Eggshell Paint vs. Flat Paint

A wall painted in a blue, striped pattern with eggshell paint.
What You'll Need
Paint roller and brushes
Paint tray
Paint thinner
Eye protection
Protective clothing
Drop cloth

If you are thinking of decorating a room in your house and considering what sort of paint to you may prefer, you have several choices including flat, satin, semi-gloss, high gloss, and eggshell. Both flat and eggshell finishes are very low luster compared to gloss paints, but each offers its own set of advantages over the other.

Flat Paint

Flat paint is highly effective in cases where you may need to disguise or hide tiny wall blemishes or bumps. Because of its very nature, flat paint does not reflect light and it will camouflage any discrepancies in the wall that might otherwise show up with paint that is reflective, like satin or eggshell. This kind also absorbs stains and splashes easily.

Using flat paint on large areas like ceilings is recommended, as ceilings usually have the most imperfections and blemishes to hide. The big drawback is that it is not recommended for surfaces intended to be washable.

Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paints are extremely hard-wearing. This type creates an excellent and easy-to-clean surface for general rooms such as the living room or bedroom. Eggshell paints have a slight sheen and have a more reflective quality than flat paints, as mentioned previously.


Flat paint is easy to maintain but it is less durable than some other types. It is very delicate and cannot be scrubbed hard too often. It can be scraped by furniture or something as simple as a purse buckle and that can make it look rough and scuffed even after a you have painted a fresh coat in your home. Therefore, if you are thinking of repainting any interior areas of your house, think carefully about where flat paint will work best.

Eggshell paint is much more difficult to damage. After drying, eggshell builds a very durable protective coating. Again, be advised that eggshell is not suitable for every room in your house. If you are preparing to use it in an area where there is heavy traffic, be sure that it will be able to stand up to the constant contact.


Flat paint is not at all suitable for the exterior of your home, so always keep its use on the interior. The compound of flat paint does not allow for reflection and is not durable enough to withstand any weather conditions, especially extreme heat and rain.

Eggshell paints can be bought for exterior purposes and areas highly resistant to damage from weather conditions. It is excellent for use on front doors or windows and it will last a long time and weather well. If maintained properly it will last a few years. There are many sorts of eggshell exterior paints, such as oil-based, so select carefully and based on which type will suit your needs the best.