When starting an exterior or interior painting project, color isn’t the only factor you should consider. The kind of paint finish you choose for your home can really affect the appearance of your space. Choosing the right kind of finish for your paint can help extend the lifetime of a paint job in your home. Contact our expert Raleigh house painting team at Osborne Painting to talk about which paint finish is best for your home.

Making Sure Your Surface is Prepped

Before you begin painting, it is important to make sure your designated surface is properly prepped. We recommend using a coat or two of primer paint on both old and new surfaces to cover up any imperfections on your surface and mute the paint color that was previously covering the surface. This way, your new coat of paint will look fresh and unblemished.

Selecting the Right Finish

Every line of paint typically offers several options for paint finishes that vary in luster and washability. They range from a flat, matte finish to a high-gloss finish. Flat paint is usually better at hiding imperfections on your walls, while higher gloss paints can be cleaned a lot more easily.


Flat paint is a paint with a chalk-like, matte finish that absorbs light. This kind of paint is most commonly used in spaces where bumps and cracks in the walls are common, as well as ceilings and textured surfaces. This is because flat paint is good at hiding imperfections such as bumps and cracks on your surface. However, while it does a good job of hiding imperfections, flat paint is hard to clean.


Eggshell paint has a slight luster, so it’s not completely flat. It is more resistant to stains than flat finishes, so it can be wiped down with a cleaning rag without a problem. Eggshell is good for areas that receive a lot of high traffic, because it isn’t so shiny that it shows every imperfection, but it also is lower maintenance and easy-to-clean. Places in homes where eggshell is commonly used are kitchens are bathrooms.


Semigloss paint is best for rooms where there is a significant light source. It gives off a shiny appearance that can really open up your space. Because of the light it reflects, semigloss needs to be put in a place that is regularly cleaned. Without proper care, semigloss easily shows imperfections. The good news is that semigloss is durable and therefore a lot easier to clean than more matte paint finishes. Semigloss, like eggshell, is best best in kitchens and bathrooms, but also on doors and trim.


Satin paint is similar to eggshell and semigloss, but it has a bit of a warmer appearance and a tougher wear. Like semigloss, it is also more durable and can endure more cleaning and scrubbing than flatter paints. However, satin paint is a lot more resistant to mildew, dirt and stains, so it is great for places like hallways, children’s rooms and other places where you may be concerned about frequent wear on the wall.


The biggest benefit of high-gloss paint is its vividness and color depth. High-gloss is best for painting deep, rich colors, such as ruby red, emerald green or navy blue. However, like other paints with a higher shine, imperfections are very easily seen, so it is best to use this as a wood finish on things like trim, doors and cabinets. Due to its hard and shiny finish, it can also be great for coating furniture.

Oil-Based Paint vs. Latex-Based Paint

When buying paint, make sure you are also purchasing paint with the right base for your project. Generally, latex (or water-based) paint is the best base for your home painting project if you want something to cover walls and ceilings. Latex paint, on top of drying quickly, also is easy to clean up. It also has less of an odor than oil-based paint and is cheaper.

Oil-based paint dries slower and has a stronger smell, but it also creates a strong, smooth exterior that is resistant to scratches, marks and stains. Oil-based paint is typically used on textured surfaces, floors and furniture.

Contact a Raleigh Painting Expert Today

Unsure of which finish will be best for your project? Whether you are painting your kitchen, bathroom, patio, or even your fence, our skilled painters can help you pick the right kind of paint. We are happy to talk to you about finding the best paint for your Raleigh home. Contact us today by calling 919-878-6611 or filling out our form below.