You’ve picked the house –now, time for the fun part: choosing the wall colors. Unfortunately, as our Real Estate Rookie discovered, picking out something seemingly simple soon turned complicated. Instead of wasting time and money, we’ve got tips for you to choose the right sheen for the paint job.

Think Realty’s Guide To Choosing The Right Paint Sheen 


High Gloss 

The most durable paint sheen. An aesthetically pleasing gloss, this sheen is also very easy to clean ––making it ideal for rooms with heavy traffic.

Pros: Creates shiny appearance with a glass-like finish, highly durable, easiest paint sheen to clean.

Cons: Shows imperfections and requires more prep work than other finishes

Best On: Kitchens, doors, window trim, molding, bathrooms, cabinets


Semi Gloss 

Similar to high gloss, this sheen offers a less intense shine. This sheen is also very easy to clean and can be used indoors and outdoors. Recommended for high-traffic areas.

Pros: Durable, easy to clean, high resistance to grease and moisture

Cons: Longer prep work

Best On: Kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, trim, doors, molding, chair rails


Satin Enamel 

Offering a pearl-like appearance, satin finishes can withstand moisture ––perfect for bathrooms and kitchens.

Pros: Very versatile, easy to clean, provides a velvety finish

Cons: Touch-ups can be tricky, can reveal application flaws from brushes or rollers

Best On: Family rooms, hallways, kids’ rooms, laundry rooms, playrooms, guest rooms, kitchens, bathrooms


Eggshell Enamel 

With a soft, low luster appearance, eggshell is a great choice for low-volume rooms that won’t get a lot of scruffs.

Pros: Covers wall imperfections well, smooth surface

Cons: Stains easier than other finishes, medium durability, can be difficult to clean

Best On: Dining rooms, foyers, adult bedrooms and guest rooms



Unlike the other finishes, mattes soak up light rather than reflect it ––making imperfections on the walls much less noticeable.

Pros: Covers flaws easily, high pigmentation, elegant finish

Cons: Hard to clean (touch-ups will be required for this sheen), tends to absorb dirt

Best On: Interior rooms that won’t get heavy traffic



Like matte, flat finishes offer non-reflective finishes and camouflages imperfections. Flat/Matte finishes should be used in rooms with very little traffic.

Pros: Hides minor flaws, diffuses light,

Cons: Very challenging to clean, gets dirty easily, will require touch-ups

Best On: Ceilings, guest rooms

As you can see, there is flexibility in choosing the right paint sheen based on which room you’re in, what you’re painting, and how you anticipate that area being used. Choose carefully, though, it really will affect the look, feel, and upkeep of your investment property!

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