Understanding Paint Finishes | Spectrum Painting

Understanding Paint Finishes

Understanding Paint Finishes

Choosing a paint color can be a tough decision, but deciding on a finish for your room can be hard too. Paint finishes generally come in four categories: flat, matte, eggshell and semi-gloss.


Flat paint is the most forgiving finish with the best color payout. If you need to cover imperfections, patching or joints, flat paint can absorb light, making your dings and flaws less noticeable.

Note that this kind of paint finish has no sheen to it. The drawback to a flat finish is the lack of durability. Flat paint needs to be cleaned carefully, as scrubbing may remove some of the paint. This can cause an uneven or patchy look on the wall. The most common area of a room that you’ll find a flat finish is the ceiling.

Matte paint is similar to a flat finish, except it’s much more durable and washable. Matte will also cover imperfections and other problem areas in your home. It also allows for easy touchups. Matte tends to be the most common finish for walls in all living spaces.


Eggshell paints have a soft sheen to them, just like an eggshell. This finish will work well on walls that have a tendency to get dirty frequently and have a medium to high durability. It is not recommended for use on trim, around windows and doors, etc. You can wash down eggshell walls without harming the finish and most eggshell finishes are resistant to mildew and stains. The most common area you will find an eggshell finish is high traffic areas, like a kids’ playroom, laundry room, bathrooms, mud rooms and entry ways. It does tend to show imperfections a bit more than a matte or flat finish due to the higher gloss to it.

Semi-gloss has a much higher sheen than any other finish. It is known to reflect light without being too shiny. It holds up well in a humid environment and is the easiest to clean. Due to its high durability, semi-gloss is most commonly found on wood trim, kitchen cabinets and doors.

Call Spectrum Painting today at 973-706-6033 to set up your FREE estimate. Spectrum is happy to offer our customers a free color consultation with a paint expert to come out to your home or business and discuss the look you're going for and to show samples!

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Spectrum did the most professional and diligent work I've ever had done in my home. The staff's attention to detail, tidiness and pleasant manners make contracting with them a top-notch experience. Spectrum gets an A+++ in my book!
Patty G. | Jan/12/2015
I recently had the pleasure of working with Spectrum Painting to do some painting and papering of two rooms. Everyone I worked with was pleasant and professional. Appointments were kept and on time which is huge when you have a busy schedule. The quality of work was excellent! Not only did José and his crew do a great job, but he cleaned up the work area so you couldn't even tell they were there! And, they were done in one day! I will definitely use Spectrum Painting again and would never hesitate to recommend them to anyone. And, their little thank gift was a very nice touch!
Kathy W. | Aug/30/2016
1st class leaders and 1st class crews! Spectrum is a most professional company, I will definitely use again!
Jim B. | Jan/12/2015
One of the very best you will find in this area. Highly competent, punctual and with an aim to please. Spectrum has painted most of the interior of my home and most recently, my large outdoor deck. When they are here, I can relax knowing they will treat my home like it's their own. There's an added comfort knowing that there's a responsive team leader present on each job to whom I can address any questions or concerns. Don't go for the low-end companies. Price is what you pay, but lasting value is what you get.
Marc C. | Aug/30/2016
Very neat and polite workers. Spectrum is a very organized company and always on schedule!
Cindy and Steve K. | Jan/12/2015
Spectrum team was diligent, respectful, hard working and a pleasure to have here!
Joseph C. | Jun/29/2016
From Jessica's sales professionalism that providing a detailed estimate, the office using technology to manage payments, track progress and schedule site visit and dealing with crew members Luis, Shawn, Jimmy and Victor that resulted with an excellent customer experience. I've been in the customer services business for over 40 years so I appreciate companies who strive for this type of excellence.
Pete G. | Jul/17/2020   Read review on yelp
I feel like I have a new Kitchen and would highly recommend them for any Job. The Price was very reasonable. Spectrum Painting just finished Refinishing my Kitchen Cabinets and did an Amazing Job. I feel like I have a new Kitchen and would highly recommend them for any Job. Marcin was on time each day, very Professional, Friendly and did a Fabulous Job. Even with Covid the men were very careful, wore masks and closed off my kitchen from the rest of my home. The Price was very reasonable.
Liz M. | Feb/15/2021
Attention to detail and they make sure you are 110% satisfied.
Matt M. | Jul/19/2016