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6 times you should absolutely choose an eggshell paint finish

Is eggshell the perfect paint finish? Here is when the answer is 'yes'

Remodeling your home is always exciting. It’s a thrill to reimagine a room and give it a modern, stylish facelift that matches your style perfectly. Part of that process is the inevitable task of repainting the space. While picking out a paint color and a brand of paint may seem like a simple decision, there are a lot of variables to consider. One variable is the type of finish you want for the space.

There are so many paint finish varieties, including matte, flat, high-gloss, and eggshell, all with different benefits and appearances. To help you out, we’re going to talk about six times you should definitely go with an eggshell paint finish.

Man and woman next to a ladder painting a wall white

What is eggshell paint and how is it unique?

Among all the types of paint finishes, there are a few things that make eggshell stand out. The level of glossy reflectiveness it gives off – also known as its “sheen,” is moderate, somewhere between the low-gloss finish of flat paints and the super reflective sheen of high or semi-gloss paint. This means eggshell paint can offer the best of both worlds: It covers imperfections on the surface well, similar to flat paint, but it also brings a bit more color depth, much like higher-gloss finishes.

Female hand painting wall

Should I use eggshell or flat paint?

When compared to flat paint finish, eggshell is much more durable and cleanable, and eggshell can be used in high-traffic areas where flat paint would chip or become damaged. While flat paint is typically cheaper than eggshell, it doesn’t last as long since it will become chalky and fade faster than eggshell. Where flat paint outperforms eggshell is when covering severe imperfections on wall surfaces, but eggshell finishes do a pretty good job with that coverage as well.

Vintage-style living room with blue wall paint
Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

When should you use eggshell paint?

Medium traffic areas

Due to its moderate durability, eggshell does well in areas that see a moderate amount of traffic. It’s ideal for interior rooms like bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.

Spaces that may see some dirt

Cleaning walls that were painted with an eggshell finish won’t rub through or damage the paint since it has a bit of a glossy finish that is on the durable side. This means it’s suitable for walls in the bathroom or kitchen that tend to get a bit of grime on them.

To cover imperfections on surfaces

While it doesn’t cover major flaws on wall surfaces as well as flat paint, eggshell still does a good job of blending slight drywall imperfections for a smooth, clean-looking finish. It’s also really easy to touch up nicks and damages down the road. That’s because eggshell paint goes on smoothly so you won’t see the new brush strokes.

In rooms that you won’t paint again for years

Eggshell lasts a long time, so any room you’re not interested in painting again for many years is a good space to use eggshell paint in. For example, if you’re painting high walls or a vaulted ceiling, using an eggshell finish means you won’t have to get up on a ladder again for years to come.

When you want to keep your painting budget low

While it’s not as cheap as flat paint finishes, eggshell isn’t much more expensive and will probably save you money in the long run since it’s more durable and long-lasting. In addition, eggshell paint tends to be much less costly than higher-priced finishes like satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

When you’re an inexperienced painter

Since it goes onto the surface so smoothly and doesn’t show brushstrokes visibly, eggshell paint is a great finish to use if you’re new to painting. If you use high-gloss paint, both brushstrokes and painting errors will be much more visible.

painting exterior wall yellow with a paint roller

Painting projects you should NOT use eggshell paint for

While eggshell seems to check all the boxes when it comes to the perfect paint finish, it does have limitations. If you’re looking to paint any of the following areas, you may want to choose a paint finish that’s more fitting for the project.

Extensive drywall imperfections

While eggshell paint offers decent coverage and hides some mild drywall imperfections, if there are large areas of drywall with major imperfections, an eggshell finish probably won’t hide them completely. In this instance, a flat paint finish will be a better option.

Exterior surfaces

Obviously, exterior paints are needed to paint the full scope of the outside of your house, but what about exterior doors and trim that don’t see as much weathering? For surfaces that experience moisture or temperature fluctuation, an eggshell finish may not be the best option. While it’s durable, it’s not as durable as a high-gloss finish, which is the better option for those exterior surfaces.

High-impact areas

It’s true that eggshell finishes are durable enough to handle being used in medium-traffic rooms in the home. But when it comes to high-traffic and high-impact areas, they may not hold up to the beating. When painting doors, door panels, mudrooms, or garage spaces, it’s better to go with a high-gloss sheen since it’s the most durable option for interior paint.

While painting a room can be a lot of work, the finished result is really rewarding. In order to make sure your paint job looks pristine and stands the test of time, choose the right type of paint finish for the particular space you’re painting. Eggshell paint offers a good balance when it comes to sheen, durability, coverage, and cleanability, and it’s a great option for almost all interior spaces.

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