Satin or Eggshell for the Living Room -the Best Paint Finish?

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As a high-traffic space inside the home, a satin finish is an ideal paint for the living room. Both finishes are popular for interior setups. But, the question can be which one is the best choice? These two types are either too flat or too textured. Their differences are what make them ideal for defined applications. We want you to identify which finish would work best for your next remodel project for the living room. To provide a little assistance, we have rounded up frequently asked questions with answers that you might find helpful. Read on and check out what you need to know about paint finishes. 

Understanding Eggshell and Satin Finishes 

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Before you head to the paint store to grab everything that you need, identifying the paint finish would help you find the perfect shade of color. There are a variety of finishes that you need to know in order to decide which works best for the living room. The paint finishes are a make-or-break situation considering how it makes a huge difference to the look of the space. Allow this section to help you understand which between the two works for your living room.


The eggshell finish is one of the most popular types of paint. They have a balanced amount of glossiness and flatness making them frequently used by designers and homeowners. Compared to flat finishes, they are highly established in covering blemishes. It is known to be more durable than flat finishes but is only suitable in places with low to medium traffic. This includes the public spaces of the house such as the living rooms, foyer, or even hallways. From the name itself, they come out to be more textured than the others. This is ideal if you prefer the texture over a flat finish. 


Satin is a glossier output than the first two. It highlights the depth even in the smallest of spaces. Compared to the eggshell finish, it helps in acquiring more light than the others because of its subtle shimmer. This works well in sharpening the edges and corners of the walls. They are often used in narrow spaces making them look spacious. Satin appears to have a velvety character making surfaces less boring and lustrous. Instead, they have the right amount of glossiness and flatness in just one finish but are dependent on how the room acquires natural and artificial lighting. Satin appears to be more durable and reflective compared to eggshell and matte finishes. 

What is the Suggested Paint Finish for the Living Room?

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The living room is not just about the walls but every element within the space. This includes the furniture, walls, ceilings, and trims. Painting everything in a matte or glossy finish is not the way to make the space work. Instead, mix and match the finishes to see where they would be more durable. We understand that paint is the cheapest way of upgrading the living room aesthetic. But, that does not mean one type fits all. We have rounded up the different elements found in the living room and suggested paint finishes to use on them. 


Furniture in the living room takes part of the space than most of its elements. For furniture to stand out, the best paint finishes to work with are satin and semi-gloss paint. Both have the ability to acquire lighting making the space look light and airy. Satin is more durable for furniture compared to matte paint. This is a washable formula that makes it easier to keep the furniture clean and free from dust. A fresh coat of satin or semi-gloss paint would do the trick in restoring the beauty of your furniture. It would seem appropriate to choose between the two depending on the activities often done in the living room. 


The walls envelop the entire living space. Since the living room is a high traffic area, the walls should be painted in a more durable finish. Thus, we highly recommend using an eggshell finish. They are often used in dining rooms and living rooms. Eggshell paint finish does not easily acquire dirt making it low-maintenance. Satin can be an alternative too but it does not acquire as much light as we want the space to be. Natural and artificial lighting are high considerations in making the living room look more liveable. Besides, we want something that will last longer before the next planned remodel. 

Ceilings and Trims

Since the ceilings and trims are not something that is often touched, satin paint would work best. It is an element that is less likely to get stained requiring less abrasive scrubs. Dusting it off and wiping it with a damp cloth is enough to maintain its cleanliness. Using satin paint for the ceilings and trims helps in highlighting the architecture of the space. They keep the surfaces free from blemishes and imperfections allowing light to diffuse throughout the living space. The satin finish brings out the best in the architectural details of the living room. 

Which is Best for DIY Painting Job?

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For a DIY painting job, an eggshell paint finish would come in handy. Not relying on a professional painter can be a challenge if this is your first time painting the entire living space. Apparently, satin shows flaws when it is not appropriately applied. If you are not familiar with the different brushing strokes to free the surfaces for brush marks, an eggshell paint finish is the best way to start. If you are covering a wall with serious imperfections, concealing with an extra coat of eggshell paint would do the trick. They make these imperfections dull because of their minimal reflectivity. 

Which is Less Expensive? 

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If you are on a tight budget, the eggshell paint finish would work best for you. Going satin would add at least two to three dollars of costs per gallon. Satin remains affordable but not as much as eggshell paint finish. If you can spare a few dollars, opting for satin paint would not be a bad thing. Besides, they last longer than what you expect from low-quality paint finishes. That is what we want to work with, a paint finish that will last years without the need for getting it changed or even repainted. Choosing satin will help you achieve the finish that you prefer for the living room considering how it comes in between matte and semi-gloss. 

Satin vs Eggshell

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To sum up the evaluation, between satin and eggshell paint finish, we highly recommend satin finish for the living room. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but for the architectural elements of the space, the satin paint finish would be the best choice. Budget-wise, it costs more than eggshell but it is still within a manageable range. Apparently, it is not as friendly as eggshell if it is not your first time doing things on your own. It is all about choosing which finish would work for you and which one would work for the living room space.