The Best Paint Finish for Kitchen Walls

published Jun 11, 2013
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I recently moved into a new apartment, and my head is spinning with everything I want to do to make the space my own. I’m especially focused on the kitchen, and plan on painting the room in the next couple of weeks. But while picking a color might seem like the main focus, choosing the right paint finish is equally important, especially when you’re dealing with a high-traffic, high-grime place like the kitchen. If you’re looking to paint your kitchen, the best paint finish choice is…

satin or semi-gloss. 

A quick refresh on paint finishes: Most paints offer your pick of sheen preference, from flat to high-gloss. In general, the flatter (or more matte) the finish, the harder it is to clean; the glossier (or shinier) the finish, the easier it is to clean! When it comes to kitchens, you definitely want a paint finish that can handle a little water, soap, and elbow grease. This makes satin or semi-gloss paint finishes a perfect choice.

A satin finish is often used interchangeably with an eggshell finish, but it actually has a little more of a sheen to it. When used in the kitchen, a satin finish will look soft, silky, and a little glowy. Satin finishes are also good at resisting mildew, stains, and dirt, and are pretty scrubbable.

A semi-gloss finish has even more gloss in it, typically anywhere from 40-70%. It reflects a lot of light, and has a lovely gleam and glow to it without being too over-the-top shiny. The higher gloss content also means that it’s very durable and wipeable — a great choice for a kitchen, and especially for the backsplash.

The major downside to higher-gloss finishes is that they’ll show any crack, crease, or other imperfection in the wall. So that’s something to be aware of if your walls have some problems!

Have you painted your kitchen in a satin or semi-gloss finish? Share your experiences!

(Image: Phillip Maisel via this Apartment Therapy House Tour)