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interior walls and ceiling paint in matte or eggshell?

Mary Smith
January 11, 2019

interior high walls and angled ceiling should I paint in matte or eggshell?


Comments (18)
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Matte or flat for ceilings and walls. Unless you are doing rental. Then eggshell. Satin or semi gloss on trim.
    Mary Smith thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    I actually like eggshell for walls, flat for ceilings, and semi-gloss for trim/doors.

  • Mary Smith

    Thank you. It's my understanding there is a difference between flat and matte paint finishes? I was also told that whichever finish I choose it should be on both the ceiling and walls? Suggestions are greatly appreciate!


  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    @Mary, might just depend on the paint manufacturer and what they call it. Flat or matte is simply a finish that has no sheen to it at all. And I don't agree the finishes have to be the same on both. The reason I use flat paint on the ceiling is to make it less reflective. An eggshell or satin finish on the walls makes it easier to wipe it down. And because doorways and windows tend to get finger marks or soot on them, a semi-gloss makes them easier to clean.

  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    I like eggshell for walls too.

    In your situation with angled walls I would match the flat walls and angled walls in sheen. To me, eggshell is flat enough for a ceiling.

    I'm kicking myself for using flat ceiling paint. We have lots of flies and spiders, and these flat finish ceilings are making me crazy trying to clean droppings off.

  • Mary Smith

    I'm also stumped on the ceiling being painted white of the same color as the walls. I'm currently planning on painting the walls in Sherwin Williams incredible white. Thanks again for all the suggestions!

  • Jamie Ludwig

    I have always used eggshell or semi gloss because they reflect light and make the room seem brighter. I also think they they are more washable than flat paint for dirty finger prints etc..

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    If your walls and ceiling are nice and even with no seams or deformed spots eggshell can work. Flat finished hide wall problems better. I would paint ceiling flat for sure. But with angled walls you might be better off doing all one finish. Except trim. Trim i prefer in satin finish or semi gloss. More durable. You can even do the same color but different finishes because the perception of color on different planes gives slightly different color impressions. If you could post pictures of the angled walls i could give better input.
  • sloyder

    Matte has a slight sheen to it, Flat is my preferred finish for ceilings

  • PRO
    Lion Windows and Doors

    Probably flat for the ceiling

  • PRO
    karen paul interiors

    Eggshell. Well, if you live in the South (of California, Florida, Carolinas, Arkansas, etc.) you use Eggshell. If you live where it's colder the spiders and flies move at a much slower pace, so either matter or eggshell...whichever is your preference. If you're old and tired of cleaning, use Eggshell. This is on the square for advice...honest! :)

  • Heather N

    My decorator almost always uses 2% (very flat) sheen on the ceiling, 7% sheen (less flat) on regular painted walls, and 20% sheen (eggshell) on the doors and trim. She likes ceilings to be as flat and chalky as possible.


    Many people use eggshell on walls, but I personally don't like how it looks shiny. I would maybe use eggshell in a bathroom or kitchen, but would never use it in rooms like a bedroom or living room where the walls won't get wet. It just doesn't look very elegant in my opinion - you don't want your living room paint job to feel like a bathroom paint job. Flat paint isn't as scrubbable, but it is easier to touch up with paint - it's hard to touch up an eggshell wall without leaving noticeable brush strokes.


    This Farrow & Ball guide shows which sheens they recommend for which surfaces - my decorator basically follows these guidelines most of the time: http://us.farrow-ball.com/our-finishes/content/fcp-content

  • Heather N

    Flo Mangan - to your point, we used different sheens of the same paint color in our mudroom. Top section of walls AND crown molding - 7% sheen matte. Lower section of walls (trim above wainscotting, wainscotting, baseboards) is 20% eggshell sheen. Ceiling would have been 2% sheen, but we decided to use grasscloth instead. The top and bottom of the wall looks like a slightly different color, but really all the same.


  • senab

    Only my kitchen and bathrooms are eggshell I changed to all matte/ flat paint in all my other rooms over the last 2 years and it just looks more professional to me.

    Do I have to touch up sometimes? Yes but it is worth it to me.

  • artistsharonva

    Along time ago, I made the mistake of painting ceilings with too much gloss/shine.


    I couldn't stand it, because the light shine around lights on ceiling & it showed any imperfections.


    I repainted a few weeks later in matte.


    Learned lesson, white matte for ceilings to keep focus in room not at the halos on ceilings.


    Unless the shine is part of the design in a dramatic atmosphere which is not as common.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I have matte paint all through my house and have never seen a sheen to it.I would never use semi gloss on walls or ceilings only on trim.

  • scottie mom

    Ben Moore “matte” finish definitely has a sheen to it. Flat on ceilings, except in bathroom.

  • sloyder

    Yep, that's what I have

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