How to Choose the Right Finish for Your Exterior Paint

Choosing the right finish for your exterior paint is a question of the utmost importance for your property. There’s a mind-boggling variety of choices available. You might be daunted at the prospect of having to decide which one will best suit the walls.The right finish not only magnifies the general aesthetics around your house, but also offers durability and security to your walls.

 What are paint finishes? 

A paint finish points to a paint’s sheen or gloss level, which in the end has an impact on functionality and appearance. You have five main types of paint finishes.

  • Flat/Matte,
  • Eggshell,
  • Satin,
  • Semi-Gloss,
  • High Gloss.

Flat/Matte Finish  

A flat or matte finish is without sheen, making for a smooth, unreflecting surface. The finish is just right for shielding imperfections, and offering a uniform look, making it the finish of choice for bedrooms, ceilings, and living rooms.

Owing to their lack of durability, low lustre matte were in former days a big no-no for home exteriors. But,in recent times, manufacturers have offered up tougher flat paints for use on exterior surfaces.

The resin light paints have negligible sheen , so that they absorb any light that alights on the house’s surface. Also called concealer paints, flat paints are just right for concealing imperfections on rough siding materials like masonry or wood.

Should it be that you do not wish a glare coming off your sunny house, matte finishes will absorb the sunlight. Such a finish is also kind with its velvety texture and ease of application. It is generally easier to touch up this kind of exterior paint.

 Caveat : You will possibly face the hassle and expense of reapinting matte-painted siding sooner relative to what you would with satin or gloss finish. This holds especially true if your house regularly withstands extreme weather.


  • Hides uneven surfaces and imperfections,
  • Reduces glare and absorbs light,
  • Elegant and classic look.


  • Not all that stain-resistant
  • High-traffic areas might be harder to clean.

 Eggshell Finish  

An eggshell finish presents an understated sheen, much like the surface of an eggshell. The finish gives a subtle shine, and is an obvious great choice for areas with moderate foot traffic.


  • Correctly balanced between a flat and glossy finish
  • Very easy to clean
  • Covers imperfections well.


  • Not nearly as durable as semi-gloss, satin, or high-gloss finishes
  • Wall imperfections might still come through.

 Satin Finish  

A satin finish gives you a velvety sheen just right for areas with higher foot traffic.The finish is also good for doors and windows.

Satin paints do not mask imperfections like the lower lustre finishes. They are, however, still relatively gentle on most surfaces, and you don’t have to repaint as frequently. Moreover, in case your house is situated in a dusty neighbourhood, the finish is easy to hose down. Satin finish is just right for painting shutters, trim, doors, and wood and cement siding.


  • Easy to clean
  • Balanced between durability and shine
  • Mildew, moisture resistant


  • May still highlight surface imperfections
  • Less abrasion resistant relative to semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes.

 Semi-Gloss finish 

Semi-gloss finishes come with a light reflecting sheen ,just making these the right candidate for high traffic areas and surfaces that naturally tend to get dirtier. The finish is exactly right for bathrooms, kitchens, cabinets and doors.

Semi-gloss finish is not suitable for covering a lot of siding. The reflective surface will exhibit all blemishes and bumps. Semi-gloss finish is not famous for ease of application. It could result in a really harsh glare in the sunshine, notwithstanding the fact that such a high sheen is a bold statement.


  • High on durability and easy to clean
  • Moisture and mildew resistant
  • Gives a polished, bright appearance.


  • May emphasize surface imperfections
  • Not compatible with some types of designs since it is too shiny.

High-gloss finish 

A high gloss finish ranks high on the shine and durability verticals. The appearance is actually glass like. The finish is just right for trim, furniture, and doors, but no good to walls since it makes imperfections conspicuous.


  • Easy to clean and very durable
  • Mildew, moisture reisistant
  • Guarantees high-end appearnce.


  • May over-emphasize surface imperfections
  • Too much use could really be OTT.

 Choosing the right finish for your exterior paint  

For you to find the right finish for your exterior paint, look at following aspects


The glossier the finish, the easier it is to go wrong. Choosing a lower lustre, for instance, will make it easier on you in case you wish to DIY.

 Siding or trim condition 

Do you have lots of knotty, bumpy wood siding? You would do best to choose a lower lustre finish where there is less possibility of overempahsizing all those tiny imperfections

 Square footage  

With a high gloss finish, having a high gloss finsh on siding that covers the majority of the home’s exterior would be close to impossible. Consider satin, matte, or eggshell for an understated, affordable, easy to apply finish.


A lower finish translates to less glare on your sunny home and an understated finish could well cause your house to appear to blend in with the surroundings. A higher finish goes for a bold statement, offering more light in shady spots, and underscores architectural details.

 Traffic Volume  

In case you have kids who like a mud bath now and then ,or a couple of dusty roads close by, you could do much better with a more wipeable and higher sheen finish.

 Which is the best finish for exterior paint on a front door? 

Use a semi-gloss or gloss finish to paint the front door. Glossy paint underscores any details of architectural style you may wish to show off on your door. Semi-gloss or gloss finishes may resist nicks and scrapes better relative to an eggshell or matte finish.

 Conclusion Chosen the right finish for your exterior paint yet? If you are looking for definition and durability for exterior trim, details of architectural style, or doors, you cannot do better than choose shiny semi-gloss paint. The luminous, elegant finish ranges from about 40-80 percent reflectiveness. The easy-to-clean feature makes it just right for high traffic, dirt grabbing shutters and doors

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