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Difference Between Satin Paint and Semigloss Paint

Difference Between Satin Paint and Semigloss Paint

Humidity and condensation in the kitchen area demands semigloss paints for walls and cabinets, while walls and furniture of family rooms call for satin paints. DecorDezine wears the guide-cap and scouts your way to understanding the difference between satin paint and semigloss paint.
DecorDezine Staff
A Rule of Thumb

Higher the sheen Greater is the gloss Higher is its durability Easier it is to clean.

Want to refurbish your home? Painting the walls is one of the first things that come to our mind. Choosing a perfect paint color for the wall is a tedious job, but very important. A color can enhance the entire look of the room; similarly, it can make it look dull and draggy. And it's not just about the color. Choosing the right sheen of paint in that specific color is all the more baffling. The problem is, we don't very frequently happen to change the paint colors. It is gonna stay for years to come.
There are 4 basic types of sheen in the paints―matte, satin, semigloss, and high-gloss. As there is a whole lot of confusion between the semigloss and satin paints, we've decided to enumerate the key differences between them. Yes, they have some similar properties―durable, washable, mainly used in high-trafficked areas. But do you know when to use satin, and alternatively, when to use semigloss paint? Let's do a satin vs. semigloss paint analysis. Read on to get a comparison between the two most popular sheeny paints.
Satin Paint Vs. Semigloss Paint
Characteristics
  • Satin paint gives a low sheen, smooth, and velvety appearance to the surface. It is more flexible; it shows imperfections but is cleanable.

  • Semigloss paints lend a rich, sheeny effect. They show even the minutest of flaws and warts on the surface.
Durability and Application
Both of these paint types are considered durable, and hence, they are placed in high-traffic areas.
  • Satin-finish paints are great for hallways and family rooms, living spaces, and foyers. The splotches can be cleaned with little scrubbing, and require low maintenance.


  • Semigloss paints are commonly applied to bathroom walls, kitchens, trim, cabinets, and doors. Basically, they are apt to be applied on areas that involve moisture and drips so that the blotches can be easily cleaned without affecting its sheen.
Drying Time
Well, the drying time fluctuates with every paint, and the area of application―interior or exterior. However, the paint doesn't completely dry until it is cured, which approximately takes three weeks for these paints.
  • Interior: Satin enamel takes an hour to dry and get ready for another coat, but the recoating should be left aside to dry for 2 hours.
    Exterior: 2 hours for drying the first application; 4 hours for drying the recoating.

  • Interior: It takes about 1 - 2 hours for a semigloss paint application to dry. The recoating can be done after this time, which will consume an hour's time to dry.
    Exterior: 2 hours for drying semigloss exterior paint application; 4 hours is the recoating time.
Reflection of Light
Different paints, different reflections. Besides, the color opted for painting the surface also adds up to the variation in the reflections. For instance, the black satin paint application may have a slightly muddy and dull appearance, as compared to the one with a semigloss finish.
  • Satin paint is non-reflective; hence, it hides the flaws and defects on the surface, and renders a smooth appearance.

  • Semigloss paint, along with giving a glossy finish, reflects the flaws in the surface.
Cost Factor
Semigloss paint is costlier than most other paints as it is durable, results in a fine gleam and washes up easily. Moreover, it resists all dust stains and smears very well. Comparatively, satin paint has a crystal-clear shine, is not durable, and cannot be easily cleaned. This makes it less popular and less costly as well.
  • Satin paint is less costly than semigloss paint.

  • Semigloss paints are expensive than many other paints due to its durability and popularity.
Performance
  • It is easily cleaned and washed. A damp cloth is enough to wash away fingerprints. It hides imperfections, and easily refinishes the surface.

  • It imparts a nice gleam. It is washable, but light scrubbing is advised. Touch-ups can be a little tricky.
Verdict
  • For a softer, warmer look, opt for satin enamel. Children's bedrooms and bathrooms call for satin paints as these are easier to clean.

  • Want it to be slick, but not too glossy? Go for semigloss paint.