Home » 3 Main Differences Between Satin Paint & Semi-Gloss Paint

3 Main Differences Between Satin Paint & Semi-Gloss Paint

by Ahsan Khan

Look at your paint walls. Do they look great? If they don’t; then it’s time for you to repaint your walls. When it comes down to choosing the right paint for your room or wooden furniture, there are two important things you should consider. One is the type of colour you’d like to use and the second is the type of sheen you should use.

There are four popular paint finish forms in the world today; matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Two of the middle-of-the-road options you can go for are satin and semi-gloss. These two types are well-known for being neither too matte nor shiny. They are so closely related; telling them apart sometimes can be tricky.

Both paint finishes are available in both latex paints and traditional oil-based paints. Both paint types are options for cans of paint-and-primer combos and cans of paints. Both paint types can be found in special latex paints with little or no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Despite being so similar, the subtle differences between the two can make one a better fit for your project than the other. 

Hence, in today’s blog post, we’ll be looking at the 3 main differences between satin paint and semi-gloss paint.

3 Main Differences Between Satin Paint & Semi-Gloss Paint 

In this section, you’ll find 3 key comparisons between satin paint and semi-gloss paint that’ll help you in choosing the one that best suits your painting project.

1. Appearance

Semi-gloss is a high-sheen alternative to satin, which reflects less light off its surface. The reason for this is that satin has a lower gloss percentage. Satin has only a 30% gloss paint formula while semi-gloss has about a 50% gloss paint formula. Due to the percentage of gloss in both paint types, satin paints reflect between 30% and 40% light while semi-gloss reflects 50% more light.

Hence, if you are painting the interior walls across large windows, satin paints will be better as it softens the glare of sunlight entering the room. But, if you are painting a darker room then using semi-gloss paint with a bold colour to brighten up the room would be a better option.

2. Durability 

In terms of durability, semi-gloss paints are more durable than their satin counterparts. Semi-gloss paint finishes are well-suited for areas with harsh weather conditions. For example, you are better off using semi-gloss paints on the walls of buildings in areas with strong winds, hot beaming sun, rain, snow, dust, smoke, mould, mildew, moisture, and stains.

However, if you have blemishes, dings, or dents on the surface you want to apply the finish, then they’ll appear more noticeable with a glossy finish.

3. Texture

Semi-gloss paints have a higher amount of polyurethane which makes them have a higher sheen than their satin counterpart. However, the high amounts of polyurethane present in semi-gloss paints make them slightly sticky and plastic-like.

Satin on the other hand has a smoother and softer texture that closely resembles that of an eggshell’s surface.


Now you know the subtle differences between both types of paints, choosing the best fit for your painting project has become easier. However, there’s something you still need to know. Choosing the best fit between satin and semi-gloss paint is great but what provides or offers the desired results is purchasing the paint product from trusted and reliable paint companies. That way, you are sure that the paint you got is of the highest quality.If you are looking to purchase satin paint for your painting project and you need a brand you can trust to offer quality products. Then you should purchase Annie Sloan Satin Paint products.

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