Find The Perfect Paint Finish

Repurposed Furniture, Sustainably Inspired

Paint is an economical and easy way to refresh any interior space. Once you’ve chosen a paint color from the fan deck, however, it’s not time to paint. You still have to decide on a sheen (also known as the finish, or how shiny the finished product looks) from six choices ranging from flat (no sheen/shine) to high gloss (all shine).

The higher the sheen, the greater the paint’s durability.

But when asked, “What finish?”, don’t panic! Below is a guide to help you make the best choice for your paint project. It includes the pros and cons of each finish as well as best uses and ability to hide flaws and imperfections.

Final Tips:

Invest in quality paint and tools. The finished project is only as good as the tools you use. Sheen options vary by manufacturer. Confirm the sheen selection with the paint sales associate. Different paint sheens are priced differently. The greater the sheen, the more expensive the paint.

Flat & Flat Enamel (Matte)


  • Least reflective (Gloss = 0 – 5%); no sheen
  • Least durable (difficult to clean/wash)
  • Best at hiding flaws & imperfections (like bumps or cracks)
  • Most pigment/greatest depth of color; Great for “rustic” look
  • Ideal for walls, ceilings, low traffic areas (i.e., guest bedrooms, powder rooms)
  • Best Coverage (requires fewer coats for uniform finish)
  • Best for beginner painters


  • Very low reflective sheen; Velvet/suede finish; Gloss 5 – 10%
  • Hides imperfections, bumps, & cracks
  • Low durability (slightly easier to clean/wash versus Flat)
  • Ideal for low traffic areas


Eggshell & Satin


  • Low/medium reflective sheen (low sheen like an eggshell)
  • Hides imperfections, bumps, & cracks
  • Medium durability
  • Ideal for walls of living rooms & dining rooms.


  • Medium reflective sheen (slightly glossier than Eggshell)
  • Hides imperfections, bumps, & cracks
  • Medium/low durability
  • Ideal for areas that need constant upkeep (i.e., windows, trim, kids’ rooms, kitchen).

Semi-Gloss & Gloss


  • Medium/high reflective sheen (a little more gloss than Satin)
  • Hides imperfections, bumps, & cracks
  • Requires more prep work
  • High durability (easy to clean/wash)
  • Ideal for cabinets, doors, trims, kitchens, baths, and other places with exposure to water and steam


  • Most reflective
  • Most durable
  • Worst at hiding flaws & imperfections
  • Highest reflective sheen
  • Best for “contemporary” look
  • Least popular for interior finishes
  • Highest durability (easiest to clean/wash)

Sustainably Inspired
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