PAINT FINISHES 101
Not sure which paint finish is best for your surface? Once you figure out your needs, it can be easier to figure out which sheen is best (excluding Charlie, he’s a hot mess).
- you sometimes get small scuffs on your walls = you need wipeability
- you have four kids, three dogs, two gorillas and a donkey in your home, and you need a Hazmat suit to wipe down your walls = you need washability
- you have textured or damaged walls = you should consider sheen
In this photo, there are four different paintable surfaces with different needs
First, I’ll give you a quick n’ dirty summary. HOWEVER, please take the time to read the rest of this blog post as it has IMPORTANT information and considerations!
BEST PAINT FINISH FOR CEILINGS: flat
BEST PAINT FINISH FOR TRIMS, DOORS & MOULDINGS: satin
BEST PAINT FINISH FOR WALLS: matte or eggshell
BEST PAINT FINISH FOR CABINETS: satin
BEST PAINT FINISH FOR PAINTED BRICK: eggshell
Now, let’s learn a little about what you can expect in SHEEN or GLOSS from the above finishes!
BTW – there is variation in percentages between finishes, brands, and lines of paint – these are approximate numbers.
FLAT FINISH PAINT
Flat paint has little to no sheen. Because of this, it’s usually not washable or even very wipeable. Some higher-end brands have some luck with basic washability (Benjamin Moore Aura and Sherwin Williams Emerald), but I’m sceptical over the long-term for high-use areas. I’ve found the only TRULY WASHABLE paint is Benjamin Moore ScuffX.
Matte paint can have a 5-10% gloss finish, making it slightly more washable, but still not as durable as a shinier finish.
10-25% VISIBLE SHEEN
An eggshell finish is similar to that of an actual eggshell, not flat, not shiny – kind of in-between.
SATIN OR PEARL FINISH
25-35% VISIBLE GLOSS
Satin or pearl is the next step up from eggshell. Satin/pearl has a reasonable amount of sheen to it without being as glossy as a semi-gloss.
Satin finish (and glossier finishes) can slightly brighten and enhance colour compared to flat and eggshell finishes (due to light reflectance).
70-85% VISIBLE SHEEN
This one has some kick to it with a sheen level that will reflect light back into your room.
The white barn door is shinier than it needs to be
85%+ VISIBLE SHEEN
This is the full meal deal in the sheen world. A high gloss finish adds drama, and impact and has supreme washability. I usually find it to be way more than is necessary and prefer satin or semi-gloss.
The sheen on this door is so strong; it’s distracting
However, the sheen is irrelevant if you buy crappy paint. The better quality your paint is, the more durable your finish should be – a la moi
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at what you could use in your own home.
THE BEST PAINT FINISH FOR TRIMS, DOORS & MOLDINGS
Hands down, satin is the most popular finish for any type of trims, doors and mouldings. Why is it so popular? It’s washable without being overly glossy.
- old homes look fabulous with a semi-gloss trim but can easily handle a satin finish
- newer or modern homes tend to suit a satin finish
- shiny finishes can expose flaws, so make sure your trim is in tip-top shape – the same with your painting skills
- the photo above shows a satin finish
The 3 Colours I Would NEVER Paint My Trim or Cabinets
The 10 Questions You Need to Ask BEFORE You Hire a Painter!
THE BEST PAINT FINISH FOR THE CEILING
In 99% of cases, a flat finish is best for a ceiling. Why? There are a few reasons…
- you don’t want your ceiling reflecting light back at you, and shinier finishes are reflective
- ceilings are often textured, and a textured finish will be enhanced with shiny paint, as will any flaws
What Colour Should I Paint My Ceiling?
THE BEST PAINT FINISH FOR WALLS
MATTE OR EGGSHELL
When it comes to walls, there are many considerations…
The best paint finish for walls that are in great shape – matte or eggshell
- If your walls are smooth, in good condition, and you don’t have kids or dogs, you can definitely consider a quality matte finish.
- If your walls are smooth, in good condition, and you DO have kids, dogs or a spouse with Dorito fingers, you may want an eggshell finish. A great alternative is ScuffX in matte finish as it’s far more washable than the average paint (it’s the only paint I’ll use in my home in the future).
The best paint finish for walls that are damaged or uneven – matte or eggshell
- As mentioned earlier, I highly recommend ScuffX. And no, I don’t get paid anything to say that (I pay myself in Starbucks, white wine and personal high-fives) – I just love its washability and overall finish.
- Any sheen will expose flaws on your walls. While ScuffX matte has a particular sheen at a certain ANGLE, its overall look is very muted.
- However, if you have kids/dogs/spouse/gorilla, you may need to sacrifice that low sheen for some wipeability with eggshell (IF you aren’t using ScuffX).
The best paint finish for heavily textured walls – matte
- The great thing about textured walls is that the texture will help disguise any fingerprints, smudges, etc…
- If you’re worried about washability, you can use eggshell, but it will slightly enhance the look of your textured areas. Again, check out ScuffX (yes, I am passive-aggressive).
If you’re painting your walls a dark colour – matte
- If you’re painting a medium or dark-toned colour (feature wall or whole room), it can look garish with too much sheen (there are few exceptions). Ideally, you would use a washable matte finish (this doesn’t apply to cabinets – only walls).
BTW, the only eggshell finish that is REALLY different is Behr’s, which is more like a satin finish (I would use it for furniture or trim, not walls, personally).
THE BEST PAINT FINISH FOR KITCHEN CABINETS, VANITIES & FURNITURE
I’ve yet to meet a semi-gloss or high-gloss cabinet that I love UNLESS it’s on a flat panel cabinet in a more modern setting. Satin is almost ALWAYS the best finish for cabinets (some brands refer to it as ‘Pearl’.
In the above photo, look to the left of the island to see the sheen level of Benjamin Moore Advance – satin finish. Check out more of these painted maple cabinets.
- A satin finish is great for washability, without reflecting my purdy lil face back at me. I have done some furniture pieces in semi-gloss, and they looked sharp but were too reflective. Again, the shinier the paint is, the more you will see flaws, so if you’re painting your own cabinets, satin will have a bit more forgiveness than semi-gloss for a less-than-perfect job.
Should you really paint your cabinets white? And if so, which white is best?
Painting Kitchen Cabinets: How to Pick the Best Colour
What’s the best way to sample paint colours?
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out soon to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1 DAY, depending on the location
- they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
- if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
The Best Paint Finish for Your Front Door
When it comes to the front door, satin is usually a safe bet. Why?
- Direct natural light can expose flaws such as dents, scuffs, brush and roller marks. Add a glossy finish to this, and it’ll be a hot mess.
- Dark colours in a glossy finish can be a bit garish if not suited to the home.
- Flat or eggshell finishes can look chalky on the front door and aren’t washable enough for the wear and tear that doors get.
- Satin finish on the front door is my fave. Wipeable, classy – not glassy.
What are the Best Paint Colours for My Front Door?
The Best Paint Finish for a Brick / Stone Fireplace
Brick can look abrasive when shiny, yet dull when flat. For this reason, I like eggshell for a brick fireplace (more than satin).
- If you paint your brick a dark colour, eggshell finish looks best.
- If you’re painting your brick a light/white colour, eggshell or MAYBE satin.
A few more tidbits…
- The more coats of paint you put on, the more sheen you will get. What looked eggshell at TWO coats can look shinier at FIVE!
- The quality of your brush and roller matters DESPERATELY! Invest well.
At the end of the day, it’s up to YOU as to which finish makes the most sense. Talk to your local paint store as they can be a wealth of knowledge and may know a few tips particular to your region.
Well, that about covers it! If you’re considering hiring a painter, I highly recommend you read this: The 10 Questions You Need to Ask BEFORE Hiring a Painter!
Get 3 Paint Colours Custom-Picked for You and Your Home
Kylie M Interiors Online Color Consulting
The Dreaded Popcorn or Textured Ceiling: Info You Need Before You Scrape
Don’t Hire a Painter Before Asking These 10 Questions
The 12 Best WHOLE Home Paint Colours
Originally written May 2017, updated 2022
What a great, interesting article! I LOVE your posts, Kylie, and am trying to read as many of the older ones as possible, as I have just relatively recently discovered your blog. I love the way you get into the “nitty gritty” about color and paint and tell us all the important points!
Anyway–you did mention Behr paint above. Have you seen how their Marquee line has two different sheens for the same color on the same large color chip (semi-gloss and eggshell?) It is amazing how different the color looks with different sheens under different lights!
Speaking of Behr–I checked Consumer Report’s latest paint ratings and Behr is still on top (Marquee is ranked the highest of all!) Even Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra is ranked higher than Benjamin Moore’s Aura . I was hoping that if Benjamin Moore was ranked higher than Behr, I could justify the extra cost, LOL! I am wondering, how come designers usually specify colors from the more expensive Benjamin Moore, or Sherwin Williams instead of the reasonably priced, but good quality Behr? We have usually used Behr in the past and really need to stick with a paint in that price range as we will be painting most of our home soon, in preparation to put it on the market and we are on a very tight budget. I tried having some samples of a few Benjamin Moore colors computer matched in Behr, and they came out close, but different enough that they really had different undertones.
Maybe you could post about Behr colors sometime—or do you not like the paint or their colors–or their sheen, LOL? Are their pigments just not as good and able to get the beautiful colors that Benjamin Moore has? Just wondering! Thanks.
THAT is a good question. I love Behr paint and have had a lot of luck with it, particularly the ‘Ultra’ line. Now (this is just opinion), I think that designers refer mostly to BM and SW because back in the day (you know, like 5 years ago), the colour options were MUCH better. However…Behr has really upped its game with its colour selection. Now I still think SW kicks everyone’s butt in the gray/greige/beige world, but Behr has definitely improved their colour options, particularly with the Marquee line. In fact just yesterday, I was thinking of writing a blog post re: Behr’s Best Neutrals, so your note is that extra boot that I needed!
And yes, I DO find the Behr Ultra eggshell sheen a bit of a bother on walls. It’s just got a bit extra sheen to it and I find it a bit too much. I love it for furniture though, it’s perfect. If i use Behr Ultra on walls, I almost always do the flat finish, so I don’t have too much gloss…
P.S. Btw- I love the tip about using satin, not semi-gloss on a front door! I am going to repaint our door in satin, as it is currently in Semi-gloss, and yes, it does show every ding and imperfection and dirt spec! Thanks again.
Thanks for commenting Phyllis! And yes, the Satin finish is great – just remember that you’ll need to give that door a good sand (and maybe even a coat of primer) so that the new paint sticks to that shiny finish!
My ceiling is flat, the walls matte and the trim and doors satin. What sheen should I use for the cornice and crown moulding please?
Hi Dorothy, if it were me, I would be inclined to keep all moldings the same finish for consistency and that way the colour appears the same as well!
Same finish as the walls or as the trim? I have a ton of wainscoting in my historic looking home. The ceilings will be flat, the walls will be in eggshell and based on this article I will be doing the baseboards in semi gloss (was open to satin too but I have an older looking house plus kids). 2 Questions: I am assuming all trim (window/door casings and the inside doors themselves should also be in semi gloss as well?). What do you recommend for the crown molding and wainscoting? I really don’t like an overly shiny look but also want durability and the wainscot is a large chunk of the wall. Please help!! Thanks!
And if it were ME, even though it’s an older home, with having wainscoting, I would stick with satin, which will give you wipeability without the increased sheen of semi-gloss ;).
Hi Kylie, big thanks for sharing so much wonderful information. I’m all the way down in Oz so we can’t get the brands you are referring to but regardless your other info is gold…plus that you are a hoot – love your sense of humour and I am hanging out for a wine myself right about now!
Wahoo – a kindred spirit! BTW, I do have Dulux (which apparently is a brand you carry) and I heard a CRAZY rumour that Sherwin Williams might be coming to your part of the world – wouldn’t that be awesome?!
Our interior doors and trim were recently painted with satin. We just got hardwood floors and need to paint the baseboards. Would it be weird to do those in semigloss instead of satin? Or should they match doors and trim?
Hi Debbie, I would be MOST inclined to doing them all the same finish for consistency. Finish can shift how a colour looks, so I’d be going satin all over!
I have a some what small foyer with stairs off of it. WAinscott on the bottom of wall. I was thinking of a flat paint for upper part f wall but nit sure what to use for,my wainscott,below. MY hallway,is,somewhat traditional with some furniture. MY painter says to go with a pearl by behrs but wondering if that will be too much of a sheen??? I could go with benjamn,moore paint if you feel that would be a better choice. ALso,the doors leading frm hallway shuld they be the same colour. I am thinking f swiss coffee for wainscott?
Hi Carol, I would be inclined toward a pearl or satin finish as well, but that being said, I find that Behr’s finishes are a bit shinier than most other brands. In Behr I might even do the eggshell (this is what I did when I used Behr on painted furniture pieces). The Benjamin Moore Advance Satin finish is a beautiful finish. Hope that helps!
This is helpful thanks! If I do wainscot in satin does that mean I should do my doors/trim/baseboards in the same finish or do they need to not match? Our smooth walls will be eggshell b/c of the kids. I am so confused! 🙂
Hi Michele, I would DEFINITELY keep the wainscoting and trims/doors/etc… in the same finish and have only the walls be a different finish (and flat on the ceiling) :).
Came here after a search… just finished my guest/toddler bath, and while the color is gorgeous, the sheen is crazy. I used Behr PP Ultra in Majestic Blue, a rich and deep color, eggshell finish. The trim is the same paint in Ultra Pure White semi gloss. The deep blue actually looks glossier than the two step up in sheen trim! Ack!! All that time and deliberation about such a deep (yet luxurious) color… looks tacky instead. Where we now live, walls are textured (side note that I can’t stand that, having come from another part of the country). So every little bump shows as highlights. This is the second room we’ve painted from builder greige, in the same manner. Only the first room, the walls are a light grey. Eggshell looks fine in that room. Both rooms got two coats. Is the deep color the reason for the added sheen? Both in terms of contrast between highlights and shadows, and added materials/pigment? I got a sample of Behr PP (not Ultra) flat, but it looks too dull. And this is a bathroom, after all. The guy at the paint store said Behr PP Ultra matte is the same as Behr PP flat, but the chips looks a little glossier. Long-winded, but do you think the matte will be a safe compromise between the too-shiny eggshell and dull flat for a bathroom wall? I’m starting to not trust the sample tins, as I suspect they behave differently.
Hi Lavender, yes that is something I’ve discovered with Behr paint, is that their sheens seem to be higher than the other brands, so often, an eggshell can look like a Satin finish. Also dark colours tend to carry sheen more, so when I do dark I’m more inclined to do a matte finish. And it wouldn’t be bad if the matte was a bit shiny as when it comes to bathrooms and dark colours, you can see a lot of the moisture on the walls if they are too dry/flat looking. You’ll need that bit of sheen for wipeability…
My ceiling will be painted a flat finish, presently my crown mouldings and base boards are a pearl finish.
I will be refreshing those too.
Question is that I’m not sure if I should paint the crown mouldings this time flat just like the ceiling for a change and more modern feel.
Or should I paint them pearl again as I will doing the baseboards?
I am not sure of how it will look with different finish of baseboards and crown mouldings
Keep in mind that the paint colour will all be the same( ceiling,crown and base)
What do you think?
Thank you for you input
Hi Sotiria, if it were me, I would keep all of the trims in a consistent sheen – for sure.
WONDERFUL POST! thank you.
If I paint my trim and shiplap in a white satin finish by sherwin Williams, what finish should I use on the walls? It is a new construction modern home and I chose “big chill” for the walls.
I’m thinking EGGSHELL? I have small children, so I am steering clear of flat.
let me know 🙂
Hi Stefani, eggshell is a FABULOUS finish for walls!
Bottom section of our kitchen is done in pine . would like to paint it a soft ivory. What sheen of paint do you recommend.
Hi Josepha, if you’re talking about walls, I would lean toward eggshell for sure. If it’s cabinets, then probably a satin/pearl finish 🙂
What finish would you recommended for white board and batten in a mudroom? Thanks!
Repainting my dining roon, I want to paint my chair rail, bottom 1/2 of my wall and all moulding same color, do I use the same finish paint, or use eggshell on wall portion and pear or semi for trim?
Hi Diana! I would be most inclined to do any ‘trim’ detailing in satin or semi-gloss and any ‘drywall’ in eggshell. This can be a really nice way to set off a colour as the sheens will shift the look of it slightly!
Just found your website after researching paint sheens. I am painting my basement and am going to do Benjamin Moore White Dove for the walls, wood work and ceilings. I was planning on doing the ceiling flat, walls eggshell and trim/doors satin or semi-gloss. Will doing different sheens make it look like different colors of paint? Also, my home is about 9 years old, would you go with semi or satin for the trim and doors?
Hi Kristin, you’re bang-on with the sheen, that’s perfect! And yes, the sheens will slightly alter the look of the paint, only slightly. But that being said, on every wall, with shading/lighting a colour can look slightly different anyway. I find it to be a really neat look with the trim has that touch more sheen than the walls. Super duper subtle, but lovely. As for trim and doors, I’m 50/50 but generally lean toward satin.
Regarding ceilings-We’ll be doing our kitchen ceiling in a beadboard or shiplap-ish type of thing. Think the ceiling should be done in flat, or because it will be beadboard, should I do a satin or eggshell finish to give it just a hint of sheen?
Also-Our cabinets will look like Alabaster. Having a hard time finding a “warm” white subway tile for the backsplash. Any idea if a subway tile exists that looks like Alabaster?
Thank you for any advice!
Hi Marie, thank you! It all depends on the room and the quality of light coming in/hitting the ceiling, but sometimes a shiplap can be a nice in an eggshell finish. As for a warm white subway tile, there are so MANY whites that it’s just a matter of going to your local stores and bringing samples home until one hits the spot! Online images are unfortunately poor renditions of the real thing!
Thank you so much for your reply, Kylie.
I appreciate it. 🙂
Hi, Kylie! What do you think about using the same paint color but in different sheens, in an open floor plan? I have a small house (seriously, small, picture small…). The kitchen, living room and short hallway are open to each other. The drywall texture is… not so nice. It’s a badly done orange peel texture. So, I thought I might try flat sheen for the living room (which is also the … ahem… “entry”), and then do low-lustre in the kitchen and hallway. Luckily, there are corners to “die” one sheen and switch to the other (almost all inside corners, only one outside corner). That way I would have more durability in the kitchen and hallway, but better looks in the living room. P.S. I’m using SW. I’ve heard that SW Cashmere’s version of eggshell, called “low-lustre,” has a slightly higher sheen than most eggshells. That’s why I’m trying to avoid using it everywhere. I just wonder if this question has ever come up for you! Thanks!
Hi Ashley, great questions!
I LOVE the same paint colour in different sheens, absolutely – but really only with whites and off-whites. Now I’ve used Cashmere eggshell a LOT in our last home and truth be told I love it, it’s nice and washable, but I BET you won’t love the sheen on it as you are right, it does. IN our new home I’ve switched to BM Regal in the ulti-matte, which obviously doesn’t help you with using SW…I would ask them for their MOST washable ulti-matte…
Your chart with all the paint finishes is very helpful!
My question is this….would you paint the drywall and board and batten trim with the same finish? If so, what finish would you use? Thanks!!
Hi Teresa, thank you! And yes, I think I know what you’re asking, I would paint the wall part and the trim part of board and batten the same finish – probably a nice satin!
We are contemplating painting the entire interior Simply White from BM – regal. Was thinking of applying the eggshell finish throughout the house to keep the flow intact.
We want to use the same colour for the trims / windows and doors but using the Aurora line. Would the satin finish in this case the way to go? Would it create enough difference between the walls and trims?
Hi Betty! I’m just not familiar enough with the Aura finish to give you a good thought on that. What I can say is that I love the BM Advance paint in the satin/pearl finish for trims and what not – it’s like a nice cabinet finish that levels quite lovely!
I really appreciate all your information- it is so informative! I’m having a hard time deciding on a sheen for my walls and baseboards. I have 6 boys and they are HARD on my walls. Like artwork, goobers and handprints everywhere. Our walls are currently Semi-gloss and they are so shiny and I don’t really care for it. I need to be able to wash my walls, trim and doors regularly. We have a split level and the brightness and sheen is different in every spot in the house. What would you suggest? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Walls will be SW Agreeable Grey and trim/baseboards I haven’t decided yet. Probably Pure White.
Hi Melanie, it sounds like you need a durable eggshell, something like SW OPulence/Cashmere. If you’re so inclined, BM has a fabulous paint called ScuffX, which is SOOOOO durable – SW just doesn’t have anything quite like it. The ulti-matte is beautiful….
Thank you so much- I will look in to those! I’m so glad you know what you are doing 😉
Hi Kylie! I love your blog!!! You’ve helped me tremendously! Based on your advice I chose SW Colonnade Gray over BM Revere Pewter and I love it in our bedroom! It has turned out beautiful!!! I asked the guy at SW what finish was best to use for the bedroom wall and he said Satin. Yikes! I wish I’d read this article before purchasing, but I’ll be ready when I begin painting my kitchen. Definitely going with eggshell next time! Thanks again for your insight and great info!!!
Well damn, right away I was like NOOOOO, NOT SATIN! Well, now you know 😉 And I’m glad the colour info came in handy!
We are going to paint the master bedroom tongue and groove vaulted ceiling . The large beams and rafters will be left as existing – dark stain ed. We have already painted the same type ceiling in the master bathroom with semi gloss white But the master bedroom has many windows and lots of bright light and I think the semi gloss will be too shiny. Should I use eggshell or flat? We live outside a National Park in a rural area and are constantly chasing cobwebs.
Thanks for your help.
Hi Lois, I might do an eggshell 🙂
Hi, I see the chart at the end says semi or high for trim on older homes and then doors says satin. My home is 30 years old and while the doors were replaced 6 years ago, the trim is not in the greatest shape and just needs to be replaced also. I have 3 questions. Do you think it would look silly to have 4 panel eyebrow doors but completely flat baseboard and casing? Doors are already semi, should I stick with that or change everything (doors casing and baseboard) to satin? What type of Sherwin Williams paint is best for those types of areas? We seem to be pretty rough on the trim in some areas and I planned to do the pure white.
We’ve also been slowly painting repainting the entire house walls with satin and have a little less than half done, but I will be making that change to eggshell and then eventually repainting the areas already done. I do notice the wall imperfections more. So glad I stumbled upon these posts.
Thoughts on “ceiling paint” vs. flat paint in the same white color as cabinets for ceiling? Would you suggest using the “ceiling paint” that comes in all the major brands (I’ll probably use Behr) or a flat paint in the same white color that I’m painting the cabinets and trim/molding in my house? The house has lower ceilings and the white cabinets will run straight into the ceilings. I’m worried the “ceiling paint may have a dingy grey tinge to it.
Hi Danielle, if it were me, I would continue with the same colour that is on the cabinets, then you don’t need to worry about clashing undertones!
Hi Kylie! We are finishing our basement. I went to Sherwin William’s and ordered the wall paint in eggshell. The rep there told me that their eggshell and satin are the same thing? I asked several times to be sure. He said there was no difference. We purchased the duration line. Have you ever heard of this? We used the paint (the can says satin). All the walls are painted. It doesn’t appear too shiny… so for the trim and interior doors he told us to use semi gloss? I’ve painted the trim and baseboards in semi-gloss and it’s definitely more shiny in appearance than the walls. So, should I do the doors in the same semi-gloss? So confused with sherwin William’s right now. I should mention two kids will be using this basement as a play area ????. Thanks!!!
Another great article! I have been using your website as a resource for my own home renos and just have to say thank you for providing such incredible content! You do amazing work 🙂
What sheen of trim looks best with matte hardwood floors? The floors are a natural color and I am planning to paint the walls with BM White Dove in a matte finish. I’m using the same color for the trim.
Hi Lauren, I would look at a satin finish, so that you still get some wipeability, but don’t have TOO much gloss ;).
Hi Kylie, thanks for your easy to understand explanation of finishes! You said, “The only eggshell finish that is different is Behr which is more like a satin finish.” Do you think this is across the board with Behr’s paints? I’m looking at the Behr Premium Plus Ultra. I’m considering satin because it’s a darker basement, but maybe eggshell is just the thing.
Hi Kristi! I have found that pretty consistent with most of the Behr finishes, especially compared to the finish you’d get with Sherwin or Benjamin. If it were me, I’d go for eggshell in Behr for sure!
Hi Kylie! Your posts are so inspirational.
Quick question. I have a small west facing front office in my house with tall vaulted ceilings. I just painted the walls with SW eggshell color matched to F&B Hauge Blue.
Now I’m staring at a tall white ceiling, and want to go full in and paint the ceiling to match, paired with a Carrera top desk and warm leather chair.
My question is do I just use the same eggshell paint for the ceiling, or do I get the Hauge Blue in flat/typical ceiling paint? Also, thinking about lightning the ceiling paint by 25%?
Thoughts and thanks!
Hi DJ. I lean towards doing it eggshell. The thing is, finish affects how a paint colour looks and vaulted ceilings ‘tend’ to reflect a bit more light than straight vertical walls. I wouldn’t lighten it though as the natural change in lighting/ceiling slope will do wild and wonderous things for you!
I love love love your blog/website! As for ceilings in bathrooms, do you still use flat paint? One of my bathrooms doesn’t get much ventilation. There is a fan but no windows.
I was planning on using eggshell on the walls but worried about flat on the ceilings. Would you use matte Or continue with eggshell on the ceilings as well?
Thank you so much for all your awesome information!
Thanks Madison! Ooo yes, if you don’t have great ventilation, eggshell woudl be a minimum. Heck I might even do satin on both…I know satin can look iffy if it’s a textured ceiling, but I’d hate for that moisture to penetrate!
We are remodeling and adding shiplap to our 10′ beam, pitched ceiling. We want to paint it all white and have chosen BM Super White to use with possibly BM Collingwood for the walls. Are these 2 colors good together?
What sheen should we use for each? Thanks so much, I enjoy your posts.
Thanks for this great information! Would you do the same sheen for an accent wall as the other walls. We have satin on the other walls. Thanks!
Kylie, this was awesome!! We’re about to paint our downstairs bathroom and I was just second-guessing my decision to go with eggshell. Then I read this! No more second-guessing! Thank you so much!
I have one question. You said to make sure to use quality brushes and rollers. Is there a particular brand or type you like?
I am looking to paint a chair rail and the drywall under the chair rail the same white color. Should I do the chair rail semi-gloss and the wall under the chair rail eggshell. Or do both the chair rail and wall semi-gloss?
Hi Bill, if you have mouldings under the chair rail, I would do them/the drywall/the chair rail all the same finish (usually satin, but semi can work). If it’s ONLY drywall underneath, I would definitely to it ‘wall finish’, so that would be matte or eggshell. Without mouldings, it would look odd to have the lower walls the same finish as the chair rail :). I hope that helps!
I enjoyed your post and I’m loving the dining room. Can you tell me what color is on the walls in the dining room picture?
Would you do a matte/flat finish for SW Greenblack as an accent wall in a low-traffic office? I want to paint the crown and baseboard trim Greenblack also – Satin for that? Thanks!!
Oh you know, I would! Dark colours can just look abrasive in a higher sheen (if you ask me) where as they pick up a more classic look in a matte/flat. I would look at Emerald for that :).
Thank you so much for the reply!
Hi, I have a quick question. We are having tongue and groove (MDF) put up on our cathedral ceiling in our family room (16×23). Our contractor will re-prime it and then paint it. My husband wants it painted white with a semi-gloss finish, and I would want a satin finish. Any suggestions?
Ooooo, on a ceiling, I wouldn’t do anything MORE than satin – it can be a tough area to have more sheen on with the reflection from windows.
Hello! When painting a wall and adding board and batten (where the wall shows between the boards) do you paint it all one sheen? And what do you choose?? I’m having a lot of difficulty with this. Our foyer gets some light, but overall darker than the rest of our main level spaces. It’ll all be white. Curious what you do for this. All eggshell? All satin? A combo? PLEASE HELP!
Hey Sabrina! If it were me, I would lean into a satin finish for ALL of it – the boards and the wall space for consistency. The goal is for it to look like one application vs ‘this part is wood and this part is wall’. I hope this helps!
Hi Kylie, love all the helpful info on this post and plan to follow your advice. I’m going to paint my upper kitchen cabinets Satin with BM Advance, crown moulding and trim in satin, walls in eggshell, ceiling flat – all in White Dove. There was soffit all around the perimeter of my kitchen but I removed that from everywhere *except* over the cabinets. I plan to trim it out to look ‘built-in.’ The cabinets and the crown molding a foot above them will both be satin – should the section of wall (soffit) be also painted in Satin finish to blend with that or eggshell to match the rest of the walls?
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Thank you for the advice on paint finishes. Wondering if satin finish would be the best choice for a dark gray accent wall with wainscoting / applied trim? The other surrounding walls in the room will be white in a matte finish.