Eggshell vs satin for kitchen [2023]

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A paint finish can make the difference between a beautiful, durable surface and one that will be chipping and peeling in no time. Let’s take a look at eggshell vs satin for kitchen but it’s important to know what type to use for your kitchen project.

eggshell vs satin for kitchen

Here are the key points to consider when choosing the right paint finish for your kitchen:

  1. The importance of paint finishes and the sheen spectrum.
  2. Eggshell and satin are popular and budget-friendly choices for kitchen painting.
  3. Eggshell provides a glossy look without being too shiny, while satin looks more elegant.
  4. Eggshell is easier to apply, requires only one coat, and dries faster than satin.
  5. Satin requires more coats but is more durable and easier to clean.
  6. Satin is more durable than eggshell and hides scuffs better.
  7. The cost, cleaning ability, and application differences are important factors.

Eggshell, satin, and other finishes are popular and budget-conscious choices for painting your kitchen. The question is—which one is best? They are both great choices. We’ll discuss the benefits of each option and how to decide which one is best for you.

Types of Paint Sheens and Finishes

Paint finishes are one of the most important parts of renovating your kitchen because they can completely change the look and feel of your space. When it comes to painting walls and trim, most people simply choose a paint color they like and slap it on—but there’s more to it than that. In fact, choosing the right paint finish can greatly impact how your kitchen looks compared to the living room or kids’ rooms.

eggshell vs satin for kitchen change

The most important factor for finishing choices is the sheen. Paint sheens for kitchens are chosen based on the amount of light reflected off the surface of your walls. The lower the sheen value, the more matte or flat the wall will appear. The higher the sheen value, the glossier and shinier your walls will be.

These are the popular paint finishes based on the sheen spectrum. They include:

  • Flat paint finish
  • Matte paint finish
  • Eggshell paint finish
  • Satin paint finish
  • Semi-gloss paint finish
  • High-gloss paint finish

Each has its benefits and drawbacks, depending on the application and environment. Flat paint is typically used in areas where high gloss isn’t needed, like ceilings or cabinets. In contrast, high-gloss finishes produce a glossy finish when applied to walls.

Eggshell Paint Finish

Eggshell is the most common type of paint finish for kitchens. It’s a light-reflective paint that gives your cabinets and walls a glossy look without being too shiny. If you want to get the best of both worlds—something that’s not too shiny but still gives off some luster—then this is the way to go.

Satin Paint Finish

The satin finish is a very popular option for interior walls, mainly because it’s a great compromise between high-gloss and flat paints. It’s not as shiny as polished paint, but it doesn’t have the same dull appearance as matte finishes. It has a slightly higher sheen and reflects light. It’s easy to clean, durable, and gives the kitchen an elegant look.

Comparing Eggshell and Satin Finishes

Eggshell and satin finishes are the two most popular choices for painting walls in the kitchen, office, or other spaces. Both are sheens that fall somewhere between matte and glossy, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between them.

Eggshell paint is considered a semi-gloss finish with a slight sheen. It’s less glossy than satin, but not as matte as flat. It works well when you want something that looks clean and modern without being too shiny.

Satin paint has a very slight sheen but more depth than eggshell sheen. It’s ideal for rooms where you want an elegant look with just enough shine to make things pop.

What Looks Better, Eggshell or Satin?

Eggshell and satin paint both have advantages depending on where you plan to use them in your home. If you’re looking for a more decorative finish that will stand out in your space, choose a satin paint color over an eggshell one because it is shiner. But if you want something that will blend nicely into your existing decor while still standing up to everyday wear and tear, go with an eggshell paint color instead.

eggshell vs satin for kitchen decorative

Application Differences

When it comes to application, eggshell paints are thinner than satin paints, which makes them easier to apply evenly and more forgiving of mistakes during application. That is the major reason DIYers prefer it better. Eggshell only requires one coat, while satin paints require two or three extra coats. They also dry faster than satin paints and are less likely to peel when exposed to extreme temperature swings.

Satin paints require more effort from the professional painter because they are thicker and harder to work with than eggshell paints.

Cost Difference

One thing to consider before you decide is the cost. The cost of both types of paints varies according to the brand and the quality of the finish desired. Eggshell paint is cheaper than satin because it is less glossy and requires minimal stress for application and maintenance. The extra money spent on satin will be worth it in the long run because it is durable. While both paints are easy to clean and maintain, satin has a slight edge regarding durability (about 10% less likely to peel).

eggshell vs satin for kitchen quality

Cleaning Ability

You may want to consider the cleaning ability of your kitchen paint. Eggshell paint is not very easy to clean, so if you have kids or pets in the house, this might not be the best option. On the other hand, satin paint is more resistant to stains, making it easier to keep clean, a plus in dirt and high moisture areas. So if you have kids or pets around, satin paint would be a better choice because it will last longer and look great longer than an eggshell paint would.

What is More Durable Between Satin and Eggshell?

Satin is more durable—an advantage in high-traffic areas. Satin finishes are semi-glossy, which means they have a reflective surface. They’re slightly shinier than eggshell finishes but not as shiny as high-gloss paint products. Eggshell paints are intended to be low sheen, but they lack the durability of satin paints. They can be easily scratched or scuffed by furniture with sharp edges and corners, like upholstered chairs in dining rooms.

eggshell vs satin for kitchen reflective

Another reason is that eggshell paint appears drier than a satin paint because it’s thicker and doesn’t absorb as much moisture from thinning agents like water. Due to this thicker consistency, eggshell may chip or crack more easily as it ages, compared with satin finishes that tend to wear over time rather than peel away.


Personally, I still favor satin for use on kitchen cabinets. Satin will hide scuffs a bit better and has a more pleasing, natural look that’s less likely to clash with your countertops, dining set, or other furniture. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule—eggshell might be the better choice if you have natural wood cabinets. But it’s worth taking a quick glance at satin next time you need to choose between this finish and another.

Truth be told, eggshell and satin paint finishes are both great options for your kitchen. But your choice will match your personality and style at the end of the day, so do not stress over it. Regardless, both of them are easy to work with and will give you nice results.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo
    James Johnson

    I like the comparison between eggshell and satin. I struggled choosing between the two for my kitchen cabinets. Now, I think I will go for satin finishes since they are more durable and easier to clean.

    1. cropped ariel path
      Ariel Path

      Thank you for your feedback! Satin finishes are a great option for high-traffic areas like the kitchen, and their durability and ease of maintenance make them a popular choice. Good luck with your kitchen renovation!

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