How to Choose the Right Paint Finish for Your Home

The paint finish you select can drastically alter the look and feel of a room, and it can even influence how well your paint stands up to wear and tear over time. Whether you're choosing flat paint for your ceiling, matte for your walls, or semi-gloss for doors and trim, we're here to help you make the best decisions for your unique home and lifestyle.

Understanding Different Paint Finishes

A paint finish, also known as sheen, refers to the glossiness or luster of a painted surface—determining how much light the paint reflects. Also, lower sheen paints have larger pores, higher sheen paints have smaller pores, making the latter, easier to clean.

Three common options for paint finishes include:

  1. Flat Finish: Flat finish, is a type of paint that doesn't reflect light, making it ideal for hiding bumps, cracks, or other imperfections on your walls. It's an excellent choice for ceilings and adult bedrooms (and homes with only adults present, a majority of the time) or other areas where there's less traffic. As noted above, flat paint can be difficult to clean, so it's not typically recommended for homes with small children or pets.
  2. Matte Finish: Pant with Matte finish is a great alternative to flat paint, as it gives a very similar appearance to flat paint, but has a very mild sheen, (just a small step up in sheen from Flat) enabling it to be cleaned a bit better than flat.
    Satin Finish: This paint is a step below semi-gloss and is best for kitchens and bathrooms, when you don’t want an overly glossy finish, but something that will repel water and resist dirt, better than lower sheen paint finishes.
  3. Semi-Gloss Finish: Semi-gloss paint has more of a shine to it that reflects light, giving your space a bright and vibrant look. It's more resilient and easier to clean than flat, matte and satin paints, making it a perfect choice for high-traffic areas or places prone to moisture, like kitchens, bathrooms, doors, and window trims. Some clients use this in children’s room, as it is the best choice for cleaning.
    High Gloss Finish: While this finish is rarely used, some customers like high gloss on a front door, or something like a custom built-in shelf unit, that they consider a “showpiece” and want to be very shiny. The drawbacks with high gloss paint is that it shows all imperfections and finger prints will be visible.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint Finishes

There is no one-size-fits-all option for paint finishes, and there are several factors to consider when choosing a finish for a room. Considerations include:

Room Functionality

The first factor to consider when choosing a paint finish is the functionality of the room. For example, high-traffic areas such as hallways, children's bedrooms, and playrooms, kitchens and bathrooms are often best suited to a semi-gloss or satin finish due to their durability, water imperviousness and ease of cleaning. On the other hand, rooms that see less use or where you desire a more refined look, such as the living room or adult bedrooms, a flat or matte finish could perfectly meet your needs.

Aesthetic Preference

Your personal aesthetic preference also plays a significant role in choosing a paint finish. If you prefer a shiny look, semi-gloss paint can add a touch of elegance to your doors and trims. If you lean towards a minimalist, non-reflective style, flat paint on your ceilings and walls can achieve that effect.

Essentially, you must choose a finish that:

  • Enhances the ambiance of your room
  • Matches your furniture and decorative items
  • Suits your personal style
  • Fits your maintenance needs


Lastly, maintenance should be a key consideration. While flat or matte finishes can add a touch of sophistication to any room, they are more susceptible to damage and harder to clean. Contrastingly, semi-gloss and satin finishes, though they may show more imperfections, are easier to clean and more resistant to common wear and tear. Choose a finish that you can maintain easily and that will stand up to the unique challenges of each room, whether that's high traffic, frequent messes, or exposure to moisture.

Contact Arnold Property Improvement Today!

At Arnold Property Improvement, we understand the importance of creating a home that resonates with your unique style and meets your practical needs. Our team of experts is dedicated to guiding you through the process of selecting the perfect paint finishes that harmonize with your home's architecture, your personal style, and your lifestyle. We dive into considerations such as room usage, lighting conditions, maintenance level, and your aesthetic preferences to provide a personalized solution for your home that lasts.

Don't hesitate to reach out to us online or call us at (610) 757-3466 forĀ a consultation. Our commitment is to make your home improvement journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible.