Choosing a paint comes down to more than just choosing the right shade

Choosing a paint comes down to more than just choosing the right shade


You probably spend hours narrowing down the perfect colour that will transform your room. But do you ever spend the same amount of time choosing the right finish?  Probably not, and yet, selecting the right paint finish will not only enhance the look of the surface but will also play an important part in how much of the light is reflected, the durability of the paint and how easy it is to clean.

We have pulled together a few handy tips and share with you the paint finishes we choose for our projects, highlighting their characteristics and where they work best.

 Let’s start with understanding the sheen options. They are the level of glossiness of a paint finish. A measure of how much light reflects off a painted surface.

  • Gloss: 70–90% - Durable, ultra-shiny, light-reflecting, easy to clean.
  • Semi-Gloss: 41–69% - Not as dramatic as gloss
  • Satin: 26–40% - Halfway house!
  • Eggshell: 10–15% - Has some sheen, supposedly like the shell on an egg.
  • Matt: <10% - A non-reflective finish with no gloss or shine

Here are two room examples of how we use different paint finishes depending on the room and the surface.



Living room




Matt finish for ceiling, cornice (Designers Guild Snowdrift), and walls (Graphenstone Kombu), brings an element of cosiness and elegance thanks to its almost velvety, smooth appearance. It is easier than other finishes to touch up and works well in low-traffic areas.

Eggshell for the door and skirting board (Zoffany Architect's White), will bring a very subtle shine and a smooth finish to woodwork, as well as being more durable and easier to clean than Matt.









This is the room in a home with the highest moisture and condensation contents, so our choices are always satin, semi-gloss and eggshell finishes. Moisture-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. We recommend satin for the walls (Andrew Martin Norwegian Fjord), semi-gloss for the door to reflect light (Graphenstone Grafclean Mid Sheen Ashen) and eggshell for the skirting board for a smooth finish (Sanderson Dusky White).

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