What Is The Best Paint Sheen For The Living Room?

by | Sep 22, 2019 | Interior Painting

What Is The Best Paint Sheen For The Living Room?

When homeowners are doing interior home painting in Amador County, California, most of them focus mainly on color when it comes to paint selection. Indeed, color is the most crucial aspect when choosing paint; however, there is a second crucial element that is often never considered – paint sheen.

The paint sheen is the shininess on the surface after the paint has been applied. It indicates the measure of light the paint finish can reflect. The sheen can alter the color appearance and even how well the paint hides dirt and surface imperfection. In this article, we will take a look at the most commonly used paint sheens and their suitability for the living room. Here we go; 

Types of Paint Finishes 

Flat Paint

The flat paint finish is also known as matte. It has the least amount of shine and doesn’t reflect light. Flat paint is loved for its ability to hide dirt and surface imperfections such as small cracks and bumps. It’s commonly used on textured walls because it tends to smooth out rough surfaces. 

On the downside, flat paints are challenging to clean and maintain and do not hold up well against scrubbing. They’re the least durable finish and hence not best for high-traffic areas. However, if you’re creating an accent wall in your living room, flat paint might be an option. They’re great for ceilings too.


Eggshell paint is one step above flat paint and comes with a slight sheen similar to what you will find on eggshells. Eggshell finish provides more luster than the flat paint. It’s easier to clean and hides stains better. Eggshell also makes an excellent decorative finish. You can use it in the living room as well as other rooms where a bit of durability is needed.


Satin paint has slightly less shine than semi-gloss paint. It offers more durability and luster than both eggshell and flat paints, and it’s also easier to clean. Satin paint is the most commonly used finish on the living walls because it’s ‘just right.’ You will also find it in more active areas such as the foyer, hallways, kid’s rooms, and playrooms. 


The semi-gloss finish reflects more light which causes its shinier appearance. It’s more durable than the lower sheens and stands up better against scrubbing and moisture. Semi-gloss is commonly used in rooms that require frequent cleaning like the kitchen, kids’ bedrooms, and bathrooms. However, the semi-gloss sheen is not the best at hiding dirt and imperfections. 


As the name suggests, high-gloss paint offers the highest shine. It’s also the most durable and easiest to clean. This type of shine is the best choice for cabinets, trims, and doors. However, high-gloss paint has too much shine which might be overwhelming when used on interior walls. It also tends to show nearly all the surface imperfections.

So, What Paint Sheen for My Living Room?

Families use most living rooms as family rooms, common rooms, and areas for entertaining guests and social gatherings. If you have a formal living room, the best finish to use is often flat or eggshell paint. A formal living room typically receives low traffic and doesn’t require frequent cleaning.

If your living room serves as a high traffic family room, the best paint sheen to use is often satin or eggshell. Both eggshell and satin can be easily cleaned and tend to be more durable than the flat finish. 

The Bottom Line 

Eggshell and satin paint finishes are generally the best choices for the living room. But a skillful painter can still use semi-gloss and flat finishes with careful consideration of paint colors and available natural light. 

If you’re considering hiring a painting contractor in Amador County, California for interior painting, Hines Painting Company can help. Just call us at 209-256-4587 to book a FREE estimate, and we will take over everything from thereon.

We also serve in Galt, CA. You can call us at our other company called Galt House Painter. Where high-quality painting is guaranteed at every brush stroke.