Eggshell vs. Satin Paint – Which One To Choose

Giving your room or a piece of furniture a new life involves more than just choosing the right paint color. You’ll also have to pick the perfect finish to enhance its look.

Paint finish or sheen refers to the amount of light reflecting from a painted surface. There are different types of paint finish available on the market, from high gloss to flat. The levels of sheen can add dimension to a room or affect how the color appears on a surface.

The most popular and often compared options are eggshell vs satin. Both are neither too glossy nor too matte, making them extremely versatile and ideal for various surfaces.

What to Consider When Selecting a Paint Finish

Even though you might have narrowed down your choices to eggshell and satin paint, you still have to consider the area or surface you want to paint on. Indeed, you can apply any of these finishes to almost any room in your house, but one provides more advantages than the other.

For instance, if you have children or pets, you’ll want to consider whether the paint finish is easy to clean or not. Remember, paints with a higher sheen or gloss are generally easier to clean.

Kitchens and bathrooms are susceptible to humidity, soap, and water. Therefore, you’ll want a type of finish that’s moisture- and stain-resistant and less likely to trap mold. You must also think about the amount of natural light coming into a room, the environment you want to create, wall textures, and the room size.

A high-gloss finish can revive a dull space, while a low-sheen one can conceal marks or bumps on the surface. But thanks to eggshell and satin’s low-to-medium-luster, they can work well in different spaces.

Still, it’s important to recognize the differences between these finishes to know where to use them and achieve the best result. Read on to learn more about their distinct characteristics so you can decide which one to choose: eggshell vs satin paint finish.

A Closer Look at Eggshell Paint

eggshell paint gloss range

Image Source: Dunnedwards

Eggshell paint has low reflectivity and can be used in a variety of applications while still providing an elegant, smooth sheen. This popular paint finish is a bit velvety in appearance. It is neither shiny nor totally matte but has a soft glimmer when light hits it.


One of the best things about eggshell finish is that it is hard-wearing and durable. It may not be as sturdy as satin, but it still creates a protective outer surface around it while drying. This makes it an ideal type of finish for rooms with high traffics, such as the kitchen and bathroom.


Eggshell paint finishes have some reflectivity in them but not too much that it reveals the imperfections of the wall. This reflective property in the paint will bring life to your room and highlight its color.

Thanks to its soft gleam, an eggshell finish will create a decorative feel in your room. Its hint of reflectivity and luster will also make your living space glamorous.

Easy to Clean

If you’re planning to paint your kids’ room or the kitchen, an eggshell paint finish is an excellent option to consider. It creates a washable surface that’s relatively easy to clean. Therefore, you don’t have to work too hard cleaning those unsightly food stains or messy fingerprints on the walls.

Drying Time

Paints contain binders in their formulation that translate into drying time. The flatter the finish, the faster it dries up. This is why glossy paints often take the longest time to dry, although, of course, there are still factors to consider when determining how long it takes for paint to dry.

Since eggshell is in the middle of the paint gloss scale, it represents an average paint drying time. It typically takes about an hour for it to dry and two hours recoat time.

An Overview of Satin Paint

In the middle of the sheen spectrum, you’ll find a satin finish. It reflects more light than eggshell and has a more pronounced shine that sharpens wall contours, adding more depth to small spaces.


Satin can appear to be both glossy and flat, depending on the room’s lighting. Since it is slightly glossier than eggshell, it is more durable and reflective. This paint finish looks silky and smooth and retains its pearl-like sheen once dry.

When compared to eggshell and matte, satin offers about twenty-five to thirty-five percent gloss. It also provides a slight glow on a wall while providing many similar benefits to the eggshell paint finish.

Strength and Performance

Satin paint is also an advantage in high-traffic areas, but it is more flexible, durable, and tougher than eggshell. It is formulated with more binders and less pigment, so it is resistant to stains, scratches, scuffs, and dents.

Due to its overall strength and performance, satin paints are an excellent pick for different rooms, including kitchen areas, foyers, bathrooms, and kid’s rooms. It also works great for painting trims and woodwork.


Satin is easy to maintain. It is washable like an eggshell finish, so it is also easy to clean. Because it has a glossier sheen, its surface is slicker, making it quick and easy to get rid of mold, mildew, dust, and dirt.

The resin in satin paints creates a tougher surface so it can withstand scrubbing. But care should still be considered as scrubbing satin too hard could take away its sheen.

Eggshell Paint vs Satin – Which Paint Finish to Choose

As you might have noticed, both eggshell and satin paint finishes are easy to clean and durable, although satin is less likely to become damaged by abrasions and impacts. But one notable difference between these finishes is the ability to conceal surface flaws.

Although satin can protect your surface better against scuffs and scratches, eggshell can conceal them better. It is because of its lower reflectivity that dulls the appearance of those unsightly issues and damages.

If you’re wondering which paint finish to choose, the answer depends on the project you’re working on and the look and appeal you want to create. Both eggshell and flat finishes are great for walls. But if you want the room to look more spacious and brighter, the glossier satin finish is a better option to consider.

Satin is a common favorite for trims, as it emphasizes the unique architecture of your living area. It is also used to highlight shutters, windows, and indoor doors.

On the other hand, the nearly shine-free finish of eggshell makes it ideal for hallways and family rooms. Since it doesn’t pick up dirt easily and quite durable, it’s great for dining areas and living rooms. If your walls have visible imperfections and bumps, an extra coat of this paint finish can conceal them easily.


Make sure you know which paint finish to choose before you begin your project, so you don’t risk having to remove the paint earlier than planned. It is always a good idea to learn the benefits and uses of each finish to help you determine which one is suitable for your job and not waste your time, money, and effort.

About The Author

MyUnfinishedHome Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to finish your home and make it a lovely place.

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