Paint question?


If my trimming is gloss or satin, should I paint my walls with flat paint

  14 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 17, 2021

    There are pros and cons of all types of paint sheens; some are more suitable for different rooms.

    Although there is no 'right or wrong' to having different/same sheen on the walls and the trim, if you want the trim work to stand out, choose a contrasting combination such as semi gloss over eggshell walls.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 17, 2021

    Flat paint on the walls is the least scrub-able of all the patinas of paint, so if you want durability then go to a higher sheen such as eggshell finish.

    High Gloss

    The most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens, high-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. Think appliance-paint tough.

    High gloss is a good choice for area that sticky fingers touch -- cabinets, trim, and doors. High-gloss, however, is too much shine for interior walls. And like a Spandex dress, high gloss shows every bump and roll, so don’t skimp on prep work.

    • Practical application: kitchens, door, and window trim
    • Durability: very high


    Good for rooms where moisture, drips, and grease stains challenge walls. Also great for trim work that takes a lot of abuse.

    • Practical application: kitchens, bathrooms, trim, chair rails
    • Durability: high


    Has a yummy luster that, despite the name, is often described as velvety. It’s easy to clean, making it excellent for high-traffic areas. Its biggest flaw is it reveals application flaws, such as roller or brush strokes. Touch-ups later can be tricky.

    • Practical application: family rooms, foyers, hallways, kids' bedrooms
    • Durability: high


    Between satin and flat on the sheen (and durability) scale is eggshell, so named because it’s essentially a flat (no-shine) finish with little luster, like a chicken’s egg. Eggshell covers wall imperfections well and is a great finish for gathering spaces that don’t get a lot of bumps and scuffs.

    • Practical application: dining rooms, living rooms
    • Durability: medium

    Flat or Matte

    A friend to walls that have something to hide, flat/matte soaks up, rather than reflects, light. It has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, which translates to time and money savings. However, it’s tough to clean without taking paint off with the grime.

    • Practical application: adults' bedrooms and other interior rooms that won’t be roughed up by kids
    • Durability: medium-low

    Tips For Choosing the Right Sheen

    If your paint color is dark and rich but you don’t want a super shiny effect, step down at least one level on the sheen scale. That’s because the darker and richer the paint color is, the more colorant it has, which boosts sheen. Ditto if you’re painting a large, sun-washed, or imperfect wall. The higher the sheen, the more defects will show.

    Adding sheen also adds to the cost, usually an extra dollar or two per gallon as you step up on the sheen scale.

  • The choice is yours. Personally, I like an eggshell finish.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Aug 17, 2021

    Hello. As described above the different sheens have different properties. After many relos and painting many rooms we decided to upgrade to eggshell for most interior walls as it is more scrubbable durable finish them flat. In bathrooms and the kitchen generally we use a glossier scrubbable finish. For trimwork generally we use gloss or semi gloss again for the durability and scrubbable feature.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 17, 2021

    I would never recommend flat wall paint. It's not scrubbable or durable. Go with a step or 2 above. I used eggshell finish in my bedroom and like it.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 17, 2021

    Yes, you don't want to use gloss or satin on walls it shows every dimple, nick etc you flat paint on the walls.

  • Janice Janice on Aug 17, 2021

    Perhaps you would like the look of paint labeled as "satin". It is a nice paint that is not shiny but can still be easily washed without harming it.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Aug 17, 2021

    I would use a flat paint UNLESS this is a bathroom or a heavily used room like a child's room where you might want to go with a satin for easy scrubbability.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 17, 2021

    I never use flat paint it does not clean up well. I would go with eggshell or satin.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 17, 2021

    Hi SHeri: Flat paint is a pain in the neck! It doesn't clean well, and even though it has it's uses, I'm not a big fan of it. I would do an egg shell. Just MHO :)

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Aug 18, 2021

    Eggshell is a good finish paint to use. It's not too flat or too shiny, and would go well with trim that is gloss or satin.

  • Sherl Sherl on Aug 19, 2021

    Thanks very much

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 22, 2021

    eggshell can be a nice transition, and its way easier to keep clean. Flat paint is hard to maintain.