How to Choose the Right Paint Finish for Each Room.

Dec 29, 2023

Understanding Paint Finishes

Choosing the right paint finish for each room in your home is just as important as the color itself. The finish of your paint can greatly affect the durability and mood of the room. It's essential to understand the different types of finishes available and how they can complement the functionality and style of each space.

Factors to Consider

Before selecting a paint finish, consider the room's traffic, the atmosphere you want to create, and how much wear and tear the walls will endure. High-traffic areas and rooms exposed to moisture or messes require more durable finishes, while less frequented rooms can use more delicate finishes.

High-Gloss Finish

High-gloss paint is known for its ultra-shiny and reflective qualities. It's highly durable and easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and areas that require frequent scrubbing. However, keep in mind that high-gloss paint can highlight imperfections on walls, so proper surface preparation is crucial.

high-gloss paint room

Semi-Gloss Finish

Semi-gloss offers a balance between shine and ease of cleaning. It's less reflective than high-gloss but still suitable for rooms that endure a lot of activity or moisture, such as children's rooms, hallways, and window trims. Semi-gloss finishes are also a popular choice for doors and cabinets.

Choosing Finishes for Specific Rooms

Living Room and Bedrooms

For living rooms and bedrooms, an eggshell or satin finish is often recommended. These finishes have a slight luster and are more forgiving of wall imperfections than glossier options. They provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, making them ideal for these relaxing spaces.

living room paint finish

Kitchen and Bathrooms

In kitchens and bathrooms, moisture resistance is a priority. A semi-gloss or high-gloss finish is typically the best choice here, as they resist mold and mildew and are easy to clean. For backsplashes or areas exposed to grease, high-gloss may be the better option due to its superior washability.

Utility Areas and Trim

Utility areas, such as laundry rooms, mudrooms, and garages, benefit from more durable finishes like semi-gloss or high-gloss. The same goes for trim, baseboards, and crown molding throughout the house, as these areas are prone to knocks and bumps and require frequent cleaning.

utility room paint finish

Maintaining Your Paint Finish

Cleaning and Touch-Ups

Regardless of the finish you choose, regular maintenance will extend the life of your paint job. Gentle cleaning with a soft cloth and non-abrasive cleaners will keep walls looking fresh. For touch-ups, always keep a small amount of the original paint stored in a cool, dry place.

Final Considerations

When selecting a paint finish, also consider the lighting in the room, as this can affect the appearance of the finish. Test samples in different lighting conditions to ensure you're happy with the look throughout the day. Lastly, don't be afraid to mix finishes for a customized effect that suits both your style and your home's needs.

room lighting paint finish


Choosing the right paint finish is a crucial step in creating a space that is both beautiful and functional. Consider the room's purpose, the level of traffic it receives, and the maintenance you're willing to perform. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to selecting the perfect finish for every room in your home.