Paint finishes 101!

Paint finishes 101!

Painting…. boy oh boy! Gloss, semi-gloss, matte, eggshell, low sheen, bathrooms, bedrooms, high-traffic, low-traffic…. just tell me what sheen of paint to use!! Has has anyone ever said this? Completely understandable! And when you think you’re all over them, paint companies bring out something new with a fancy new name.

Well, fret not…. I’m going to give you the very easy 101 to paint finishes… so here goes!


  • low traffic areas
  • Hides imperfections
  • Not good for bathrooms or wet areas as can absorb more moisture
  • Can mark easy, not good for high traffic areas ie kids bedrooms or hallways



  • Looks like the surface of an eggshell ie very slightly rough/bumpy
  • Between a matt and a silk finish
  • Can be used on walls when you want a more antique/older style aesthetic


Low sheen paint:

  • Best for busy, high-traffic areas ie hallway, living room, dining room
  • Easily wiped clean
  • Slightly velvety finish
  • Not too reflective



  • Great for wet areas ie bathrooms, kitchen and laundries
  • Repels moisture
  • Not ultra shiny



  • Best for smaller surfaces like skirting boards and architraves or any detail you’d like to highlight
  • Will highlight all imperfections on walls


When you’re in the midst of trying to choose the paint colour, may I give you a tip! Whatever the colours may be that you’re umming and a achhhing about, grab a couple of samples of them. In the space you’re wanting to paint, put A4 size samples high, at eye level and low in various spots in that room…. in a dark spot away from the window, right next to the window etc. Over the course of 3-4 days, in the morning, middle of the day and afternoon, have a look at the samples and put a tick in lead pencil next to your favourite. After 3-4 days, simply add up your ticks and go with your preference!

If you have put samples in multiple spaces, you can always make comments next to them ie this colour in the entrance, however, half strength because the whole space is slightly darker. This way, you don’t need to remember EVERYTHING and you’ve basically got a blueprint on the wall with instructions ready to go for the painter.

So there you have it…. easy… stress free painting. It’s honestly not meant to be a stressful ‘pick a colour and hope for the best time’…. rather enjoy your choice and see your room transformed!

Have fun lovelies! x


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      Becc Burgmann Interior Design and Decorating Wahroonga NSW 2076