How To Choose The Right Paint Finish For Your Home

Painting can be a big job, and if you don’t do it right, it can become an even bigger job. I have come to find that picking out paint is actually a bigger job than what it seems. I figured that with needing to do a little bit of painting, all I would have to do it walk into my local hardware store, pick a paint colour and walk out with a gallon of paint and a few paint rollers. Boy was I wrong!

Choosing the paint colour was the easy part, it was picking the finish that was the hard part! It actually took me almost a week to get everything straightened out to the point where I knew what I wanted to buy.

Did you know that there are several different kinds of paint finishes? Do you want more of a matte finish, or something a little bit glossy? Well this is what I was asking myself. I don’t particularly want a shiny, glossy finish, but something on the more matte side. Durability is a key factor when choosing your paint colour too, so read along to learn more!

One day after picking paint chips up from a few different hardware store, I came across a colour I really liked. It was a Benjamin Moore paint chip in the colour of “Stormy Monday”, a grey if you aren’t familiar with their colours. Let’s just say that I was pretty much in love with it.

Stanley PTST03508 Premium Paint Kit, 8-Piece

Okay, so when I went back to the store to buy a can of primer, and a test can of paint, I was asked a few different questions. One was, what kind of paint finish are you looking for? I had no idea, like honestly, I was clueless. I asked the man that was helping me what he recommended, and I ended up purchasing two test cans of paint in an eggshell finish.

The house that I bought really needs some TLC. I’ll add some pictures of what I want to cover up below. It’s definitely not the prettiest colour, and definitely not what I want in a house. So, initially I intended on priming the walls and painting, but that since has been put on hold. I was actually in the process of applying putty to the walls when I noticed a few bubbles on one wall. I popped the bubbles and not long after did I find out that the paint literally peeled off the walls in huge sheets. Not sure what the previous owner’s did when they painted, but I believe they just threw on cheap paint without prepping the walls first. So long story short, I’m in the middle of peeling the paint off the walls throughout the entire upstairs.

Paint Colour

Honestly this picture does not do it justice, it actually looks way different. The lighting in the house is terrible, and the colour makes it so much darker than it’s going to be when I’m done.

This gave me some more time to think about what finish I want, so even though I’ve already purchased two test cans, I’ve got gallons more I need to buy!

I’m going to break down the differences between paint finishes below!


A flat finish is the paint that has the least reflective qualities. You won’t get any shine with this sheen. It tends to hide minor imperfections but is one of the lesser durable paint finishes.

This paint is recommended for lower traffic areas, as well as on ceilings.


A matte finish is one step up from the flat finish. It’s a little more durable than the flat, but also for a low traffic area.


I love the eggshell finish. It’s definitely my choice of the bunch. This finish has just the right amount of shine, but perfect for taking pretty pictures. It is slightly cleanable, but you may notice a slight reside upon washing.

This finish is recommended for more moderate traffic areas and has a better durability.


With a pearl-like finish, the satin sheen is recommended for moderate to high traffic areas. This sheen is also easily cleaned, therefore you don’t have to worry about the paint wiping off onto your cloth. This is a great option if you do not want all of the shine, but want the durability of the glossier paints.


Semi-gloss is just as it sounds. Not completely glossy, but slightly more than the satin. This is actually the sheen of the walls in the house currently, but in that baby poop/puke colour. It’s a little bit too shiny for my liking, but while growing up, our house was always painted in this sheen.

This finish has great durability and is quite resistant to mildew and dirt. This paint finish is recommended for higher moisture areas, so rooms like your bathroom. If you’re like me, you shower in almost scolding hot water, and it would be the worst to paint and then shower a few times and notice the paint bubbling and peeling off.


This finish is for super highly used areas. It will hold a very shiny look to it, but it is going to be the most durable of all the paint finishes. It will be easily wiped clean and will almost repel the dirt.

So now you know that there is literally so much to think about when it comes to painting. I can’t wait to have more of the house finished to show you all! I’m excited about the colour choices that we have made! What I’m not too excited about is peeling the rest of the paint off the walls upstairs.

What are your preferred finishes? Do you have any tips on what I should be using for the rest of my house? Let me know!

Check out another one of my amazing painting tips here!

Paint Finish

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    1. I’m sorry to gear that Bethany! I understand what that feels like. Growing up we had waterfront property and my dad is dealing with that right now with the water being so high! But sometimes it feels good to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls!

  1. i needed to know all this,as we are planning to get our house painted. great post and very nicely compile.thanks for sharing all the info.

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