Should A Living Room Paint Be Flat Or Eggshell?

When it comes to choosing paint for your living room, you probably know what color you want. However, as far as the finish is concerned, you may be stumped as to which you should choose. Flat paint and eggshell are both used to paint living rooms, but which will be best for your situation? We have looked into both sheens to determine which works best for most living rooms.

Flat paint and paint with an eggshell finish are both commonly used in living rooms. Each paint type has pros and cons, and the choice depends largely on your individual situation and taste. However, for multiple reasons, eggshell is typically more suitable for use in areas that receive a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, eggshell paint would usually be the better choice when it comes to painting your living room.

As we mentioned above, both eggshell and flat paint can be and are used for living rooms. Although eggshell is used more often, there is certainly a place for flat paint! Keep reading as we list the pros and cons of each and help you decide which will work the best for you!

Eggshell Paint

Painter at work with a paint roller painting living room wall, How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Living Room?

As one of the most popular finishes, eggshell obviously gets its name from the likeness it bears to a natural eggshell's surface. Eggshell paint has been described as deep and warm. This smooth finish has a slight shine and can be used in virtually every room of your home. Let's look at the various advantages and disadvantages of eggshell paint.


  • Eggshell is a fairly long-lasting paint. While it doesn't have high gloss paint durability, it does hold up decently well in high traffic areas.
  • Because of the minor shine in eggshell paint, it is easy to clean. Dirt and grime wipe off of eggshell much more easily than off flat paint.
  • It is very forgiving. Because eggshell does not have very much luster and shine, it works to conceal minor blemishes.
  • An eggshell finish is very soft and inviting, which is perfect for your living room.


  • Eggshell is slightly more expensive than flat paint.
  • It could reveal blemishes. Even the very moderate shine of an eggshell finish may highlight certain imperfections.

Flat Paint

hand of worker use brush for color paint concrete Loft style on wall

Flat paint isn't used as often as eggshell, but it has some unique qualities. It will absorb light, making it a very smooth finish for your walls. Additionally, flat paint has no shine once it is dry. Let's look at a few of the advantages and disadvantages of using flat paint in your living room.


  • One of the qualities that flat paint boasts is its ability to camouflage imperfections. A couple of flat paint coats can hide a lot of mistakes, both on the surface and in the application. 
  • Flat paint is a bit less expensive than eggshell paint, so that is always a positive.
  • Using flat paint on your living room walls creates a lovely backdrop for living room decor. Flat paint is very unassuming, leaving plenty of attention for furnishings and other adornments.
  • You can repair flat paint more easily than some of the other sheens.


  • Flat paint is not very durable and should not be used in areas subjected to frequent use.
  • Unfortunately, flat paint is notorious for being difficult to clean. Dirt adheres tightly to flat paint, and this finish does not hold up well to scrubbing. 

How do I choose the right interior paint color?

Before and After of Man Painting Roller to Reveal Newly Remodeled Room with Fresh Blue Paint and New Floors. - Should A Living Room Paint Be Flat Or Eggshell?

Choosing a paint color for your home's interior can be a very daunting task. With so many colors to choose from, how do you narrow it down to just one? We will discuss a few different tips that will help you choose the right paint for your space.

Evaluate Your Home

Have a look around the room to paint, and take note of any non-negotiable existing colors. These colors may be bookcases, flooring, a fireplace, or a favorite piece of furniture.  You will want to consider these prevailing colors.

If you have bamboo floors, you may find this article helpful: "What Paint Colors Go With Bamboo Floors?"

This article is another example of considering existing colors "What Color Paint Goes With Black And White Tile? [7 Noteworthy Options]."

Get Inspired

For years, homeowners have saved newspaper clippings or pages from magazines from implementing their ideas and color schemes. Today, we can use the internet, with its endless channels of information. Utilize sites such as Home Decor Bliss, Pinterest, and Instagram, and bookmark rooms that you appreciate. Over time, you will notice a trend in your albums, which can help you decide on a paint color.


Once you've got a general idea of what color scheme you want, you're ready for some hands-on decision-making. Go to the store and evaluate the paint swatches. If you are debating between several shades, purchase samples of each color, and bring them home. Paint small patches of each different color on the wall, along with any accent colors you chose. 

Don't Sweat It

It is important to remember that a coat of paint is not permanent. In the end, if you decide you hate the color you chose, you can always paint over it with a better choice.

For some inspiration in choosing paint for your living room, check out this article: "25 Paint Color Combinations For Living Room Walls."

What paint finish is easiest to clean?

Should A Living Room Paint Be Flat Or Eggshell

A very important consideration in choosing a paint finish is how easily it can be cleaned. High-gloss paint is generally considered the easiest finish to clean. High-gloss paint dries to a hard, shiny, durable finish that holds up well to moisture. Because glossy paints are not very absorbent, dirt and grime are easily wiped off. As a rule of thumb, the more matte a finish is, the harder it will be to clean.

For a comprehensive look at different interior paint finishes, head on over to this article: "10 Types Of Paint Finishes For Walls."

How long does interior paint last on the wall?

Young woman painting wall, enjoying her home renovation

Interior paint can last from seven to ten years on a wall, depending on the paint type and finish. Generally speaking, glossy paints will last longer than their flat or matte counterparts. However, proper surface preparation is essential to maximize the lifetime of your paint. Additionally, high-quality paint brands have a better life expectancy and retain their color better than cheap paints do.

For a detailed view on how long paint can last, check out this article: "How Long Does Sherwin Williams Paint Last?"

In Closing

A newly painted living room wall with large white sofa, vintage decorative carpet, coffee table with coffee, seat, dining table with armchairs,Should Living Room Paint Be Flat Or Eggshell?

The finish of your paint, as much as the color, affects the look and feel of your home. Because these are very personal choices, there is no real right or wrong answer. However, we do hope that the information given has helped you choose the right paint for your living room.

A newly painted living room wall with large white sofa, vintage decorative carpet, coffee table with coffee, seat, dining table with armchairs,Should Living Room Paint Be Flat Or Eggshell?

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