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5 Kinds of Paint to Consider When Decorating Your Home

Woman painting home
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(Image via Pexels)

A lick of paint is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to transform your home. From classic neutrals that create calming zen as soon as you open the door to candy bright pinks or aquas that add zing and personality to your space, there are so many colors to choose from. Your paint choice is a chance to create a picture-perfect sanctuary for you to retreat to after another long day being the main character.

The tricky part is choosing the perfect paint finish. Not only do you have to settle on a color, but you also have to decide which type of paint is right for a space to make sure that your investment lasts long after you’ve put the brushes and rollers away. Here are five kinds of paint to consider when creating your dream abode.


Matte paint, also known as flat, has a chalky finish that doesn’t reflect any light, so it hides imperfections incredibly well. This means that any slightly questionable painting by you won’t be seen as clearly. For the one reader who’s interested in the technical stuff, matte paint has a higher level of pigment than other types. For the rest of you, this essentially means that it requires fewer coats than other paint types, which is ideal if you’re looking for a rapid room makeover and don’t want to spend your evenings watching paint dry. It’s perhaps the most common choice for bedrooms and living areas. So if you’re looking to emulate a picture you’ve seen online, matte will probably be the closest match.

The biggest downside of flat paint is that it’s not very durable and is difficult to clean without damaging it. So it’s not great if you’re prone to hosting parties regularly in the room or if you have a furry friend who might brush up against it. Matte is ideal for applying to low-traffic areas like grown-ups’ bedrooms and formal dining rooms, and it’s particularly good for highly imperfect walls.


Eggshell paint has a subtle sheen and soft finish, just like an actual eggshell. It’s more durable than flat paint, but it’s not as reflective as satin, allowing it to bounce a little more light around your room but still handle the busyness of everyday living. A perfect solution if you want to look at life sunny side up!

It’s ideal for low to mid-traffic areas like living rooms and family rooms because it can be washed with warm water and a little dish soap. However, touching up this kind of paint usually requires a full repaint due to the sheen, so if you or your visitors are fairly accident-prone, you may want to look for a wipeable version to make your life a bit easier.


Satin paint is slightly reflective with a pearl-like finish. It can give walls a soft, elegant sheen. This can be particularly helpful for making small rooms appear brighter and more spacious. It’s easier to clean than eggshell and matte, which is great for high-traffic rooms like kids’ bedrooms, playrooms, and hallways. It can also work well in kitchens and bathrooms because it stands up well against moisture – no more getting distracted by peeling paint whilst you enjoy a relaxing bath.

View of open paint cans from above

(Image via Pexels)


Semi-gloss paint has a shiny appearance that reflects light well. It’s highly resistant to moisture, which is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens, which get very humid. It’s a fairly durable paint and easy to clean, making it a good paint for trims and cupboards.

However, semi-gloss tends to highlight any lumps, bumps, cracks, and other imperfections on walls and ceilings. You’ll need to sand and clean surfaces thoroughly to get a smooth application and finish. If that all sounds a bit too much like hard work, you may want to call on your old friend matte.

If you’re not deterred, white and off-white paint tends to look brighter in a semi-gloss finish, so if you’re opting for a minimalist, Scandi-style achromatic color scheme, semi-gloss could be a great choice. Bring on the hygge.


High-gloss paint has a highly reflective finish, but its shiny appearance doesn’t suit walls and ceilings well. It’s best suited to trims, molding, doors, and cabinets. It could also be used outdoors on wooden shutters, window casings, and doors.

You need to make sure your surfaces are thoroughly prepped to achieve a sleek finish when using high-gloss paint. Fill and sand down any dents before running fine sandpaper over the surface for a flat finish. You may also need to use a primer.

The Right Paint Makes The Perfect Impact

Now you know more about the different types of paint available and how they’re best used. You can get started picking out your favorite colors safely in the knowledge that the finish will be perfect. Have fun creating your dream space!

Elizabeth Long has always enjoyed writing as a form of self-expression, to help her focus her thoughts. She now writes meaningful posts, designed to give readers helpful take-home points that they can act on in their own lives.

Last modified on September 13th, 2023

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