Choosing a paint color isn’t enough, you then have to decide which finish you would like for that color. The average person may not be knowledgeable of what the right paint finish is, nor should they be. They just want their home painted and done nicely.
The basic rule of thumb is that the higher the sheen, the higher the shine. With a higher shine, the paint would be more durable.
People tend to choose the most basic finish, which is a flat finish. This has no shine, no gloss and will look good on any wall. A flat finish and matte are generally the same, the two are practically interchangeable. A flat/matte finish is great for ceilings and walls. If a wall has some imperfections, a flat finish will not show it, which is one reason why this type of finish is so practical.
A flat paint finish works best in bedrooms where there aren’t a lot of opportunities for the walls to get messy.
Moving up on the “shiny” spectrum is the eggshell finish. This finish has a little sheen/glow to it. The eggshell finish is typically used in rooms with low traffic, like a dining room or office.
Next up is a satin finish, which is one step glossier than eggshell. A satin finish is typically used in kids’ rooms, family rooms, and kitchens. As we move up in glossy finishes, the walls become easier to clean, which is good to keep in mind for parents of young children, especially messy ones. If your kids are always touching the walls and leaving fingerprints, you may want to go with a satin finish. A satin finish can also be used in a bathroom, as long as there is good ventilation.
The next one up is a semi-gloss finish. Typically painters use semi-gloss on trims, doors and door frames, and crown molding. A semi-gloss paint finish is easy to clean and durable, so this also works well in kitchens.
When asked what type of finish you would like your paint in, remember these guidelines and you can’t go wrong.