Guide to Paint Finishes

Paint Finishes Painting your home is about more than color. Choosing the right paint finish will make all the difference in determining your paint’s durability and ability to hide imperfections, as well as how often you need to clean the walls.

Here’s our handy guide to the various types of paint finishes:

High gloss

This term refers to paint with 85 percent gloss or higher. High-gloss paints are perfect for highlighting architectural features, like a unique fireplace or crown molding. They’re also good for high-traffic areas like kitchens, because they’re relatively easy to clean. Be forewarned: imperfections really show through with high-gloss paint, so prep the area thoroughly in advance.


With 35 to 75 percent sheen, semi-gloss paints are a good middle ground between functional and stylish. Consider a mildew-resistant variety for the bathroom.


Eggshell finishes have 20 to 35 percent gloss and provide a subtle sheen. They’re a good choice for adults’ bedrooms.


Flat, or matte, finishes work well to hide imperfections. In addition, matte finishes are economical because they have more pigment, so you’ll need less paint to cover the same area. However, they’re difficult to clean, so think carefully if you have pets or children.

  • Remember this general rule: with higher-gloss paints, your surfaces will be easier to clean but any imperfections will be more difficult to hide.

Once you’ve decided which paint finish is right for each room of your home, it’s time to hire a professional residential painter. If you’re in the Sunland area, give Richard Stewart Painting a call at 818-951-1181.

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