Get the Paint Finish You Really Want

Learn the lingo of paint stores and find out how to get your desired paint finish.

MAKE IT MATTE.
Matte paint (also known as dead flat paint) has no sheen and gives a chalky, contemporary finish.
Pro: It disguises small imperfections in walls.
Con: Stains won't wash off easily.

GO FOR A SLIGHT SHEEN.
Eggshell paint has a beautiful egglike sheen.
Pro: It reflects more light into the room than a matte finish.
Con: It's more practical than matte paint but can only be washed very lightly.

PICK PRACTICAL SATIN.
Satin paint is slightly shinier than eggshell and more practical.
Pro: It can be scrubbed lightly and is great for bathrooms.
Con: Walls can sometimes look more like they belong in a store than in a home.

SELECT A SUBTLE SHINE.
Semigloss offers shine without glitz. Use it on doors, windows and trims.
Pro: It's easy to wash.
Con: The finish is too shiny to use on walls.

GIVE WOODWORK A GLOSSY SHINE.
This very shiny finish for doors, windows and trim looks like enamel.
Pro: It's very easy to wash.
Con: The high-gloss shine shows imperfections.