How to Choose the Right Finish for Paint


Wondering whether to go flat, matte, eggshell, semi or gloss? Here's how to select a paint finish to complement your home's aesthetic and functionality.

Benjamin Moore Plum Martini

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When refreshing your home with paint, choosing the perfect colour is not the only consideration. Selecting a paint finish that complements the aesthetic look and the functionality of the space is just as important. So what are your options?
Walls: Plum Martini CSP-540 Aura Eggshell // 
Trim: Stoneware CSP-245 Aura Semi-Gloss.
>> Traditionally, the most popular paint finish for walls was an eggshell finish. It has a very subtle sheen and wears well. More recently however, matte finishes have increased in popularity and are a designer favourite. The fact that matte does not reflect light means it offers excellent coverage to hide small imperfections on the walls. 
Right Wall: Orange Parrot 2169-20 ben Eggshell //
Left Wall: Sapphireberry 2063-60 ben Eggshell //
Trim: Chantilly Lace OC-65 ben Semi-Gloss.
<< For the kids’ room, anything that can get dirty, will get dirty, including their bedroom walls. In this case, a washable eggshell or pearl finish is my recommendation. A pearl sheen has a smooth, less porous surface, so it’s less likely to absorb stains while remaining extremely easy to clean. 
Walls: Wickham Gray HC-171 Aura Bath & Spa Matte //
Ceiling: Frostine AF-5 Waterborne Ceiling Paint Ultra-Flat //
Vanity: City Shadow CSP-60 Aura Interior Satin // 
In collaboration with Kohler.
>> When you are painting a bathroom, you have to consider the effects of humidity and splashes on the paint, and so traditionally we used a higher gloss paint. But with the new technology in Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa, you can use a matte finish in the bathroom too! It has mildew resistance and streak resistance to protect against a steamy environment, so you aren’t limited to a glossy wall.
Wall: Province Blue 2135-40 Aura Bath & Spa Matte //
Ceiling: Baby's Breath OC-62 Waterborne Ceiling Paint Ultra Flat //
Cabinetry & Paneling: Province Blue 2135-40 Advance High-Gloss //
In collaboration with Kohler.
<< For high traffic areas like the kitchen, it’s imperative to have a finish that will stand up against scrubbing, but still maintain an even sheen and depth. The well-lit kitchen is a great contender for contrasting the subtlety of Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa matte on walls with the sheen of a satin or high-gloss finish on the high-wear of cabinets or trim.
Balustrade: Black Satin 2131-10 Advance High-Gloss.
>> Trim and doors: these surfaces tend to collect dust easily. Choosing a glossier finish here is recommended, since dust is less likely to stick compared to a matte finish. So a semi-gloss or even high-gloss is both practical and provides a nice contrast to a less reflective wall finish.
Dresser: Wasabi AF-430 Advance Satin //
Walls: Distant Grey 2124-70 Aura Matte.
<< With furniture, instead of replacing old pieces, a fresh coat of paint is a great way to bring new life to them. Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE paint in satin or high-gloss is super smooth and durable, the perfect product for painting any high-wear surfaces.