Satin vs semi-gloss paint. What is the difference and which is better?

Satin vs Semi-Gloss Paint: Best Guidelines for Choosing 2022 Painting Color Ideas

Satin vs semi-gloss paint. What choice to make? Here’s our guide to semi-gloss paint and satin paint to try to demystify home decorating.

satin paint choice

What is a satin finish paint?

The satin finish gives only the slightest paint sheen. It’s not quite matte, as it reflects light a little, but it’s not a very reflective surface either. In many cases, any light bouncing off the paint finish is barely noticeable, if you see it at all. The presence of binders usually determines the sheen of the paint.

Types of products with a satin finish

You can find a variety of products with satin finish paint, allowing you to use this path for a variety of repaint, refinish, or refinishing projects. Each of them has its main function or works best in certain scenarios.

For example, paint is most commonly used to apply color along with trim. In contrast, sealants and clear coats generally do not change the base color of the wood, wall, painted, or painted surface, but may change the sheen. Typically, you can find the following items:

  • Satin paints.
  • Sheer satin finish.
  • Satin spray paint.
  • Satin spots.
  • Satin varnishes.
  • Satin sealants.
  • Satin furniture wax.

satin finish

Which paint is better semi-gloss or satin?

If you are trying to decide: “Satin paints or gloss, which is better?” answer, it depends. Each finish has unique strengths and weaknesses and creates a completely different look.

Before choosing a finish, consider what you will be finishing. Is it a large area, like all the walls or floors in the room? Is it an accent piece? Are you worried about durability? How is the lighting in the room? By reflecting on these points, you can narrow down your choices. Ultimately, you want to choose what’s right for you first and foremost.

So, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each finish. Take a moment to think about the look. Then choose the product that suits your needs and preferences. In the end, this is what will make you the happiest, and this is the most important thing.

Should I use semi-gloss or satin on walls?

It’s hard to make this decision if you don’t know a little about what each of these paint shades is and how they can affect the look of your room.

What is satin paint? Satin is an oil or latex paint that is not as glossy as a full gloss but still has reflective properties, unlike matte paint. What about semi-gloss paint? Semi-gloss paint is almost the same, but is more reflective than satin and can be a little more durable.

In general, the glossier the paint, the more durable it is, although some paints are specifically designed to be very durable, regardless of gloss. As such, glossier paints are great for high-traffic areas or places where they need to be cleaned frequently, such as a child’s bedroom or kitchen.

semi gloss on wall

When should you use satin paint?

Employ satin paint for applications where durability and cleanability are essential. Satin paint can exist and operate on the best soft-impact covers like door cases. Tall-impact externals should be smeared with high-gloss paint or semi-gloss paint.

Satin paint positions nicely in bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, kids’ rooms, hallways, living rooms, ended basements, and offices.

If you’d want to bypass reflecting, do not exploit satin paint on walls that obtain a ton of natural daylight. While satin paint can exist employed on ceilings, matte paint is commonly utilized here. Previous to the intro, satin paint and satin finish existed, made by chafing completely cured glossy paint with soaked pumice rock powder.

Benefits of using satin paint

Multi-surface application

On big paint schemes, changing from one point to another hinders improvement and pushes up expenses. So, having one paint that can exist utilized for various kinds of covers is helpful.

While no paint can exist employed for every application, some paints are more useful for this than others. Paints in the midpoint of the gloss scale — satin and eggshell — are nicely suited for a wide spectrum of usages.

Multi surface application


Satin paint is an ideal option for kids’ rooms and cookrooms because it washes up so nicely. Satin paint’s close pores suggest that markers, eats stains, soil, and drinks groom off better than flat paints. Because of these close pores, satin paint stands up rather well to water.

So, satin stands as a fine, moisture-resistant paint option for walls in some washrooms and cookrooms. Satin paint can exist utilized for washroom tops when mold is a problem.

Easier application

Satin paint is easy to use. It’s not as comfortable as matte paint, with its quick drying term (30 minutes or less) and opposition to faults. While it doesn’t take as extended to and cure dry as gloss paint (2 to 3 hours or more additional). Plus, defects are hard to dodge in gloss and semi-gloss paint.

Satin paint brings about an hour to parch, in optimal circumstances. When using satin paint, as extended as you roll or brush from a watery edge, lap defects are doubtful to occur.

Satin paint

Disadvantages of satin finish

A satin finish will not completely hide imperfections, especially large dents. Satin paint is also difficult to touch up. If you add more paint to just one or two spots, those spots will usually stand out visually rather than blend smoothly.

Also, while many satin finish paint products are durable, they are not as stain or moisture-resistant as alternatives. That doesn’t mean they don’t provide any protection, just that it isn’t as strong as some of the others.

You can also run into problems if you apply layers of satin paint unevenly. The difference can be noticeable, so this may not be the ideal finish for inexperienced painters.

What is a semi-gloss finish?

A semi-gloss paint finish has a little more sheen than a satin finish. It is not highly reflective, although light reflects off the surface to the point where it is visually noticeable. However, it generally does not overload or distract, even when used to cover a large surface area.

surface area

Types of products with a semi-gloss finish

Many products offer a semi-matte finish. Typically, you can find the following items:

  • Semi-matte finish paint.
  • Semi-matte finish clear coat.
  • Semi-gloss spray paint.
  • Semi-matte stains.
  • Semi-matte finish varnishes.
  • Semi-gloss sealants.
  • Semi-gloss furniture wax.

get spray

Benefits of a semi-matte finish

Semi-gloss finishes are generally very durable and can withstand some serious abrasion. It is also moisture resistant, which is ideal for damp areas in the home. Semi-gloss paints can often visually brighten up a space. It reflects the light, making it jump around the room. While it can be stunning in a well-lit large area, it can be a great choice for smaller, low-light spaces.

Disadvantages of semi-gloss finishes

Semi-gloss paint can emphasize imperfections rather than mask them. For example, if you have a dent in your wall, a reflective finish allows light to bounce off the edges of the dent, making it more visible in many cases.

If you are applying a semi-gloss finish, and it leaves streaks, this can also be problematic. This can make the gloss uneven, highlighting a less-than-perfect application.


Best places to use semi-gloss paint

Because semi-gloss paints are moisture resistant and durable, strong enough to withstand abrasion, they are an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms. The semi-gloss finish is suitable not only for walls but also for items of furniture that require special attention, such as bookshelves or chests of drawers, as well as for bathrooms or kitchen cabinets.

Read our new article to know What are the best satin or semi-gloss for bathroom wall coverings today?

It can also be a good choice for sculpting and finishing. With finishes, durability and washability are incredibly valuable. Plus, a hint of glitter can help it stand out from the wall colors and add visual interest to the space.

Is satin shinier than semi-gloss?

Satin VS Gloss

Considerable, notably, semi-gloss holds more extra paint sheen than satin. The kinds of finishes you’ll probably see in most paint color assemblages — going from considerable to slightly reflective—are glossy, satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, and matte or flat. Semi-gloss is a little taller on the ranking than satin and, therefore, swears a slightly better reflectivity.

Semi-gloss’s additional paint sheen may alter how your paint color scrutinizes the wall. While both finishes have a touch of paint sheen, better light from your lamps or the space discovered windows will reflect from a semi-gloss cover than a satin cover.

Read more here about the Difference between Satin vs. Semi-Gloss Paint.

How about the cost?

The cost of the right paint tends to be more dependent on brand and quality than the sheen level. As a general rule, the glossier the paint, the more expensive it will be, but that will only mean a difference of a few cents per gallon.

But you will pay more for a highly durable, guaranteed paint from a well-known brand than you would for a budget paint, even the same color and gloss.

The paint job with different shades of paint is a great way to spice up any room. Satin paint is a bit cheaper, which is great, as it works well on large areas. A semi-gloss might cost a little more, but it’s more durable and perfect for accents and details and for keeping your home looking fresh and clean.



Now that you know the main characteristics of semi-matte and satin paint, you can see that they have similarities and differences. Simply put, semi-matte paint is more shiny and reflective than satin, but both are great for different parts of the house.

Both are moisture resistant and can be used in high-traffic areas, especially where children play. If you have animals, you can remove stains from both paints. Plus, you don’t have to worry about premature fading.

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My blog was created specifically to bring you the latest design trends. I graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York 10 years ago. I started drawing as a child. I was very fond of design and could even choose a style for my friends and relatives during the renovation.

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