Home » Paint » Paint Blog » What Is The Difference Between Eggshell And Satin Paint?

What Is The Difference Between Eggshell And Satin Paint?


Eggshell and satin are both popular paint finishes. The finish of paint determines the reflectivity the paint will have, thus it affects the amount of gloss or sheen the paint has. Other finishes include flat, semi-gloss and high-gloss.

Flat paint has the least amount of reflectivity. Eggshell has more reflectivity than flat but less than satin.

Eggshell and satin are most commonly used on interior surfaces. Neither of these finishes is too flat and void of shine, but they don’t have an excessive amount of shine either.

You can use either of these paints to paint anything you wish, but there are some surfaces that are better suited to satin and some that do better with eggshell.

Satin Paint

Satin paint in living room

Satin paint is more reflective than eggshell. This added shine can be used to your advantage. It will add depth to small interior spaces like hallways, or small rooms. The satin paint has the ability to create an illusion that the space is larger than it is.

Satin is the best choice to use in areas of high traffic. The satin finish is more durable and long lasting than the eggshell finish.

RELATED: How Long Does It Take to Paint a Room

Satin resists dents and scratches and is less likely to stain. It is the best choice in a child’s room, heavily used family room or an entry way. It is also better suited to being used on everyday furniture like chairs and end tables that you use often.

Satin is easier to clean than eggshell. The extra gloss in the finish helps it to resist stains, mildew, mold, and other contaminants.

It is much easier to wipe the surface and remove any unwanted marks. This makes satin an excellent choice if you are painting a mudroom, or a bathroom. It is also a good choice for the kitchen, the laundry and the basement.

Satin paint is a great choice if you are painting a stairwell, or painting the railings and banisters on your stairs. It is also a good choice on the interior portion of a door because it can withstand the cleaning that these surfaces will need.

Eggshell Paint


Eggshell does not have the same amount of gloss that satin has, it’s also cheaper than satin. The finishes can be as much as 2 dollars less per gallon than satin finishes are.

Satin may rule when it comes to deflecting scratches or dents, but when you are painting a wall that has already suffered dents or scratches you want to choose the eggshell finish.

The eggshell finish is much better at hiding or covering up flaws in the wall surface. If you apply a satin finish to a wall that has dents or scratches the dents and scratches will be made more visible by the high gloss of the paint.

Because eggshell finishes have the ability to help hide flaws in the surface area, you do not have to do as much wall preparation prior to painting.

You will do less sanding and less scraping before you begin to paint. If you plan to use satin you need to have the surface as smooth and flawless as possible prior to painting.

Inexperienced painters do better with eggshell paint. If you are not a professional painter then you are going to have laps and marks left by your paint brush or your roller.

If you use satin paint those lap marks and brush strokes are going to be glaringly obvious, but if you use an eggshell finish the paint will hide the application flaws.

Eggshell paint cannot withstand the same amount of cleaning and daily use that satin paint can. It isn’t a good finish choice for painted furniture or for bathrooms and kitchens.

However, eggshell paint is a great finish for ceilings and for the walls in an adult’s bedroom.

A child’s room needs the durability of the satin finish but in an adult rooms the eggshell will work better.

You can use any paint that you choose for any surface in your house. Satin is just more durable and a little more glossy than eggshell, but eggshell is more durable and a little more glossy than matte or flat.

Frequently Asked Questions on What Is The Difference Between Eggshell And Satin Paint

What Is The Best Paint Finish For Walls?

Interior walls look best when painted with either an eggshell or flat paint. These paints hide any flaws and create an illusion of perfection on the surface. They also do not reflect light as much and make the room look warmer.

Is Sherwin Williams Satin The Same As Eggshell?

Sherman Williams is a paint brand not a paint finish. Sherman Williams sells paint that comes in every finish and in both exterior and interior types.

Should I Use Flat Or Eggshell Paint?

Both the flat and the eggshell are great for walls. The eggshell has more of a shine than the flat but it will not create a shiny wall. Eggshell is often more stain resistant and easier to clean than flat is.

Is Eggshell Paint Washable?

Absolutely yes, eggshell paint has been created to be washable. It’s great for hallways and bedrooms where there is a decent amount of activity. Just bear in mind that the higher the sheen becomes, the more washable it becomes.

This will cause imperfections to be more noticeable.

Why Is My Eggshell Paint Shiny

The reflective property of a paint’s sheen is created from reflective particles in the paint. More layers of paint creates more light which gets reflected to the person looking at it.

Which Has More Sheen Eggshell Or Satin?

Eggshell has a dull, lower sheen than satin paint and resembles more closely to a matt or flat finish that you come across in loads of emulsions.

About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

Leave a Comment