6 Differences Between Eggshell and Satin Paint

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Choosing the color of the paint isn’t the only big decision to worry about when redecorating. You also need to remember the importance of selecting the right glossiness. Paint finishes can vary a lot in terms of sheen because the qualities of the product determine the amount of light absorbed or reflected. While there are multiple paint finishes out there, eggshell and satin styles are some of the most popular ones.

There are distinct differences between eggshell and satin paint finishes. Figuring out which type works ideally for your needs can be quite challenging. They both have their own recommended uses to ensure the best visuals. To help you make the final decision in terms of paint finishes, we’ll carefully analyze the key differences between eggshell and satin glossiness styles. If you’re more interested in a comparison between satin and semi gloss paints, check it out here.

1. Appearance

Both eggshell and satin paint finishes can be considered balanced in terms of glossiness. Neither of them is too matte or too glossy. However, their appearance is noticeably different. Eggshell paints have a very subtle sheen whereas satin is known for being able to create a soft shimmer thanks to its extra level of glossiness.

Eggshell paint finishes are only capable of reflecting a very limited amount of light. By comparison, satin options deliver a considerably more pronounced shine. The increase in glowing power of satin paints can work nicely for improving the sense of depth in a room. Eggshell finishes are among the least glossy options you can try before settling for matte or flat paints.

2. Durability

This is one aspect where satin paint finishes come out ahead. The additional binders in the formula of higher sheen paints will not just make the finish glossier but also increase durability. Compared to eggshell paints, satin ones perform better in terms of resistance to scratches, dents, and stains. The extra pigment in eggshell finishes can contribute to greater susceptibility to abrasion.

3. Application

If you’re a fan of DIY painting, it’s safe to say that you will obtain better results by opting for eggshell paint finishes. This is thanks to this paint’s easier application and ability to conceal mistakes. In comparison, satin paints are more difficult to use by DIYers. They tend to show flaws when applied. If your brush slips or you’re dealing with unequal drying times for different painted sections, the final result will look more attractive for eggshell finishes.

4. Maintenance

When it comes to long-term maintenance, there’s an important difference between eggshell and satin paints. As you can expect from a more durable paint finish, satin products tend to outperform eggshell in this regard as well. It’s not vulnerable to fading like an eggshell finish while the walls are easy to keep without blemishes.

There’s minimal cleaning effort involved for satin finishes because you risk damaging the sheen. Eggshell paints might require some extra maintenance to keep the original look. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to clean and won’t get dirty quite easily assuming normal usage conditions. The fact that eggshell paints are able to hide imperfections quite well can be considered another solid benefit.

5. Cost

The more sheen a paint has, the more expensive it tends to be. This is easily demonstrated by the slightly higher cost of satin finishes compared to eggshell. That noticeable bump in glossiness will typically set you back an extra $1 to $2 per gallon. If you’re on a budget, eggshell paint finishes are more cost-effective than satin. However, there’s not a huge price difference between these two options. Glossy paints that reach higher spots on the sheen spectrum are much more expensive.

6. Recommended Areas

Considering the superior durability of satin paints, it’s recommended to use this type of finish for high-traffic areas of the house. Places like bathrooms or children’s playrooms will be able to benefit more from its tough qualities. By contrast, eggshell paints should work more effectively in interior spaces that don’t get a lot of foot traffic. Examples include dining rooms or living rooms.

If you’re specifically wondering about the optimal paint finish for the bathroom, it’s worth mentioning that satin paints provide greater resistance to moisture and mold. As a general rule of thumb, rooms that are more prone to dirt buildup are better suited for satin paint finishes instead of eggshell whose weaker durability can pose some problems. Another aspect to consider is the size of the room. The extra gloss of satin finishes will create a better appearance in small spaces while eggshell paints work ideally for larger rooms.


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