Flat paint: the lowest of the low when it comes to paint sheen. Painters love flat paint because it hides so many flaws and blemishes on the walls, but parents with young children do not. The bad thing about flat paint is that stains are more difficult to remove from it. Unlike paints with a higher sheen, flat paint's non-reflective surfaces have a porous texture which trap dirt and make cleaning up after little ones a challenge. While some flat paints are said to be washable, you will most likely need to touch up scratches or marks with more paint.
Eggshell (Eg-Shel) Finish
The sheen of this type of paint is exactly like an eggshell, with a very slight hint of gloss. It’s a good choice for walls and holds up nicely with light cleaning. When asked what sheen we'd prefer on walls we tend to lean toward this one because it offers good color saturation and the ability to wipe down without having to do any touch-ups.
Smooth and velvety with a bit of a gloss, this paint is often used for windows, doors, and trim. Occasionally we'll us it on walls, but I don't recommend it unless the walls are in small areas such as in a kitchen or bathroom. The reason for this is two fold: first because satin paint on large walls is somewhat difficult to paint without there being a lot of "sheening" or roller marks when complete and it shows nearly all the wall blemishes. Second, bathroom and kitchen walls need to be wiped down every now and then and this is a great paint for wiping off dirt.
Some of our favorite paint to apply because, as it is often used on doors, trim, and cabinets, it provides rooms with a nice contrast against the wall paint and sheen. It allows for simple clean-up and lays down a nice, subtle shine, without being too glossy looking. Take care with pre-paint preparation work, as poorly prepared surfaces can look downright ugly when highlighted by a semi-gloss surface.
High gloss paints have an almost reflective quality, as their shiny finish mimics the look of enamel or plastic. Though not widely used in home interiors, it is becoming more popular for a dramatic look on cabinets, trim, and furniture in very formal and very contemporary settings. This finish will magnify any and all surface imperfections, so thorough and careful preparation and sanding is essential before painting with high gloss paints.