Different Types of Paint Finishes

5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls

Paint Finishes for Walls

Have you ever wondered which Types of Paint Finishes is best for your home walls? You can definitely remember the confusion that comes with it.

But what we ignore is the paint type. Choosing the right Types of Paint Finishes for your home is more important than deciding on the colors.

Read More: What is Painting? Components of Paint

Types of Paint Finishes

The following are different types of paint finish used,

1. Distemper Paint

Distemper Paint Wall
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 11
  • Distemper types of paint finishes has an ancient connection as it is used for a long back.
  • There are two types of distemper which have evolved with time:

i) Dry (water-based):

  • It offers a smooth finish, but its durability less.
  • It’s a great option if you are living in a rental home.

ii) Oil-based:

  • It has higher durability as compared to dry distemper.
  • But it gives a strong odor of solvent.
  • It is mostly used in industries as it is a cheaper and durable option.
  • Distemper is a cement-based paint that is applied directly to the wall without a primer coat. It gives a rustic finish to the wall. Two coatings of distemper are enough.
  • It lasts up to 3-4 years.

2. Emulsion Paint

Emulsion Wall Paint
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 12

Emulsion types of paint finishes is the most optimum option for the internal walls of your home. The partition walls and ceilings can be painted with emulsion based paint.

Moreover, emulsion comes in a water-based option, so there is no reeking of odour. As it is acrylic or vinyl-based paint, it is more durable.

If you have children at your home, then you have all the more reasons to use the emulsion paint. If the walls are stained, then it can be easily cleaned by wiping it off with a wet cloth.

There are a lot of options for achieving the finish you desire for your wall. This finish includes silk, eggshell, satin or matte look. Isn’t it wonderful?

The silk finish reflects light and gives you a tough finish. Its moisture absorption capacity is less too.

If you have to select types of paint finishes for your own home, then emulsion paint is the best choice. It is expensive initially but will be economical in the long run.

3. Lustre Paint

Royal Lustre Paint
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 13

What is Lustre? A typical answer would be shine.

Lustre types of paint finishes provide a sheen or glassy look. Moreover, it is a solvent-based paint and hence it is more durable. But, it has a very strong odor and it takes weeks for the odor to subside.

Lustre paint also resists stain. It means you can clean up the stains easily. The extent to which the cleaning is facilitated depends on the painted variant you use.

Many paint brands have come up with the solution to the issue of a strong odour. Water-based lustre paints have been developed that are odourless and even more durable.

If cost is not a restricting factor, then you can go for lustre based paint, you can get an amazingly smooth finish with a natural look.

4. Enamel Paint

Enamel Paints
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 14

Enamel types of paint finishes gives a hard, glossy, and opaque finish.

Enamel came in solvent-based option earlier on, but now the water-based solutions have come. Enamel is mostly used for its functionality.

This paint is characterised for its resistance to heat, water, and stains. Hence, it is used to coat metallic surfaces like window grills and other metallic parts of the house.

You can also paint your balcony with enamel based paint as it has to withstand unfavourable conditions. You can even use this paint for your kitchen walls as it can make your wall resistant to heat and stains.

5. Textured Paint

Textured Wall Paint Finishes
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 15

Are you inclined towards art? Do you have the artistic instinct in you?

Then this is the paint for you! Textured paint can give you exactly that with a variety of options for you to choose from. It radiates an authentic appearance. It shows elegance, hence it is applied on interior walls.

The texture is achieved by the use of texture tools- like brushes, sponges, spatula, etc.

You can highlight a particular area by the application of this paint in your living room or bedroom by the use of textured paint. When accompanied by lighting arrangements, it gives a great aesthetic appeal.

The paint is applied in thick coats which hides away the imperfections of the wall. It also covers up the uneven surfaces! Prefer these types of paint finishes if you want to give different look to your wall compare to others.

Which Base of Paint Should You Prefer?

All the above options for types of paint finishes are available either in water-base or oil-base. The base can affect the overall feel of the paint.

Let’s have a brief idea on what each of these options is and which will be best suited for YOUR home?

Before divulging into the benefits of the paint, you should check what is your current paint type- if you are painting on an older coat.

Water-based paint can be easily applied over oil-based paint. But, you cannot apply oil paint over water-based paint.

How to Know the Type of Existing Paint on Your Wall?

Take a cloth and dip it into denatured alcohol. Wipe the surface of the wall with this cloth.

If the paint rubs off on the cloth, then it is a water-based paint. If it does not stick to cloth, then it is oil-based paint.

1. Water-based Paint

  • Water-based paints retain the color for a longer time.
  • Pre-treatment with primer coat is not required for water-based paint and it can be used on all surfaces.
  • It dries out faster too with not much lingering odor.

2. Oil-based Paint

  • The most important characteristic of oil-based painting is its durability.
  • Additionally, oil-based painting resists stains and rust too.
  • However, they do not dry fast and produce a strong odour.
  • Oil-based paints are good for kitchens, bathrooms, and other such areas where there is a possibility of moisture interference.
  • It is recommended that turpentine is added to the paint to correct any misstep or spills during its application.

Types of Paint Finishing

Along the process of selecting a paint type, we talked a lot about paint finishes. You might be wondering what look each of these finish can give and what should you go for?

Then let us look at the finish below:

1. Matte Finish

Matte vs Satin Vs Gloss Finishes
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 16
  • It also goes by the name flat paint, and the mostly matte finish is used for the walls.
  • It is the least reflective finish out of all the types and even reduces the glare.
  • It has a velvety texture and a great depth of color is achieved by this lustreless paint.
  • This paint is hyperpigmented and this gives good coverage reducing the cost and time both.
  • Imperfections in the walls and ceilings are easily hidden by this finish.
  • Only down point is that it is difficult to wash the walls with a matte finish.
  • The matte finish makes you feel calm and relaxed, hence it is quite suitable for bedrooms.

2. Eggshell Finish

Eggshell Wall Finishes
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  • It gives a flat look with mild lustre and it is durable too.
  • It also helps in covering up the imperfections and even helps in cutting off the glare.

3. Satin Finish

Satin Finish vs Eggshell Finish
5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls 18
  • It gives a glossy feel, not as much as eggshell though. It can even give matte look. The look- glossy or matte depends upon the lighting conditions of your room.
  • It highlights the actual colour that you chose for your wall without reflection.
  • Its durability is good too.
  • It is recommended for the walls of the kitchen, bathrooms, and other such areas where frequent cleaning is demanded. Dust can be easily washed away in satin-finished walls.
  • However, imperfections won’t be hidden by the paint and even brush strokes may become visible if not painted properly with care.

3. Glossy Finish

  • This is the most reflective types of paint finishes.
  • The durability is also high. It can withstand multiple cleanings.
  • It can provide a great shiny look as it reflects a great amount of light. But even small imperfections will be highlighted by this finish as it is highly reflective.
  • The glossy finish increases the energy levels of your body and sparks excitement in you.

Read More: How to Remove Stains from Wood (TIPS & TRICKS)

Points to be Considered During Painting

1) Scruff the Old Paint off the Wall

The older glossy paint should be scruffed off the wall surface with the help of sandpaper. This will allow the new layer of coating to bins with the wall.

Ensure the glossiness of the oil paint is completely removed for it is as harmful as the dust particles in the painting.

2) Clean the Wall for Dust Particles

The wall should be cleaned dry so that dust particles are removed else they will prevent the sticking of paint efficiently over the surface.

Paint your wall!

After the wall is cleaned and allowed to dry, painting can be easily done over the surface.

While painting, the strokes should be kept even and the brush should not be overloaded with paint.


There are different types of paint the walls of your home that you can choose from- right from the type of paint to the base you should select. You can even choose the finishing of your walls as you like!

Here is a quick review so that you can compare your options easily:

Paint TypeFinish availableApplicationCharacteristics
DistemperRustic finishNo primer coat 
EmulsionSilk, eggshell, satin, matteInternal wallsEasy stain removal
LustreglossyInternal walls for better aestheticsResists stain
EnamelGlossy and opaque, EggshellMetallic surfaces like window grills Balcony Kitchen wallsResistance to heat, water and stain
TexturedArtisticLiving room and other interior wallsHigh durability
Types of Paint Finishes and Their Applications
CharacteristicsWater-based paintOil-based paint
Colour retentionLong timeComparatively shorter duration
Drying periodLessMore
Stain resistanceNoYes
Lingering odourMild odour for a very short timeStrong odour for a longer period
Water and Oil Bases Paint Comparison
Finish TypeLookCharacteristicsDurabilityApplicationBenefitCons
Flat or MatteMatte finish Velvety textureLess glare Least reflective  Medium to lowBedroomHides imperfections in the wallDifficulty in washing
EggshellGlossy finishLess glare DurableMediumLiving roomHides imperfections in the wall 
SatinGlossy finish [less than eggshell]Reasonable reflectivity DurableHighLiving room Children roomAreas that are to be cleaned frequently like kitchen 
GlossyGlossy finishMost reflective durable  Very HighKitchen, Bathrooms, Exterior WallsAesthetically Allows multiple cleaningsImperfections are highlighted
Types of Paint Finishes & Their Pros and Cons


How do I maintain and clean different paint finishes?

Flat and matte finishes are more prone to staining and can be more challenging to clean. Gentle cleaning methods such as dusting or spot cleaning are recommended. For eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes, mild soap and water can be used for cleaning, but avoid abrasive cleaners to prevent damage.

Can I change the paint finish later if I want to?

Yes, it is possible to change the paint finish later by applying a new coat of paint in the desired finish. However, it is important to properly prepare the surface and ensure good adhesion between the existing and new paint layers.

What are the different types of paint finishes for walls?

The five main types of paint finishes for walls are: a. Flat or Matte Finish: It has a non-reflective, smooth finish, ideal for hiding imperfections on walls. b. Eggshell Finish: It has a subtle sheen and is more durable than flat finish, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. c. Satin Finish: It has a soft, velvety sheen that offers good durability and is easy to clean, making it popular for kitchens and bathrooms. d. Semi-Gloss Finish: It has a noticeable sheen and is highly durable, making it suitable for trim, doors, and cabinets. e. Gloss Finish: It has a high shine and is the most reflective of all finishes, providing excellent durability and washability. It is commonly used for doors, cabinets, and furniture.

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