Skip to Content

What is Satin Paint and When Should I Use It?

Satin paint example collaage photo.

Picture this— you have just bought the house of your dreams (or my dreams). It is nestled just outside a small town a mile from the beach. You have a ton of light, big windows, and ceilings taller than your wildest dreams.

Your space is bright and open, with the ocean breeze drifting in and out of your accordion glass doors. Your decor is a mixture of modern and bohemian. You walk into your master bedroom and BOOM, it is like your grandmother’s shag carpet straight out of the ’70s. Your walls are cover to cover, neon avocado green. So what do you do? PAINT!

Just as you think you can give your decision-making muscles a rest, you have to pick out paint. There are so many variations of paint. From grays to blues and ivory, to the finish of your paint, choosing the best option for you can be overwhelming, to say the least. Every paint finish has clear-cut differences that can make or break your space. 

When choosing your perfect paint, it is important to note the area you are painting, the lighting of the room, the traffic level in the room, and more! So grab your rollers, painter’s tape, and gloves, and let’s get to painting! 

What Is Satin Paint?

When you picture stain, you probably picture a smooth, glossy fabric that people wear to nice dinners. Now, imagine that on a piece of furniture, in paint form. Satin paint generally has a stunning gleam that is often described as luxurious. 

Satin paint is versatile by nature and can appear both glossy and smooth depending on the lighting. Satin paint is said to be the most versatile type of paint for the home. In terms of sheen, it is more reflective than matte paints and eggshell

When To Use Satin Paint

A man is painting the ceiling with white satin paint.

You Have New Walls

Satin Paint is perfect for new walls. It’s finishing is great at creating a beautiful shine and reflects the light perfectly. If you are working with new construction with no flaws in your wall, satin is a great option. 

You Are Painting A High Traffic Room

Satin paint is one of the best options for high traffic rooms. If you need to paint a kids room or playroom, or a room for your dog, satin is the best choice. Because it has a sheen and a more glossy finish than matte, it can be cleaned much easier without the risk of taking off the paint.

In rooms where kids may draw on the walls, or your dog may get mud everywhere, use satin paint. 

You Are Painting A Bathroom

Not only are bathrooms high traffic areas, but they also trap moisture a lot more than other rooms in your home. Because of this, you should never use paint, such as matte, that will trap moisture more. 

According to a study done by Consumer Reports, satin is the best choice for bathrooms. 

“We advise a satin or semi-gloss finish,” says Consumer Reports’ paint expert, Rico de Paz. “They’re less likely to trap mold and are easier to clean than flat or eggshell finishes.”

You Need A Durable Paint

If you are like me, you don’t mind spending more upfront if it means you won’t have to fix something as often. Satin paint is extremely durable. Because it is able to be cleaned more often without the paint coming off, you will not have to repaint as often.

Instead of worrying about touching up your paint, you can wipe down satin paint with no issues. The cost may be more upfront, but it will save you a headache in the long haul. 

When To Not Use Satin Paint

You Live In An Old home

Most old homes have a ton of character and charm, but also a lot of imperfections. Older homes tend to have more stains and cracks in the walls. Given the glossy finish of satin paint, you will not want to use it on walls with imperfections. Doing so will allow all the imperfections to show through your new paint job. 

You Are Tight On Money

Although some people argue satin paint is not very expensive, it is if you are tight on money. Although it is not as expensive as gloss and semi-gloss paints, it is more expensive than flat and matte. If you are a=on a budget and can use matte paint, it is a more cost-effective option. 

You Are Going To Paint Yourself

If you are a DIY painting pro, using satin paint probably will not be a huge challenge for you. However, if you are a newbie to painting walls like me, it is not an easy task. Because of how satin paint is made and the sheen it has, it dries faster than some other options.

If you apply wet satin paint over a dry spot, you will end up having discoloration and an uneven look overall. My suggestion? Leave it to the pros. 

What Is Satin Paint Made Of?

A gloved hand paints satin paint onto the windowsill.

Satin Paint can be both oil-based or water-based. Although it is much more commonly found as water-based paint, it is available in select areas as oil-based too. Given that most places in the states do not allow oil-based paint, your best bet is to stick to water-based acrylic or latex

The Best Satin Based Paints

  1. Home Depot— Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel Low Odor Interior Paint and Primer in One, 1 Gallon
  2. Lowes— Valspar Signature Ultra White Satin Tintable Interior Paint, 1-Gallon
  3. Home Depot— Behr Marquee French Silver One-Coat Hide Satin Enamel Interior Paint and Primer in One, 1 Gallon
  4. Ace Hardware— Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines KILZ Satin Tint Base Base 3 Paint and Primer Interior, 1 Gallon
  5. Amazon— Rust-Oleum Corporation Satin 02711 Mold and Mildew Proof Interior Paint, 1 Gallon