Is Eggshell or Satin Paint Better for a Living Room?

Living rooms are the heart of a home and showcase your personality. They’re the places where you relax, socialize and create lifetime memories. Therefore, when it comes to painting the walls of your living room, it’s essential to choose the right finish. So which is better, eggshell or satin paint?

Eggshell is better for living rooms. Its low-sheen finish provides a soft, subtle look perfect for traditional and classic living rooms. Eggshell paint is also durable and easily cleaned from dirt and stains. Satin paint, on the other hand, is better for high-traffic and active family living rooms.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The 4 factors to consider in choosing a paint finish
  • The pros and cons of satin paint
  • The pros and cons of eggshell paint
  • How to decide between satin and eggshell

The 4 Factors to Consider When Deciding on a Paint Finish for a Living Room

1. Durability

Your living room furniture and decor may receive a lot of wear and tear from your family’s activities. If you have children or pets, opt for a glossier finish as this will provide greater protection against dirt, dust, and scratches.

2. Wall Texture

The texture of your walls will also affect your choice of paint finish. If you have smooth walls, then a higher gloss finish is acceptable. However, if your walls have a lot of texture or are uneven, a flatter finish will soften the look and make the walls look smoother.

3. Maintenance

Cleaning up after spills and stains in your living room can be a headache, so you’ll want to choose a paint finish that’s easy to clean and maintain. Glossier finishes are the easiest to clean because they’re non-porous and repel dirt and dust.

However, they highlight all the smudges and streaks, requiring frequent cleaning and touch-ups. Less glossy finishes, while not as easy to clean, aren’t as reflective and don’t highlight every little smudge or stain.

4. Aesthetic

Lastly, a critical factor when choosing a paint finish is the aesthetic look you’re trying to achieve in your living room. Your preference will depend on the look and feel you’re going for.

Pros and Cons of Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint is a finish that falls under the low to medium sheen category. It has a soft and velvety look, making it a popular choice for interior walls.

Its low sheen creates a subtle shine that is perfect for creating a warm and inviting ambiance. It also has a soft and velvety feel, making it great for areas where you want to reduce glare and light reflection.

Pros of Using Eggshell Paint in a Living Room

Easy to Apply

Eggshell paint is easy to apply, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a newcomer to the decorating world. It is a type of latex paint that applies smoothly and effortlessly to walls.

Durable and Long-Lasting

When it comes to durability and long-lastingness, eggshell paint is an excellent option. Walls painted with eggshell paint are wear-resistant, making them ideal for medium-traffic areas like the living room. They are also easy to clean and maintain since eggshell paint can withstand light cleaning without damaging or losing its sheen.

Aesthetic Appeal

Eggshell paint provides a polished and sophisticated appearance, making it an ideal choice for modern and traditional interior design. It complements well with other hues and textures in your living room, providing a chic and classic aesthetic that is easy on the eyes.

Cons of Using Eggshell Paint in a Living Room

Imperfections on Walls are More Visible

One of the significant downsides of eggshell paint is that it shows more imperfections or blemishes than other paint types. This finish is only moderately reflective, meaning it won’t be able to hide dings, dents, and other flaws in the walls as much as a glossier finish.

Difficult to Clean

Eggshell paint is tougher to clean than its higher-gloss counterparts. Lower sheen finishes like eggshell paint can’t stand up to repeated washing and scrubbing as well as glossier finishes. Because of its delicacy, it is not recommended for use in high-traffic and high-moisture areas.

Not Suitable for High Traffic Areas

Eggshell may look fantastic on living room walls that don’t get a lot of wear and tear, but if the living area is used heavily, it can quickly become dull and dirty.

Limited Light Reflection

Another disadvantage of eggshell paint for a living room is that it doesn’t reflect as much light as glossier finishes. As a result, the room may seem darker than it actually is, which can be a significant issue if it doesn’t get much natural light.

Pros and Cons of Satin Paint

Due to its impressive characteristics, satin paint is a popular choice for living room walls among homeowners and designers.

With its medium sheen, satin paint provides a subtle glossiness that adds an element of sophistication to any space. Satin paint’s smooth and velvety appearance creates a luxurious finish that complements any decor style.

Pros of Using Satin Paint in a Living Room

Easy to Clean and Maintain

Another advantage of satin paint is that it is easy to clean and maintain. Simply use soap and water to wipe away dirt, grime, or smudges on the walls.

Unlike matte paint, which can be difficult to clean, satin paint is more durable and can withstand more scrubbing. So, satin paint is the way to go if you have kids or pets.

Gives a Soft, Warm Feeling to the Room

Satin paint has a soft and warm undertone that can bring a cozy ambiance to your living room. Because of its sheen, it reflects light, making the room feel brighter and more inviting. 

Provides a Long-Lasting Finish

Satin paint is made with a high-quality resin that gives it a long-lasting finish. Unlike other paints, satin paint can maintain its gorgeous luster for years. It is also resistant to fading and chipping, so you won’t have to touch up the walls frequently.

Cons of Using Satin Paint in a Living Room

Shows Imperfections and Blemishes

One of the most significant disadvantages of using satin paint on your living room walls is that it can reveal any imperfections and blemishes on your walls.

This is because satin paint has a slight sheen that reflects light. Consequently, any nicks, dents, or uneven areas on your wall will be highlighted, making your living room walls look less smooth and clean.


Compared to other flatter types of paint, satin paint is relatively expensive. On average, satin paint can cost 20-30% more than other types of paint, which can quickly add up to a considerable amount, especially if you need to paint a large space.

Eggshell vs. Satin: Which Should You Choose?

When painting living rooms, choosing between eggshell and satin finishes can be tough.

If you want a paint finish that’s easy to clean and maintain, satin is the way to go.

Satin paint is more durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear damage. It’s also less likely to show fingerprints, smudges, and other signs of use than eggshell.

On the other hand, eggshell paint is more affordable and provides a softer, inviting look that’s perfect for living room walls. Although it’s not as durable or easy to clean as satin, it still maintains well over time. It can also lend a more subtle, elegant look to your walls and help hide imperfections or uneven surfaces.

Ultimately, the choice between eggshell and satin paint comes down to your preferences and needs. Select a high-quality paint that will last for years regardless of which finish you choose.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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