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How to Select the Right Interior Paint Finish and Color

Picking a paint color can be so stressful!

Not only are you looking for the perfect wall color that will compliment your furniture and finishes, but you also have to decide what paint finish best fits your lifestyle.

Below we compare what paint finishes work best room by room as well as a new FUN way to explore color swatches! Ready to be come a "Pro" on all things paint? Read on my friend!

How to Select the Right Paint Finish

Every paint finish has a different level of durability. Rule of thumb, the more “sheen” a paint has, the more likely it will hold up after time from scratches, stains, and residue. Light also impacts how a certain paint finish looks in your space. For example, eggshell and satin paint finishes reflect more light and can look more “shiny” whereas flat and matte paints can make a room that lacks light look more dull. Still unsure what option is best for your space? Here’s our breakdown of each finish and what typically works best room by room.

Flat and Matte

Flat paint has a non reflective finish; matte is low luster. A paint brand usually offers one or the other. Both help hide imperfections on the surface but these finishes are the least resistant to stains. Flat and matte finishes are recommended for low-traffic areas.

Best for: Ceilings, formal living rooms, and bedrooms

*** We recommend BEHR Ultra Scuff Defense it has a flat finish with the durability of gloss AND is scuff resistant! This color is Back to Nature S340-4 Berh's 2020 Color of the Year!

Satin & Eggshell

Satin is slightly shinier than eggshell, but both are easier to clean than flat or matte paint. These finishes tend to accentuate surface imperfections, so take time to prep and get the walls as smooth as possible.

Best for: Eggshell works great in family rooms, kid’s bedrooms, and hallways. Satin, which is a little more durable than eggshell, also works well in those rooms as well as in the kitchen, dining area, children’s bedrooms, and bathrooms. Many satin finishes are tough enough to use on trim as well.

*** We recommend BEHR Marquee, this paint goes on so smooth!! MOST of the time you can get a away with only doing ONE coat! Now who doesn't love that?! This color is Natural Gray PPU18-10

Semi-Gloss and High-Gloss

Semi-gloss and high-gloss paint finishes will have a shiny look and really catch the light. They resist stains and are the toughest paint finish against wear and tear. Just as with eggshell and satin paints, you'll want to make sure your walls are smooth before painting.

Best for: Trim, windows, and doors

*** We recommend BEHR Premium Plus, this paint and primer in one is perfect when painting trim and doors! This color is BERH Ultra Pure White, the top selling color for trim!

Now onto the PERFECT color!

Here are a few tips to help you on your way to the perfect color-

1. Lighting- What a difference lighting or the type of bulb can make on a paint color. We always suggest picking the final color with the lighting of the room to be painted. Don't pick the color in the store! The florescent lighting can really affect the color. If you are remodeling then hold off on picking the color until the new lights are installed. Another part of lighting is day-light. Wait to pick that color until you see it in the day and night. You could even take this a step further and double check it in a sunny versus cloudy day.

2. Pick-up a range of swatches at the store. Like we mentioned, colors change once you get them home. If you think you have found the PERFECT color, grab a few extra around that color and save yourself a trip back to the store later for more samples.

3. When in doubt paint a sample section. If you are still unsure then purchase a small sample paint to try on the walls. We recommend putting it on a few different areas of the room based on whether they get a lot of shade or sun, this can also change the color.

Check out this video for more tips!!

Experimenting With Paint Swatches

Unlike the small square paint swatches found in home improvement stores, Samplize has created a revolutionary peel and stick paint sample that is hand painted with genuine Sherwin Williams paint. Two coats are applied with rollers for color accuracy and texture. Say goodbye to the struggle of envisioning wall colors with tiny square swatches, Samplize wall decals are formulated with non-damaging adhesive so you can peel and move paint color options anywhere in your home!

Explore color options here and purchase a 12x12 sheet for only $5.99!

Explore Sherwin Williams Top Colors

Check out these top 50 paint colors from Sherwin Williams, we can’t decide what color we like the best because we love them all! However, if we had to choose, a few of our favorite go-to colors include Agreeable Grey, Worldly Grey, Lazy Grey, Alpaca, Modern Grey, Functional Grey, Anew Grey, and Gossamer Veil.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links from Home Depot. If you choose to purchase from these links we may earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

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