House painting is often an important step of the moving process. If your home or rental property is in need of a fresh coat (or two) of paint, you’ll have to decide how you want to proceed.
Flat, eggshell and satin paint are best for interior walls, where semi-gloss and gloss paint are best for trim and woodwork.
Different paint finishes have their own advantages and best uses. How shiny or bright you want your room will help you determine which paint sheen types to choose for your rooms.

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* Provides a non-reflective, smooth appearance that hides surface blemishes like nail holes and patches.
* Matte paint requires less coats than higher gloss paints and is easier to touch up.
* Perfect for new construction, drywall, ceilings and low-traffic areas like adult bedrooms and dining rooms.
* Cleans easily with a damp sponge but will be damaged if cleaned with cleanser.


* One of the most popular types of wall paint, eggshell finish provides a low sheen and a soft, smooth finish just like a true eggshell.
* Perfect for low- to mid-traffic areas like hallways, living rooms, entryways and family rooms.
* Eggshell paint is more washable than flat sheens, and it resists stains and scuffs.


* Widely considered the most versatile and best paint for walls inside the home, a satin paint finish provides an elegant, almost pearl-like finish and soft sheen.
* Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, it resists mildew and fading and is easier to clean that lower-gloss finishes.
* Works well in busy indoor areas such as playrooms, home offices and children’s bedrooms, as well as areas that are exposed to moisture like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and on outdoor spots like trim, shutters and siding.


* Even more reflective than satin with a smooth sheen, semi-gloss paint gives rooms a shiny, sleek appearance.
* Because it offers high resistance to moisture, it works well in areas with higher humidity, such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, as well as high-traffic spaces like doors and utility rooms.
* While easier to clean than other finishes, semi-gloss will show most blemishes on walls and ceilings.
* White and off-white paints in semi-gloss give rooms a brighter appearance than whites in other finishes.


* Offers the highest level of reflection.
* Gives a high-shine, glass-like finish that is popular for doors, cabinets, moulding and trim.
* Provides curb appeal for outdoor spots like shutters and window casings.
* Semi- and high-gloss sheens require more coats than less glossy finishes. Apply to smooth and clean surfaces for the fewest layers of paint and best results.


* Evens out the painting surface.
* If primer is not applied prior to painting, the surface may soak up more paint in some areas than others, creating a blotchy pattern.
* Stain-killing primer and sealer combos both prime and seal surfaces with water stains or knots in raw wood surfaces. They may be water-, oil- or shellac-based.
* Use latex primers on drywall, plaster and concrete surfaces.
* Use alkyd primers on raw wood surfaces.