The Best Paint Finish for Interior House Painting

The Best Paint Finish for Interior House Painting

The Best Paint Finish for Interior House Painting

It's not just about choosing the color of your house. It's important to also consider the best sheen/finish and which colors will set the mood. To help you make the right choice, we'll discuss the various types of paint finishes and sheens available. Not only is the gloss important, but also what will show imperfections, what will be best for moisture, and what will be easier to clean.


Things to Considerations


High-quality paints have more pigments and resins, which allows them to cover better and be more durable.

Is Buying Quality Painting Worth the Money?

Ease Of Cleaning:

The glossier the surface, the easier it is for you to clean. It's that simple.

Family/Kid Friendly:

The higher the gloss, the easier to clean it is. The highest sheens/glosses are reserved for accents like baseboards and window trim. They can also be used on doors, frames, railings, and door frames. Families with children tend to prefer the glosses in the middle, like Semi-Gloss or Satin, with semi-gloss slightly more durable and easy to clean than satin.

Surface/Room To Be Painted:

Although you can paint any surface, certain glosses are better for specific surfaces. The most common choice is a flat or semi-gloss finish for the ceiling, a matte, eggshell, satin, or high-gloss finish for the trim, and if you have doors, a higher-gloss paint (semi, gloss, or high-gloss). High gloss paints not only last longer, but also draw more attention and highlight any imperfections on the surface. This is why trims are often painted in a high gloss.

Types of Finishes

Paint finishes are classified by their glossiness and chemistry. Some manufacturers offer special finishes, such as Low Luster or Pearl. But 98-99% is paint that we will cover. The higher the gloss/shininess, the more resin and fewer pigments are used, which results in greater durability. The lower the gloss, the more resin is used, and the higher the pigments.

The high-gloss paint will reflect a lot more light than the flat paint. Below are some of the typical finishes you can find in a paint store, or from your interior painters.

  • Gloss/High-Gloss
  • Semi-Gloss
  • Satin
  • Eggshell
  • Flat / Matte
  • Primer
  • Water-based Paint
  • Oil-based Paint



  • Glossy and High-Gloss are commonly used as accents. They provide the highest sheen/most reflection levels.
  • This finish is perfect for cabinets, trims, and doors.
  • When used right, it can make things/surfaces/areas in the room pop.
  • Durable and easy to clean.


  • This finish is suitable for painting interior walls. However, because of its shine and the attention it attracts, it can also highlight imperfections.
  • It takes longer for the paint to dry between coats when compared with lower-sheen paint finishes.
  • You may need to apply more than two coats of paint for it to look good.
  • Some surfaces require extra preparation time, such as sanding.

For these interior areas, the gloss/high-gloss finish is popular.

  • High-traffic areas
  • Cabinets
  • Molding
  • Baseboards
  • Interior Doors and Frames
  • Window Trim
  • Railings



  • Semi-gloss surfaces are shinier than satin, but not as glossy as gloss or high-gloss.
  • It gives a smooth, bright sheen to a room.
  • Highly resistant to fingerprints and moisture.
  • It is more durable and easier than lower-gloss finishes to clean with a gentle scrub or wipe.

You can also find out more about the Cons

  • It will reflect blemishes on walls and ceilings.
  • The paint can take longer to dry between coats than lower gloss paints.
  • It may be necessary to do extra prep (such as sanding) because the imperfections will be highlighted.
  • It can be difficult to get the right look with only two coats of paint, so quality is very important.

Semi-Gloss Paint tends to go well with:

  • Windows and Window Trim
  • Cabinets
  • Moldings and baseboards
  • Interior Doors and Frames
  • Railings
  • High-traffic areas
  • If you prefer the look of shiny walls in children's bedrooms, then go for it.
  • If you prefer a higher sheen on your kitchen and bathroom walls.

A Satin Finish


  • This finish has a more subtle sheen than glossier finishes. It also covers well.
  • Interior house painting is a popular choice, particularly for families with young children.
  • It is easier to clean because it resists mildew, fading, and stains.
  • Paints with a lower gloss finish are more durable and easier to maintain, but they're not as easy to clean as those with a higher gloss.

You can also find out more about the Cons

  • Semi-gloss or high-gloss finish is not as durable.
  • It will still show any imperfections on your walls when viewed in the correct light.

Satin is a great interior paint finish for:

  • Basements
  • Kitchens and Bathrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Bedrooms, including those of children.
  • Hallways, dining rooms, and family rooms
  • Home Office
  • Paint quality can affect the ability to paint trim.

Eggshell Finish


  • The Eggshell Finish is the most popular because it has a low-sheen finish that looks like an elegant eggshell.
  • Ideal for areas with low to medium traffic.
  • It covers very well, and it does not show wall imperfections as much as satin or higher gloss paints.
  • Paints that are resistant to minor stains, scuffs, and scratches. They're also more durable and washable compared to flat or matte paints.

You can also find out more about the Cons

  • Paints with a higher gloss finish are more durable and washable.
  • It is good for most rooms but may not be durable for children.
  • Eggshell paint is not as resistant to moisture as satin or higher gloss paints. It should therefore not be used in bathrooms or kitchens.

For interior painting, an eggshell finish works best in the following areas.

  • Bedrooms (except small children).
  • Living Rooms
  • Family Rooms
  • Hallways
  • Home Offices



  • A popular choice in interior painting due to its uniformity and smoothness.
  • The difference between flat and matte paint finishes is only slight, with matte having slightly more sheen.
  • Ceilings can be painted with flat paint or matte finish.
  • It has a low to medium shine/gloss, making it perfect for walls with imperfections you don't want to be visible such as nail holes and patches.

You can also find out more about the Cons

  • Not very durable and is difficult to wash.
  • It is easy to scratch/mark.
  • It is not recommended to use walls in houses with young children.
  • Keep some leftover paint because it's easy to scratch.

For formal areas, flat and matte paint finishes are best.

  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Ceilings
  • Bedrooms (except small children)
  • Paint any room you want.


  • The primer should be used before painting surfaces that have not been painted previously or surfaces painted in darker colors.
  • Primer helps you to paint a surface evenly and with less paint.
  • Primers can be used to cover stains, preventing them from bleeding into your new paint.
  • Use wood primers to prevent paint from bleeding through the wood.
  • Be sure to read the label to ensure that the primer you choose is suitable for the surface to be painted, such as drywall or plaster.

Interior Paints: Water-based or Oil-based?

You may also need to decide on the base of your paint. We hope that we have helped you understand the differences between oil-based and water-based painting to make a decision on which is right for your project.

Water-based Paint

The vast majority of interior paints you find today are water-based. These paints cover well and dry quickly. Water-based paints have many benefits, including:

  • Mildew control
  • The toxic emissions are low
  • Easy Cleanup
  • Dries quickly
  • Flexible and crack-resistant
  • Use on all surfaces
  • Fades the least when exposed to sunlight

If you decide to or are forced to paint oil-based painting with water-based, it is important to prepare the surface properly. Before painting, we recommend you wash the surface thoroughly and roughen it with a medium-grit sandpaper.

If you need or want to use waterborne paint in a situation where oil-based is the norm, "waterborne acrylics" or "waterborne emulsions" are an option. If you are unsure what paint to use, ask your local paint store or a professional for advice.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints are known for their durable and rich finish. They can be used on most surfaces, including historic homes, Commercial Painting, and Industrial Painting. Oil-based painting is durable and covers like glass. It also dries much slower than water-based.

Use caution when using oil-based paints. Wear a respirator, and ensure that the room is well-ventilated. These paints can cause you to become sick due to their strong fumes. When it comes time to clean brushes and other paint tools after using oil-based, you cannot use water. Instead, you need to use turpentine or another solvent. Many governments have tightened regulations regarding oil-based paints. Check with your local paint store or professional painters to find out what's available and the best solution for your situation.

Oil-based paint has many benefits, including:

  • A beautiful gloss finish
  • The resistance to moisture makes it perfect for bathrooms and kitchens
  • Durable and hard finish
  • Very good for covering and leveling.

Hire a Professional Interior House Painting Today!

Fresh Painting FL is the answer if you have been putting your painting project off and need a professional to give you an estimate for interior house painting. We have a team of experienced Painters that can help you.

Fresh Painting FL offers interior house painting services and exterior paint for residential, commercial, or industrial properties in and around Jacksonville.

Call (+1-904-5499-000) if you have any questions or would like to receive an estimate for interior house painting.


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