Eggshell vs Satin: Which Paint Finish is Best For You

eggshell vs satin

There are key differences to consider when considering eggshell vs satin paint finishes. Both have a smooth, low-sheen look that is perfect for many rooms in the house.

But how do you know which is the right finish for you when selecting interior paint?

There are five main paint finishes, each with different sheens. They are; flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss paint. Matte and flat finish are interchangeable names. We will look at eggshell vs satin finishes here.

What is Eggshell Paint?

Eggshell is a low-gloss paint often used on walls and ceilings. It is named for its egg-like appearance, created by the small amount of light reflecting off the surface.

This type of paint is often confused with satin paint, but the two are different. Eggshell paint finishes sit between satin and matte finishes, meaning it has less sheen than satin and won’t reflect as much light.

An eggshell sheen could be perfect for interior walls in bedrooms, living rooms, and formal dining rooms that don’t see much traffic.

Eggshell walls will show fewer surface imperfections than satin.

What is Satin Paint?

Satin is a slightly glossy paint that has a smooth, lustrous finish. It is often used on walls and ceilings to give them a warm, inviting appearance. Satin is a durable paint finish with mildew-resistant properties.

Satin finish paint is made by adding a small shine-enhancing agent to the paint color mixture. This agent can be either natural or synthetic, and it helps to create a light-reflecting surface.

A satin paint finish has a slightly higher sheen than an eggshell finish, but it is still very low. Satin paint makes it a good choice for walls that may get dirt or fingerprints, like in a child’s bedroom.

Satin paint is a slightly higher sheen paint than eggshell and is a popular choice in bathrooms, laundry rooms, children’s rooms, woodwork, and ceilings.

What’s the Difference? Eggshell vs. Satin

Eggshell has a softer, more velvety finish, while satin is smoother and more lustrous. Eggshell is also more forgiving when it comes to imperfections in the wall surface, while satin can highlight imperfections.

Because of its higher sheen, satin is more resistant to stains and scratches. So if you’re looking for a paint finish that’s easy to clean and maintain, satin is a good choice. Eggshell, on the other hand, is a better choice if you’re looking for a softer, more elegant look.

Satin Paint has More Gloss than Eggshell Paint

Eggshell and satin are both popular choices for paint finishes. Eggshell has a paint finish and is best in family rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. On the other hand, satin has a glossier finish and is good in kitchens and bathrooms.

Satin sheen is not as glossy as semi-gloss paints. Satin sits between the two finishes as a good balance between hiding imperfections and durability. See more on eggshell vs semi-gloss paint.

One of the main benefits of satin is that it can help to add more depth to small spaces. Glossy finishes reflect light and magnify wall imperfections. However, a finished basement with no natural light can benefit from reflecting artificial lighting, where creating the illusion of more space is important.

An eggshell finish can make spaces appear larger by absorbing light. So if you’re trying to decide between eggshell and satin, you must consider the overall effect you’re trying to achieve.

Satin Paint is More Durable than Eggshell Paint

Eggshell has a slightly textured surface and a low sheen, while satin has a smooth surface and a higher shine. Both finishes are relatively easy to clean and can be used in high traffic areas.

However, satin is more durable than eggshell and is less likely to show wear and tear. Satin paints have less pigment and more binders than eggshell paint, making satin paint more resistant to dents, divots, scuffs, scratches, and stains and more durable.

Eggshell is less durable and more susceptible to staining, so they may not be the best choice for high foot traffic areas. If you’re looking for a paint finish that will stand up to wear and tear, satin is the way to go.

Satin Paint is Easier to Clean and is Mildew Resistant

Satin has a higher shine and is easier to clean than an eggshell finish, making it a good choice for rooms with a lot of moisture, like finished basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. When it comes to cleaning, both finishes are pretty easy to wipe down, but satin is slightly easier to keep clean in the long run.

Eggshell tends to show fingerprints and smudges more easily than satin, so if you’re looking for a finish that will stay clean-looking with minimal effort, satin is the way to go.

Eggshell Finish Hides Surface Flaws Better than Stain

Like flat finish paints, eggshell hides surface imperfections in walls and ceilings better than satin paint. Eggshell does this because it has a slightly lower sheen which reflects less light than satin finishes.

If your wall surface already has marks, dents, or scuffs, an eggshell finish will be a better choice than satin because it dulls the appearance of these imperfections. Since satin reflects more light, any slightest imperfections will become much more apparent.

If you want to avoid this issue and get seamless results with satin paint on a dinged surface, Sand away wall blemishes before painting.

Eggshell Finish Costs Less Than Satin Paint

Higher sheens paints usually cost $2 to $3 more per gallon for each step up from low-gloss paint. This makes satin, a middle-of-the-road price option on the overall sheen spectrum, pricier than eggshell.

PaintEggshellSatin
Glidden Premium$23.98$25.98
Behr Premium Plus$33.98$36.98
Behr Marquee$52.98$55.98
Valspar Signature$42.98$45.98
HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams $47.98$50.98
Prices from HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com as of 11/10/2022. Prices are subject to change.

Eggshell is More DIY Friendly

Eggshell can also better minimize application mistakes, as it has less of a tendency to show brush strokes or roller marks. For these reasons, eggshell is popular among homeowners who plan to paint themselves. A professional painter can remove imperfections and minimize their appearance under satin paints.

However, satin paints are often preferred for bedrooms and bathrooms because they have a slightly softer appearance. When deciding between eggshell and satin, it is essential to consider the desired look and feel of the room and the amount of traffic it receives.

eggshell vs satin paint

What is More Durable, Satin Paint or Eggshell?

Eggshell and satin paint have a lot to offer in terms of durability. Eggshell is more resistant to scratches and scuff marks, while satin is more resistant to stains. However, neither one is entirely impervious to damage.

Ultimately, the best way to determine which paint is right for you is to consider your needs. Eggshell is a good option if you’re looking for paint that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. If you’re concerned about stains, wear, or moisture, satin might be a better choice.

Which is Easier to Clean, Eggshell Paint or Satin?

Eggshell and satin paint both have their advantages when it comes to cleaning. Eggshell paint is more durable and easier to clean because it has a higher sheen. However, it can show fingerprints and smudges more easily than satin paint.

Satin paint is more forgiving when it comes to imperfections, but it can be more challenging to clean because the lower sheen causes dirt and grime to stick to the surface. Eggshell paint is the better choice for areas with a lot of traffic or is subject to spills and stains. Satin paint is a better choice for low-traffic areas or rooms where you want a softer look.

What Looks Better, Eggshell or Satin Paint?

Eggshell and satin paint have a beautiful lustrous finish that can make a room pop. However, there are some key differences between the two that you should consider when making your decision. Eggshell has a slightly higher sheen than satin, which means it’s more resistant to marks and stains.

However, it can also be more difficult to clean. Satin, on the other hand, has a lower sheen, which gives it a softer look. It’s also easier to clean, making it a good choice for high traffic areas. Ultimately, the decision of which one to choose comes from personal preference.

Eggshell has a more formal appearance, while satin paint has a more relaxed look. Whichever one you choose, you’re sure to end up with a beautiful space that you’ll enjoy for years.

Where to Use Satin and Eggshell Paint?

Eggshell and satin paint are two of the most popular wall options, but it can be hard to decide which one to use. Eggshell has a smoother finish than satin, making it a good choice for walls that are not perfectly smooth.

Satin, on the other hand, can help to hide imperfections. Eggshell is also more resistant to stains, making it a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms. However, satin is more moisture-resistant than eggshell finish, making it a great choice for humid areas. Ultimately, the best choice depends on the specific needs of the room.

eggshell vs satin finish

Eggshell vs Satin Paint FAQs

Is Eggshell the Same as Satin?

No, eggshell and satin are not the same. Eggshell has a slightly higher sheen than satin, which means it’s more resistant to marks and stains. However, it can also be more challenging to clean. Satin, on the other hand, has a lower sheen, which gives it a softer look. It’s also easier to clean, making it a good choice for high traffic areas.

What is the Difference Between Eggshell and Satin Paint?

The main difference between eggshell and satin paint is the sheen. Satin has a slightly higher sheen than eggshell, which means it’s more resistant to marks and stains. Eggshell, on the other hand, has a lower sheen, which gives it a softer look.

Is Eggshell or Satin Paint Better for Walls?

The best choice for walls depends on the specific needs of the room. Eggshell has a smooth finish, making it a good choice for walls that are not perfectly smooth or have imperfections. Satin is also more resistant to mildew and stains, making it a good choice for laundry rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Does Satin Paint Last Longer than Eggshell Paint?

Satin paint is easier to clean and is more resistant to mildew and stains. A stain paint finish will often last longer than an eggshell paint finish.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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