What You Need to Know About Paint Finishes

Types of paint finishes

Redecorating your home or office can be a lot of fun, when done in the right circumstances. Repainting an old space can give it new life, as well as symbolising a new beginning in your life journey. Still, while redecorating, you’ll want to make sure you don’t get overexcited by the process, and end up making the wrong decorating decisions.

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should make yourself as knowledgeable as possible on the various decorating topics that you will encounter. This will not only expand your horizons but also ensure that you don’t make a stylistic choice that you later regret.

In this article, our experts at Flight Decorating have set out to walk you through the most common types of paint finish, in order to help you determine which one is best for you.


Also sometimes spelt as matt, this particular finish type offers a non-glossy option for coating your walls (with a sheen level of <10%). It won’t reflect the light and may offer a more sombre environment, though do bear in mind that matte finish won’t usually hold up to washing as well as glossy paint finish.

Tip: Matte finish may also be more prone to scuff marks in darker colours.


These two options usually go hand in hand, with most homeowners that we work with often asking our opinion on which is the superior finish. But things aren’t as easy, as we always tell them, and in the end, the type of finish you opt for depends on your style.

The glossy finish has a high sheen level (of roughly 90%), and tends to be more washable than matte, which makes it preferable for surfaces that will require extensive cleaning, such as kitchen or bathroom surfaces.


The eggshell finish offers a slightly shinier finish than the matte, though not usually as high as the glossy finish. It will give off a light-reflective effect, and appear to brighten up the space, without crossing the line to “too glossy”.


The satin finish is very similar to eggshell, in its level of sheen, as well as washability. It’s generally a durable sort of paint finish that will hold up well to multiple washings.

Soft and silk

Silk and soft sheens are very similar, which is why we group them together. These two are between matte and glossy, and resistant to washing, which makes them ideal for kitchens, but also hallways, or other heavy traffic areas.

Tip: Bear in mind that the sheen level of your paint finish will highlight the imperfections in your wall.

Chalky finish

The white, chalky finish is one of the most popular paint finishes available today. It offers a chalky, distressed appearance, with a sheen level of roughly 2%, and can be ideal for creating a bleaker, more realistic decor style.

Masonry paint

Lastly, when dealing with walls that will be heavily exposed to the elements, masonry paint (which comes in smooth or textured options) is an ideal way to go, as it’s the most weather-resistant out of the bunch.

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