What’s the Difference Between Satin Paint vs Semi-Gloss?


Choosing the right paint for your home’s interior can be confusing. There are many different types of paints available, with seemingly endless options when it comes to color and sheen. Paint is not just about looks; it has a huge impact on the environment and your health, too. 

For example, if you are going to choose paint for the room where the hot tub will be located, you should choose it carefully so that it does not end up negatively affecting the objects in the room. For this, we also recommend that you pay attention to the hot tub maintenance guide.

This article will help you understand what satin paint is in comparison to semi-gloss paint to make an informed decision when choosing which type of paint would work best for your home (and family).

Similarities Between Satin Paint And Semi-Gloss Paint

Satin paint and semi-gloss paint are both low sheen finishes that have a matte appearance. They can be used on interior walls, ceilings, furniture & cabinets to achieve the same visual effect of high gloss paints without the usual shine or glare associated with this type of finish. 

Satin paint and semi-gloss are both 100% acrylic latex. They can be used on new or previously painted surfaces as they do not require any special preparation before application.

Satin Paint

Advantages Of Satin Paint

  • Easy to maintain

Saint paint is easy to maintain because it doesn’t require much waxing or polishing to keep looking shiny. 

  • Highly durable

Satin paint is also known as a low sheen or matte finish. The main advantage of satin paint is its durability and easy-to-maintain feature makes this type of paint perfect for homeowners looking forward to a long-term relationship with their interior walls. Satin paints are extremely resistant to heat, scratching, molding, and mildew.

  • Perfect choice for rooms with high humidity

Satin paint is the perfect choice for rooms with high humidity such as kitchens and bathrooms, or where there are children present as its non-glossy finishing makes it resistant to fingerprints and other messes made on walls by kids.

  • Low-cost effectiveness

Another major advantage of satin finish over glossier paints is its low-cost effectiveness. Satin paint coats the wall with a thin layer and will therefore require fewer layers of paint to cover your walls, making it more cost-effective than glossier paints.

Disadvantages Of Satin Paint

  • May turn yellow

Satin paints can yellow after a few years of exposure to sunlight and this is harder to rectify as it becomes permanent over time. One way around this issue is not hanging heavy drapes in front of windows but rather using sheer or semi-sheer curtains.

  • Requires a lot more painting preparation

Satin paint requires more painting preparation. It is important to prime the surface before applying satin paints for optimum results.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Advantages Of Semi-Gloss

  • Shine

The most notable advantage of the semi-gloss paint is the shine that it gives off. This type of sheen glistens, making any surface appear to be wet. Since this finish reflects more light than other types of paints do, colors tend to look brighter and bolder on surfaces with a semi-gloss coat applied

  • Long-lasting

When applied correctly, semi-gloss paint is known to be long-lasting. The finish does not wear off easily when exposed to moisture or other environmental factors that would typically deteriorate the appearance of a surface’s coat. With proper maintenance and care, this type of sheen can last for up to three years without reapplication.

  • A great choice for rooms that have low lighting

Since semi-gloss paint reflects light, it’s a great choice for rooms that have low lighting. The finish also works well in modern spaces because the shine makes surfaces look sleek and reflective rather than dull or matte. Semi-gloss is commonly used on doors to make them appear more elegant and stylish as well as furniture to give off an art-like appearance.

Disadvantages Of Semi-Gloss

  • Requires obsessive detail during surface prep

Since semi-gloss paint is so shiny, surfaces must be perfectly clean before the first coat of paint can be applied. If there are any dust particles or other debris on a surface that has been prepped for painting, they will become visible once the second coat goes on. Since all rooms have some degree of dirt and grime, this type of sheen is only recommended for pristine surfaces.

  • Can reflect a huge amount of light

Semi-gloss paint can potentially reflect a huge amount of light. This is great for rooms that receive plenty of natural sunlight and open up to large windows, but it may not be ideal in smaller spaces like bedrooms or bathrooms where additional lighting fixtures will need to be installed after the paint goes on.

Satin Paint And Semi-Gloss: Which Is Better?

It is important to remember that the terms “satin” and “semi-gloss” don’t refer to specific types of paints, but rather their finish properties: satin has less shine than other paints (including flat), while semi-gloss provides more shine than other paints (including satin).

Satin paint is the most popular choice for interior walls, but it also has some drawbacks. It tends to show imperfections in the wall underneath it; since semi-gloss paint provides a higher level of sheen, it hides more flaws on your wall surface. Semi-gloss is also easier to clean and maintain: because of the sheen, it is less likely for dirt or dust to stick on your walls.

Satin paint can last longer than semi-gloss; however, this may not be the best option if you’re looking for a quick fix as satin takes more coats to cover well (and therefore more time to dry).

So which is better: satin or semi-gloss? That depends on what’s most important to you. 


  1. What is the difference between satin paint and semi-gloss paint?

Semi-gloss is more shiny than satin. Satin has a low shine to it but is not matte-like flat. 

  1. Which will be easier to clean – satin or semi-gloss? 

It depends on the surface it is being applied to. Semi-gloss will be easier to clean because it has a higher sheen and is more reflective, so dust isn’t as visible on the surface.

  1. Which one holds up better? 

Both have durable, protective finishes – however satin may hold up better for areas where there may be children or pets.