The Pros and Cons of Gloss, Semi-Gloss and Matte Paints

Pros and Cons on painted sketchbook in red and green

Whether you are looking to bring some color to your home or completely redesign a few rooms, there is more to painting than narrowing down your options to the perfect shade. You should also take into account the sort of shine, or lack of shine, that you want your walls to have. Here are the pros and cons of three major paint finishes.


Glossy paint uses a reflection sheet of oil or acrylic to make it shine. Light bounces off of the surface and toward the viewer, allowing the viewer to see the light source’s reflection.

Pros: Gloss lasts. It does well in humid areas and is easy to clean. These features are why glossy paint is best for kitchens and bathrooms.

Cons: You can see every imperfection in the painted surface. This means that you may need to put in extra work with a sander to smooth out surfaces. Even post-application touch-ups can draw attention.


Semi-gloss paint is like a satin finish on walls. It also has some light reflecting properties depending on the room it’s in.

Pros: It is highly resistance to moisture, easy to clean and reflects some amount of light. Semi-gloss is best used on doors, trim, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Cons: It will still reveal some of the imperfections in whatever surface it is painted onto. It will also easily reveal every brushstroke and you can always tell if a roller brush was used to apply it.


This offers the “flattest” finish. Light evenly scatters across the surface, meaning that all areas are evenly lit with no reflection.

Pros: Matte paint hides the imperfections and flaws of the painting surface, making it great for walls in your bedroom, dining room and living room. It is also great for ceilings and any sort of touch-up or remodeling work.

Cons: It takes a lot of work to keep the imperfections hidden. Matte paint is good at collecting dirt and regular approaches to cleaning a matte-painted surface can get take the paint along with the grime. Some companies have engineered scrub able matte paints to make the cleaning process easy. Matte is a poor choice for mess-prone areas like kitchens, children’s rooms or bathrooms.

These three major types of paint finishes each have their own benefits and drawbacks. While the type of finish you need depends on what you are painting, the good news is that you do not, and should not, rely on one type of paint for all of your painting needs. Contact us today to be your painting company in Jenkintown. Militello Painting & Powerwashing offers the best services for our clients.



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