Interior Paint Finishes Explained

Interior PaintInterior paint finishes can transform the look of your room. Different finishes behave in different ways, so it’s worth becoming familiar with the most common paint finishes before deciding which is right for you.

Here’s our guide:

Matt Emulsion

This is a smooth finish, with an almost velvety texture. Because it doesn’t reflect much light, imperfections are hardly noticeable. This makes it a great option for families with small kids.

Flat Matt Emulsion

Flat matt emulsion is similar to matt emulsion, but is more velvety. With this finish, colours look almost identical in different light conditions, which makes it perfect for deeper, bolder shades.


This is a shiny, reflective finish – perfect for woodwork, such as window and door frames. Gloss is best suited to pale colours and surfaces in perfect condition. Paired with matt walls, gloss trimmings look incredibly stylish.


Satin is a mid-sheen finish for woodwork. Because it isn’t as shiny as gloss, it helps to hide imperfections, and makes colours appear softer.


Like satin, silk is a mid-sheen finish, but for walls. The great thing about silk paint finishes is they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Do keep in mind, however, that bumps will show up quite a bit.


Eggshell paint finishes really do look like the surface of an eggshell. It lies between a matt and a silk finish, and gives a classic, heritage-style look to both wooden surfaces and walls.

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Finish

Now that you’re familiar with the most common sorts of paint finishes, how do you know which will best suit your space? We recommend considering these three things:

  1. Durability. No two interior paint finishes were created equally, and some last longer than others. Silk is a great option, as it’s easy to clean, and both matt and flat matt will conceal wear and tear.
  2. Condition of walls. If your walls are covered in lumps and bumps, avoid high-sheen finishes, such as gloss, silk, and satin. These finishes reflect lots of light, which makes uneven surfaces visible.
  3. Style. You won’t believe the impact paint finishes have on the style of a room. Matt finishes look very modern, whereas silk and eggshell look more traditional.

If you’ve decided on a paint finish, and you’re ready to have your home transformed, give us a call on 07 3829 5735, or fill out the form at the top of this page.

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About Louise Kraudelt

Meet Louise Kraudelt, a knowledgeable and insightful author in the field of house painting. With a passion for sharing her expertise, Louise provides valuable information and tips on all aspects of commercial and house painting in this blog.

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