How To Choose the Correct Paint Finish

Colour often dominates your thought process when it comes to painting. Colour is ultimately the most important decision from a visual perspective. However, coming in right behind colour as the most important decision is the choice of paint finish. The paint finish goes beyond whether it looks shiny or matte. The finish you choose affects how the colour looks. If you take the same colour and have it made in several different finishes, it will actually appear as a different colour in each finish. This is due to how each finish reflects light. It can affect the durability of the paint over time. It can affect how well imprecations can be hidden.

Here are the Pros and Cons of Each Finish:


  1. Good choice for areas with imperfections like ridges on exterior siding or waves on interior plaster walls
  2. Great for ceilings
  3. Look deeper then other finishes due to light absorption
  4. Great coverage which makes them affordable
  5. Not good for areas that require a lot of cleaning. Flat finish paint scuffs easily


  1. Not as good at hiding imperfections as flat but still good.
  2. Only a hint of shine giving it coverage similar to flat finish
  3. Easier cleaning then flat but not as good as satin or semi gloss.


  1. Has a rich luster
  2. Great for high traffic areas and rooms that require regular cleaning like bathrooms and kitchens
  3. Great choice for trim, windows and doors
  4. Higher Cost because it doesn’t spread as much
  5. Doesn’t hide imperfections

Semi Gloss

  1. Smooth to the touch and washable
  2. Stand up well agains humid conditions
  3. Will not be as deep as a lower sheen level paint
  4. Does not spread very far which makes higher cost
  5. Can often appear to have streaks and flashing in certain lighting conditions
  6. Not good for ceilings or long walls