Eggshell paint falls above the low or no lustre paints (flat and matte) at the bottom of the paint finish scale. Just above eggshell paint is satin paint with a slightly higher gloss. For good coverage of imperfections in your walls along with a small amount of gloss, eggshell seems to be the most popular of all types of paint finishes.
What is Eggshell Paint?
Eggshell paint finishes have a soft sheen … like an egg, or really the shell of an egg. This paint finish works well for walls but not trim around doors and windows that have more wear and tear. You can wash eggshell paints without harming the surface, making them practical to use throughout the house.
Eggshell paint is easy to apply. Start with good prep as wall imperfections may be visible, especially where there's direct sunlight. Save time with a good primer (tinted the same color as your paint) which may allow you to skip a second coat of paint. There's a subtle sheen that can be viewed from an angle, so don't be surprised if you can't see it when looking straight at a wall.
Common Eggshell Paint Finish FAQs
- Question: Is Eggshell Paint Washable?
- Answer: You can wash walls painted with eggshell paints without harming the surface. To wash, use a mild cleaning solution and a soft cloth. Be gentle and don't scrub too hard or you might leave behind a faded or discolored areas.
- Question: What is the Difference Between an Eggshell Finish and a Satin Finish?
- Answer: The eggshell and satin paint finishes can be confusing. Satin paint delivers a higher gloss than eggshell. Satin paint's slightly harder surface makes it more stain resistant and durable than eggshell and other paints with a lower sheen.
- Question: Is it Safe to Use Eggshell Paint in Bathrooms?
- Answer: Eggshell works well in bathrooms that don't get too much use, like a powder room or guest bathroom.
- Question: Is It OK to Use Eggshell Paint for a Kitchen?
- Answer: Eggshell paint is fine in the kitchen for walls farthest away from the stove. Satin paint is probably a better option for walls near the stove and other food prep areas where there's lots of cleanup … but maybe you're dreaming about a beautiful tile backsplash.
There are recommended paint finishes for the different rooms in a house (here's a nice paint finish infographic you can print). But what about the new trend in open floor plans where you have multiple rooms combined into one oversize room? Eggshell is a great choice for these rooms.
Rooms Where Eggshell Paint is Ideal
An eggshell paint finish is a popular choice for low traffic areas – living rooms, dining rooms, home offices and bedrooms.
The challenge when picking your paint finish is whether you're comfortable one finish throughout the house. When painting my new house, the painting estimates I got all recommended using an eggshell paint finish. My house is primarily Sherwin Williams Repose Gray (SW 7015) with blue bedrooms, with an eggshell finish except for doors and trim which are white semi-gloss.
Once your initial painting project is completed, there's always the question of how much paint you need for touch-ups … and where to store this paint. By minimizing the number of colors and paint finishes used, you will save on space to store leftover paint.
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