Eggshell Paint: What Is It and When to Use It?

Bob Thomas


If you're looking to give your walls a fresh coat of paint, you've likely come across the term "eggshell paint."

But what exactly is it, and when should you use it? In this article, we'll explore the characteristics of eggshell paint, its advantages, and where it works best.

As a qualified painter and decorator, I've used eggshell paint in various projects and will share my experiences to help you make an informed decision.

Quick Summary

Eggshell paint is a 1) low-sheen, durable finish that is perfect for 2) walls and surfaces that require a balance between a matte and glossy appearance. It is 3) easy to clean, resists staining, and is suitable for various rooms, including 4)  living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

What is Eggshell Paint?

Eggshell paint is a type of interior paint finish that has a low sheen, sitting between a matte and satin finish.

It gets its name from its resemblance to the slightly shiny and smooth surface of an eggshell.

Eggshell paint typically has a sheen level of around 10-25%, making it slightly more reflective than matte paint but less shiny than semi-gloss or gloss paint.

Advantages of Eggshell Paint

  1. Easy to clean: Eggshell paint is more resistant to staining and easier to clean than flat or matte paint finishes. A simple wipe-down with a damp cloth can remove most marks or stains.
  2. Durable finish: Eggshell paint provides a durable finish that withstands daily wear and tear better than matte paint. It's less likely to scuff, chip or show fingerprints.
  3. Aesthetic appeal: The subtle sheen of eggshell paint offers a balance between a flat and glossy appearance, providing a sophisticated and elegant look for your walls.
  4. Hides imperfections: Eggshell paint can hide small wall imperfections, such as bumps or cracks, better than high-gloss finishes.

Pro Tip: When applying eggshell paint, use a high-quality synthetic paintbrush or a microfiber roller for a smooth and even finish.

Where to Use Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint is a versatile choice suitable for various rooms and surfaces:

  1. Living rooms: The low-sheen finish provides a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for social spaces like living rooms.
  2. Bedrooms: Eggshell paint's subtle sheen creates a cozy ambiance, making it an excellent choice for bedrooms.
  3. Hallways: The durability of eggshell paint makes it ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways and staircases.
  4. Dining rooms: Eggshell paint can withstand occasional bumps and scuffs, making it suitable for dining rooms where chairs and furniture might come into contact with the walls.

Eggshell paint isn't recommended for areas with high moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens, as it is less resistant to humidity and water than semi-gloss or gloss finishes.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. How does eggshell paint resist dirt and stains?

  A: Eggshell paint has a slightly higher sheen than matte finishes, which allows it to better resist dirt and stains. The smooth surface makes it more difficult for grime to adhere and easier to clean.

Q. Is eggshell paint suitable for high-traffic areas?

  A: While not as durable as satin or semi-gloss finishes, eggshell paint is still a good option for rooms with moderate traffic, such as living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

Its slight sheen makes it more resistant to wear and easier to maintain than flat paints.

Q. Can I use eggshell paint on woodwork and trim?

  A: Eggshell paint can be used on woodwork and trim, but it may not be the best option if you desire a higher level of durability and sheen.

Satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finishes are typically preferred for woodwork and trim due to their increased durability and aesthetic appeal.

Q. How does eggshell paint compare to other finishes in terms of cost?

  A: Eggshell paint is generally priced similarly to other interior paint finishes like flat, satin, and semi-gloss.

However, the exact cost may vary depending on the brand and quality of the paint you choose.

Q. How many coats of eggshell paint should I apply?

  A: For optimal coverage and appearance, it is typically recommended to apply at least two coats of eggshell paint.

However, the number of coats required may depend on factors such as the color and condition of the surface being painted.

Q. Can I use eggshell paint in a bathroom or kitchen?

  A: While eggshell paint can be used in a bathroom or kitchen, it may not be the ideal choice due to its limited moisture resistance compared to satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finishes.

For areas exposed to higher levels of humidity and moisture, consider using a paint finish with greater durability and moisture resistance.


Eggshell paint is a popular choice for those looking for a balance between a matte and glossy appearance.

Its low-sheen finish, durability, and ease of cleaning make it an excellent option for various rooms in your home.

If you're planning a painting project, consider eggshell paint for a sophisticated and elegant look that stands the test of time. 

Suggested Products:

  1. Benjamin Moore Regal Select Eggshell: A premium-quality, waterborne eggshell finish paint that offers excellent coverage and durability. It is easy to clean and is suitable for various surfaces.
  2. Sherwin-Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint - Eggshell: This high-quality paint offers a smooth, washable eggshell finish, providing great coverage and durability. It is environmentally friendly, with low VOCs.
  3. Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel: A paint and primer in one, this eggshell finish paint offers excellent coverage, durability, and a mildew-resistant coating. It is also easy to clean and has low VOCs.
  4. Valspar Signature Eggshell Latex Interior Paint: A high-quality paint with a smooth, durable eggshell finish, this product is ideal for various surfaces. It provides excellent coverage, is washable, and has a low odor.
  5. Glidden Premium Interior Eggshell Paint: This paint provides a smooth, eggshell finish, offering great coverage, durability, and a washable surface. It is ideal for various applications and has low VOCs.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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