Everyone wants to be proud of their homes and nothing gives it a better face-lift than a well done interior paint job. There a lot of different things that you need to do just to get ready for a new paint job, however, too often people, through really no fault of their own, will pick the wrong paint sheen.

The biggest mistake most people make is simply the fact they don’t quite understand the different interior paint sheens and what type of rooms they work best in. We hope that what we offer you here will help make picking out your paint sheen a lot easier. The last thing you want to happen is to finish your painting project and you don’t like it because it doesn’t have the right sheen. That can not only be disappointing but you may end up needing to re-paint and that can be costly.

Basic Rule of Thumb

An important rule of thumb that we always suggest to our clients is this: the higher the sheen means the more shine the interior paint is going to have. This also means that the higher the shine the more durable the interior paint is going to be.

Flat interior paint has no shine at all for example, and high-gloss interior paint is basically all shine. In between these two types of paint you’ll find semi-gloss, eggshell, and satin. Each of these different paints has its own decorative and practical uses or jobs to do.

Best Types of Paint for Your Home

 The chart below lists different rooms in your home and the interior paint sheen recommended for each room:

KITCHEN Requirements:

Durable, easy to clean paint.


High-gloss or semi-gloss.



Easily cleaned, holds up to high traffic.


Satin finish.



Clean, smooth looking walls for low-traffic areas.


Eggshell finish.



High pigment wall paint, low-traffic areas.


Flat or matt finish.



Durable, easy to clean paint, and holds up to humidity.



High Gloss Interior Paint

 High gloss paint is the easiest to clean and the most durable interior paint that there is. It is extremely shiny and light-reflecting. You might compare it to appliance-like when it comes to painting toughness.

High gloss is a great interior paint choice for those rooms that have extremely high-traffic as well as those rooms that see a lot of areas that get touched by dirty and sticky fingers such as rooms with a lot of trim, cabinets, and doorways. Just remember high gloss paint is very shiny so it’s really important that you really do good prep work before you paint because this kind of paint can really shine and it shows all of the rolls and bumps.


Semi-gloss paint is a wonderful paint for those rooms that are exposed to moisture and/or humid such as your bathroom or even laundry room. It is a pretty durable paint and will hold up well against grease so it can also work in the kitchen since it’s easy to clean, not at easy as a high gloss but pretty close. It also works well for trims.


Interior satin paint has a really nice luster, some describe it as “velvety”. It’s pretty easy to clean so it too can work well in high-traffic rooms. The biggest knock against satin paint is that it easily reveals any application flaws there might be such as brush and roller strokes and doing touch-up can be a little bit tricky to do.

Satin paint is pretty durable and it works well for family or living-rooms, hallways, kid’s bedrooms, and foyers.


Eggshell falls somewhere between flat and satin when it comes to the sheen and durability. Basically it’s a flat finish that has a tiny bit of luster, much like that of a chicken’s egg, thus the name eggshell.

Eggshell easily covers up wall imperfections and is a good paint for a den or living-room that doesn’t get a lot of bumps and scrapes.

Flat or Matt

Flatt or matt paint can often be the best friend for any wall that has something to hide. Flat paint soaks up the light instead of reflecting it. It contains the most color and provides you with the most coverage which means it saves you both time and money.

It’s best used in adult bedrooms and other interior rooms that have low-traffic because it’s one of the more difficult paints to clean.

Whatever paint you choose to use, always make sure that you do all of the proper prep work that needs to be done. Otherwise, no matter what kind of paint you might use isn’t going to look good and the last thing that you want after all the time and money spent on your painting project could be in vain. After all, you want your home to look great when you’re done.