What’s the Best Paint Type for Living Rooms?

May 7, 2024
What's the Best Paint Type for Living Rooms?


Repainting your home’s interior requires more than merely picking out a color. Of course, you should take your time when selecting the perfect shade to reflect your personality, but your chosen finish is also essential, as it will impact everything from appearance and durability to cleaning.

Use our guide to paint finishes to help you choose the correct type for your living room.

What to Consider When Choosing a Paint Type for Your Living Room

While picking the perfect living room paint color to remodel your interior is fun, you should also prioritize paint finish. Finishes like gloss, matte and eggshell have different properties that you must familiarize yourself with before buying paint. Use these factors to determine what finish you need.

  • Foot traffic: Living rooms generally see more traffic than the rest of a home because this area is typically where your family and friends gather to relax, unwind and spend quality time.
  • Wall texture: Living room wall textures can vary. While some boast intricate popcorn or hawk and trowel textures, others are smooth or sandy. The wall’s texture will impact paint finishes, so consider this variable when choosing an interior paint finish.
  • Natural light: If you select a gloss finish for your living room, think about how natural light will affect the appearance. Shiny walls reflect light, making your space brighter. In contrast, matte paint finishes create a receding wall appearance.
  • Living room size: Your chosen paint finish can dramatically influence the room’s perceived size. A matte paint finish can make a small room appear larger, while a spacious living area may benefit from some shine.
  • Paint cleaning needs: If you have small children who love scribbling on the walls and running sticky fingers over every surface, a glossy paint finish is an excellent choice because it’s fairly easy to wipe clean. On the other hand, matte paint finishes are less forgiving and can make spots and stains more noticeable.

Once you’ve evaluated your living room’s paint needs, use the information below to understand each paint finish’s aesthetics and durability.

Types of Paint Finishes to Choose From

Paint finishes are crucial for setting a room’s overall look and feel, influencing its ambiance, style and functionality in various ways. You can enhance your living area’s visual appeal and functionality by selecting the most appropriate finish based on the room’s function, traffic levels and desired atmosphere.

6 popular paint finishes

Consider these six popular paint finishes before choosing the perfect color for your living room.

  1. Flat: A flat finish has no sheen and won’t reflect light. As a result, it’s an excellent choice to hide imperfections like surface cracks and uneven texture. A flat paint finish is also ideal for ceilings for this reason. Moreover, flat finishes are suitable for rooms with low foot traffic.
  2. Matte: Like a flat paint finish, matte paints don’t reflect light. Matte paint is slightly more durable and suitable for rooms with moderate foot traffic.
  3. Eggshell: This unique paint finish looks elegant, mimicking an eggshell’s surface. While it isn’t shiny, it provides more luster. Eggshell paint finishes are also perfect for rooms with moderate foot traffic.
  4. Satin: This paint finish can add some shine to various wall paint colors. A satin paint finish has an iridescent pearl-like look that’s ideal for rooms with high foot traffic. Moreover, satin paint is durable and moisture-resistant, so it’s an outstanding choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
  5. Semi-gloss: A semi-gloss paint finish provides more shine and durability than satin paints. This popular paint type is also suitable for rooms with higher foot traffic and areas like bathrooms and kitchens that need moisture-resistant walls.
  6. High-gloss: This paint finish has a glass-like look with maximum shine and durability. As the glossiest paint, it’s perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, window and door trims.

What Our Interior Painting Experts Recommend for Living Room Paint Types

At Shoreline Painting, we have over three decades of experience providing residential painting services to clients in Fairfield County, Westchester County and the surrounding area. Our expert indoor painters can bring your design vision to life with these recommended paint types for your living room.

  • Flat: A flat finish is the best paint for living rooms, despite being the least durable option. Flat paints can conceal imperfections and are easy to clean with mild soap and water. Still, be careful to prevent damaging the paint or fading the color.
  • Eggshell: An eggshell finish is ideal for living rooms with moderate foot traffic and more cleaning needs. Eggshell paints offer a subtler shine than flat finishes. They are also slightly easier to clean and marginally more durable.
  • Satin: A satin paint finish is perfect for living rooms with more foot traffic and high cleaning needs. This finish can withstand some scrubbing without damage, so it’s suitable for families with small children. Satin paint finishes are more durable, though imperfections will stand out more. If blemishes and flaws concern you, ask our painters to scrape and resurface the walls before repainting, creating a smooth, flat surface.

Though semi-gloss and high-gloss paints are the most durable options, these paint types are more suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. Moreover, we also recommend using a different paint finish for door and window trims to add texture and depth to a room. In this case, a semi-gloss paint finish is ideal.

Unique Ways to Paint Your Living Room

1. Add Stripes to the Living Room Walls

Zigzags, waves and straight lines can all be created with only paint and careful surface application. When done by experts, the effect can be dramatic or subtle depending on the hues you choose, the thickness of the striping, and the amount of stripes. Often, only one wall is striped, rather than all four. This creates a natural focal point and instantly draws the viewer’s eye.

2. Include Stenciled Designs or Murals

Would you like to add an image or suggestion of images to your walls without the need for any kind of wallpaper? Paint can be used to create impressive stencils or even murals. You can choose from the bold to the basic with outstanding results. This can completely changes the appearance of your living room, and makes a lovely addition to spaces that are large or cozy.

3. Enhance With Typography and Calligraphy

One of the newest ways to freshen up a living room area is by having it painted, and then overlaying the painted surface with a series of letters, numbers, sentences, phrases and more. This can be anything from the initials of your family to your favorite nature-motif poem. As with most high-level paint jobs, it’s best to work with a professional so the typography looks exactly as you imagine.

4. Enrich With Faux Molding

Is your living room without any kind of magnificent trim? Is your home modeled in a contemporary way that eschews real molding? Paint can actually be utilized to make faux molding. Essentially, special stencils and designs give the expert painter a guide to paint what looks like molding, but is simply a different paint color. You would be amazed at how different walls can look when this is done well!

5. Color-Block for Added Motion

Rather than having someone paint your living room just one color, you can always choose to color-block walls or sections. Color-blocking adds motion and dimensions. Plus, you don’t have to limit yourself to neutrals, especially if you aren’t planning to relocate any time in the near future. Many people choose to color-block their living rooms using a strong tone, such as those in the red or yellow spectrum.

Contact Shoreline Painting to Transform Your Living Room Today!

Whether you want to revamp your living room with a fresh coat of paint or elevate the walls throughout your home to boost its resale value, Shoreline Painting offers luxury painting services. We are a Fine Paints of Europe Master Certified Painter and are fully bonded, licensed and insured.

Contact us online or at 203-302-1086 to learn more about our quality painting services or book a consultation. If you are still unsure which paint finish is best for your living room, our courteous experts will help you choose after learning about your goals and needs.

Contact Shoreline Painting & Drywall

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