a smaller and more defined space? One solution is to use dark paints inside your home. However, not all homeowners are fans of using dark colors. To get around that issue, you can use a matte finish instead.

A matte paint finish can provide some much-needed definition. It can highlight the borders of a room and make it feel more intimate. The low-gloss appearance of a matte finish also provides a valuable contrast in rooms routinely bathed in natural light. Unlike other paint finishes, matte absorbs the light inside a room. It prevents glare, which could come in handy if you want to make a room more suitable for working throughout the day. The light-absorbing quality of matte paint also helps homeowners create more peaceful spaces.

You should also consider using the matte finish if there’s a color scheme you want to display prominently inside your home. A matte finish amplifies the intensity of a particular color. Thanks to that finishing layer, the paint takes on a richer and fuller feel.

Matte finishes are less durable compared to the other options. Keep that in mind while choosing suitable areas for application. It works well in a master bedroom or a home office. You can also use it to enhance the interior of a guest bedroom.

Keep Rooms Looking Clean by Using a Satin Paint Finish

Next up, let’s discuss the defining qualities of a satin paint finish. One word commonly used to describe the appearance of a satin paint finish is velvety. It’s an apt descriptor of the satin finish and properly captures how it flows from one surface to another.

Thanks to the way the satin can connect different elements of home décor, it’s the ideal finish to apply around fixtures. This finish will tie your window décor to the rest of your walls and produce a unified design. Whether your windows have been in place for a long time or are relatively new additions, they won’t look out of place because of the satin finish.

The satin finish features more shine than matte. It does reflect some light, so be mindful of where you use it. Still, the satin finish shouldn’t be distracting as long as it isn’t directly exposed to light.

The main selling point of a satin finish is how easy it is to clean. Some light scrubbing should be enough to remove debris and erase stains on the surface of the finish. Furthermore, satin finishes can hold up to numerous cleanings. Satin finishes also resist stains well, so those frequent cleanings likely won’t be necessary.

Aside from spots around fixtures, you should use satin in high-traffic locations. This finish works great in hallways. You can also use it inside your kitchen to make that space easier to clean.

Do note that satin finishes are difficult to touch up. Once this finish does fade, you will likely have to redo your paint scheme. The difference in appearance between the new and old paint will be too prominent otherwise.

Let Your Interior Décor Shine by Applying Gloss Paint Finish

Let’s go from paint finishes with little to no shine to the most lustrous option available. Gloss or high-gloss paint is what you want to use if you want a finish that truly stands out. After application, high-gloss paint creates a captivating finish that accentuates interior décor without relying on abundant lighting.

On one hand, the brilliance of the gloss finish can turn an otherwise ordinary paint job into the centerpiece of a room’s décor. You can save on expensive fixtures and lighting by focusing more on your color scheme. High-quality paint can be pricey but is still more affordable than new fixtures and lighting.

On the other hand, high-gloss finishes offer nothing in the way of concealment. If there are blemishes on your cabinets, the high-gloss finish will highlight them. It’s not the best finish to use if you’re covering older surfaces.

Speaking of surfaces to be painted, you want to avoid using a gloss paint finish on your interior walls or any other elements of your home that are directly exposed to light. Light bouncing off a surface covered by a gloss finish is too bright. It can be highly disruptive inside your home. Consult an interior house painting service to identify where you can use the high-gloss finish.

We should also mention that gloss paint is the best option in terms of durability. Surfaces covered with this finish will retain their appearance for years to come. Even stains won’t be a big issue for surfaces finished with high-gloss paint. That’s mainly because this finish does a great job of resisting stains.

Complete Your Bathroom and Kitchen Décor by Applying Semi-Gloss Paint Finish

Rounding out our list of paint finishes to use inside your home is semi-gloss. The name of the finish should already give you a good idea of what to expect. In terms of luster, semi-gloss shines more than matte or satin but still pales in comparison to high-gloss. Semi-gloss being shiny but not reaching the level of a high-gloss finish makes it more versatile.

We noted in the entry above that using high-gloss paint on interior walls and other surfaces regularly exposed to light is not a good idea because of glare. That’s not as big of an issue with a semi-gloss finish. Glare can still be an issue if you’re not careful, but it’s generally easier to manage with the help of professional painters.

Semi-gloss finish truly excels in the bathroom and kitchen. Semi-gloss paint’s distinctive level of luster is an ideal complement to the fixtures typically found in those parts of the home. You can also use this finish inside the bathroom and kitchen without issue, even if windows are installed in those rooms.

Homeowners may also want to use semi-gloss paint in the bathroom or kitchen because of its moisture resistance. Moisture will not have a lasting effect on the appearance of a semi-gloss finish. The high-gloss finish actually offers a similar level of moisture resistance, but it doesn’t work well inside bathrooms and kitchens.

The downside to using semi-gloss paint to finish your home décor isn’t as obvious. Truthfully, problems may only arise during application as the semi-gloss finish may highlight debris and damage on your interior walls. That won’t be an issue in your case because professional painters will handle the application of this finish.

If you’re still struggling to choose which interior paint finish is the right choice for you, reach out to our team of painting experts today. At Barbour Painting, we can help you decide on a paint finish as well as complete the project for you! Get in contact with us today to learn more about our painting and consultation services.