With so many options to chose from, picking a paint finish can be quite a difficult task for the home-owner. Some contractors prefer this brand or others steer clear of it. Ultimately, you want quality over quantity when figuring out which paint finish to use.

Paint finish types- By far, the most important classification of paint is the one that provides information about the type of finish.  With the traditional application of paint, the finish reveals how the paint reflects light once it’s dry.

An exception is when special painting techniques (e.g. faux painting) are used since these lend a completely different finish. Generally speaking, in commercial buildings, the finish paint depends solely on the type of paint used.

Certain finishes are more appropriate for certain rooms; this is because each finish has certain properties, apart from the way it looks, that distinguish it from the other finishes.

Paint finish options include:

Flat Enamel

• Flat finish paint colours reflect light poorly. It’s a rough finish that’s generally considered to be warm and comfortable. Flat finishes are not slippery; therefore, they don’t wash very well.

• For this reason, it’s not recommended to use flat finish paint on walls in rooms that have less traffic (e.g. Living room, dining room, master bedroom, etc). Flat paint colors are usually used in rooms with only a few people and the chances of dirtying are less than in high traffic areas.

• Flat finish color is great for hiding imperfections in the walls because highly reflective paints draw attention to imperfections by creating a crack in the uniform light reflection. Flat paints inherently avoid this problem.  Unfortunately, paints with enamel finishes contain extremely stronger chemicals and can exude an odor for several days.

• If you are choosing a flat finish be sure to choose a reputable manufacturer to avoid this odor problem since many of the newer paints carry low VOC properties.

• Some manufacturers carry flat paints that are more washable than others.  For example, Behr Paint has a good flat paint that is very washable and low VOC as well.


• The next paint on the curve of reflective/shininess properties—the eggshell finish—has a decent amount of sheen. If you can imagine looking at an eggshell in the light and seeing how the light bounces off of it, you’ll have a good idea about what this finish will look like.

• As expected, the eggshell finish is easier to clean because of its slight gloss.  Eggshell finishes are usually used in common areas such as halls, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms.

benjamin moore regal select eggshell finish latex paint paint finish

Satin Finish Paint Colors

• A satin paint finish is glossier than an eggshell finish, and it’s even easier to keep clean. Due to their dirt resistance and ease of cleaning, the usual choices of location for satin finishes are halls and stairways.

• The finish gives a velvety shine to the surface and will not hide imperfections.  Satin finishes are usually used in kitchens, bathrooms, trim, and doors.


• Semi-gloss paints have high durability and a good amount of sheen. They are best used on surfaces like doors and trim. Due to their high water resistance and ease of cleaning, they are also an excellent choice for painting the walls of kitchens and bathrooms.

• This paint finish also offers a bolder colourway because it reflects light. This natural finish will not cover imperfections, however. The room painted will have an authentic and warm glow when completed.

Gloss Colours

• At the high end of the reflective gradient are glossy paints, which are rarely chosen for interior walls due to their extreme shine—any imperfections will glaringly stand out. It’s best to use them when painting floors, doors, and trim; the finish is extremely durable.

• Gloss paints are usually used on trim and doors. Sometimes it can also be used in a very high traffic commercial area where appearance is secondary, and durability is more important (ie. factory workhouse, floors, etc).

It can be overwhelming when deciding which paint finish to use on your house. As a recap, Flat finish paints are used for rooms with a smaller amount of people. Eggshell finishes are used in hallways, bedrooms and common areas. Satin colours are tailored for kitchens and bathrooms. While gloss paint is made to stand out at the cost of the imperfections being more noticeable.

Did this help make your decision as to who it should be when you hire a painting company? There is so much to think about in terms of finding the right painting contractors for the work you need completed. Let our professional house painters handle everything! Call 416.494.9095 or email [email protected] for a FREE quote. And don’t forget to visit us on social media (below) as well! 

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.