The Eggshell Vs. Satin Debate - How to Pick the Right Paint Finish?

Difference between eggshell finish and satin finish
Eggshell and satin are two popular paint finishes that are found in most houses. Each has its own set of advantages and limitations. In this Buzzle article, we run a eggshell vs. satin comparison in order to help you pick the right one for your home.
Quick Tip
For exterior applications, look for satin and eggshell paints that have been specially designed to withstand the weather conditions.
Be it for redecorating your home or a simple DIY project, the importance of choosing the right paint that gives the right finish cannot be undermined. After all, without the correct colors and textures even a masterpiece of a design would come out looking tatty. But from among the huge variety of paints and finishes available in the market today, how do you choose the best one?

The simple answer would be to go for the one that looks best. However, looks are only half of the equation. The other equally important factor while choosing a paint is how well it suits the area of application. Among other things, a paint should also be able to protect its underlying surface by shielding it against scratches, stains, etc.

In the following lines, we compare two most common types of paint finishes―eggshell and satin―based on their individual appearances as well as their effectiveness in their areas of applications. So read on, to find out which one among these, is the best for your paint-job.
Eggshell Vs. Satin Paint
What They Are
► A satin finish is called so because it shows properties similar to satin. It has a slight amount of shine but is devoid of a high-gloss sheen. The satin finish is used frequently for highlighting certain areas in the room by adding a little bit of shine to them. Satin paint can withstand frequent washing with water and even some scrubbing. It does, however, reveal more imperfections of the surface as it reflects a significant amount of incident light.

► An eggshell finish is named so because it provides a texture and look that is similar to a typical eggshell. Viewed from a distance, an eggshell finish gives the impression of being matte; however, seen up close, you will find that it has a subtle shine to it. It reflects only a tiny amount of incident light, making it the perfect choice for walls having small imperfections and irregularities.
Eggshell Satin Paint
Glossiness
Glossiness describes the amount of shine that a paint has. The more glossy a paint is, the more is its durability and stain resistance. It will also be more washable.

On the scale of glossiness, at the very bottom end is flat or matte finish, followed by eggshell, satin, semigloss and high-gloss. Thus, satin is present right at the center of the glossiness scale as it isn't too glossy, nor is it too flat. Eggshell finish falls lower than satin in terms of shine, but is still a step above the absolute non-shiny matte.
Paint Bucket
Durability and Stain Resistance
► Its high washability makes satin paint very easy to maintain. Spills and stains can be easily washed off. Also, it has a higher degree of scrub resistance, making it all-the-more easier to remove those tough stains off it. However, the actual structure of this paint is rather delicate, and it is prone to scratches, which may give it a tawdry appearance. Hence, clearly, satin paint isn't suited for every room.

► Eggshell paint, as its name implies, is designed to offer a greater degree of protection to the wall by forming a protective coating upon it. Structure-wise, it is impressively durable and can withstand a fair amount of scratches, albeit not as well as a matte finish. However, being lower on the glossiness scale, eggshell paint is less washable, and therefore, less stain-resistant.
Cleaning Wall
Uses
► Being on the shinier end of the scale, satin paint is usually used for highlighting the different features in a room, rather than for being used on the walls. Most popularly, this finish is used for embellishing doors, window ledges, dado rails, etc. It is also used on kitchen and bathroom cabinets and in children's bedrooms owing to its greater washability. It shouldn't, however, be used on walls having a lot of irregularities as it may not be able to hide them well.
Room With Purple Wall
► An eggshell finish can be a good option for the walls, especially if the size of the room is small as it gives the impression that the room is slightly larger than it actually is. Also, since it reflects only a slight amount of incident light, the eggshell finish can easily hide small imperfections on the walls. It shouldn't, however, be used in bathrooms as it isn't capable of handling frequent washing.
Playroom Interior
Thus, both satin and eggshell are two good paint options for your home. Deciding which of them is right for your home decor, largely depends on the particular application area. However, it also depends on personal preference, so before opting for any one of these, do consider which one you feel would be the best option for your home decor.
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