Satin Versus Gloss: Difference and Comparison Table

Satin and gloss are two popular finishes used in painting, woodworking, and other crafts. Both finishes have unique characteristics that make them ideal for different applications. Satin has a matte finish that is perfect for hiding imperfections, while the gloss provides a high shine that can make objects look more vibrant. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between satin and gloss to help you decide which finish is best for your project.

First, we will know about the basic pros and cons of gloss and satin finish.

What Is Satin Paint?

A satin finish has the least amount of gloss. Although it does some light reflection. The surface is neither entirely matte nor very reflecting.

Satin paint is a popular option for rooms that need a cozy ambiance, including bedrooms and family rooms, because of its shine level. The sheen level ranges from 26-40%, which gives off a mild sheen.

Even though it doesn’t completely cover flaws, satin finishes tend to reflect light less than gloss paint, thus it’s preferable to use them. The paint colors appear a little lighter since it absorbs light reflection rather than reflecting it.

Since it can conceal faults and is not as flat as an eggshell, a satin finish is also frequently used for woodworking and crafts. Additional advantages and disadvantages of a satin finish include the following:


  • Ideal for usage in larger areas including bedrooms, dining rooms, family rooms, and ceilings;
  •  It’s better at concealing flaws than gloss paint;
  • Gives a velvety appearance and a smooth surface feeling.
  • It is referred to as a rub-on finish because it offers a more pigmented-colored surface.
  • It’s simple to clean with a cloth and some elbow grease.


  • Not recommended for outdoor usage.
  • Unsuitable for tiny spaces since it creates a duller ambiance.
  • Rough scrubbing will cause it to lose its sheen.

Types of Satin Products

Products with satin finishes are available in a variety of categories, including DIY crafts, woodwork, and interiors. These products offer the same level of sheen despite serving various functions.

To get the product you require, look at the following categories of gloss-finish products:

  • Paint finishes
  • Aerosol spray paint finishes
  • Varnish finishes
  • Furniture wax
  • Clear coat finishes
  • Wood stain
  • Sealants
  • Polyurethane

What is gloss paint?

A high gloss finish paint provides an exceptionally shiny surface.

Kitchens, baths, and even painted skirting boards are perfect examples of places with high care requirements.

While both satin and gloss paint may be washed, gloss paint performs better and can survive more vigorous scrubbing due to its high shine.

Despite the endurance of gloss paint seems promising, consider the following benefits and drawbacks before deciding which paint finish is best for you:


  • Better for spaces that require regular cleanings, such as kitchen cabinets, skirting boards, and bathrooms;
  •  More sturdy and more durable.
  • No problem if you have kids or dogs.
  • Moisture-resistant.
  • Great for woodworking.


  • More difficult to maintain than a satin finish.
  • Highlight flaws since the paint is reflective.
  • Further preparation is necessary for a flawless finish.
  • If the shine is uneven, any touch-ups may be seen.
  • Sometimes gloss paint seems overwhelming to the eyes.
  • Can’t use these for all types of wood.

Types of Gloss Finish Products

Several product categories, including DIY crafts, woodworking, and interiors, offer satin-finished goods. Even though they have different uses, these goods have the same sheen.

If choosing products with a satin finish is still unclear to you, think about these things:

  • Paint finishes
  • Clear coat finishes
  • Aerosol spray paint
  • Wood stain
  • Varnishes
  • Sealants
  • Polyurethane

The Difference between Satin and Gloss

While gloss paint has a greater sheen, satin paint has a softer sheen. Some people choose satin because it produces a gentle shine. Others prefer to give their surface colors a gloss finish to make them look brighter.

How the two paints manage flaws, is the main distinction between satin and gloss paint. None of the two can fully conceal flaws, but satin is a better option for covering imperfections because it only reflects a bit less light.

Dissimilarity in:Satin paintGloss paint
Shine level26-40%70-90%, higher sheen
Easy to applyEasy to applyDifficult to apply
EnduranceLong-lasting but extreme scrub will fade away the shine. Extremely durable, even with intense cleaning, suitable for high-traffic areas. 
UsesWorks best in spacious places like living rooms, playrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, family rooms, hallways, Ceiling, garages, Car paint, Exterior, etc.Bathrooms, kitchens, doors, bathroom, interior trim, Furniture, Skirting board, and other compact spaces.
MaintenanceLow maintenance & easy to clean.High maintenance, easy to clean.
VisibilityIts low reflection better hides imperfectionsTends to highlight imperfections because of its reflective surface.
ResistanceCan retain scuff marks and dirtStain-resistant, moisture-resistant, mold and mildew resistant
CoverageEasier to apply.Requires extra preparatory work for smooth application.
CostA gloss finish is more expensive than satin.Spray paints are smaller and affordable.

In addition to this, there are several factors to consider when determining the optimum places to apply satin and gloss treatments, which are based on the following:

Ø Gloss versus satin look

Since satin paint reflects less light, it’s perfect for a modern, homey appearance. If you want to create a cozy ambiance in your rooms, this is a common choice.

Although the paint colors may appear a little lighter depending on how the light reflects, the satin finish also gives the paint colors more pigment.

Gloss paints, on the other hand, make the colors more vibrant and are effective in enlarging the space. If you want to draw attention to your home’s architectural details, it is recommended.

Also, depending on the reflection of the light, the paint colors could appear darker.

Ø Gloss versus satin textures

The satin finish is renowned for its velvety appearance and smooth-feeling finish. In contrast, gloss paint creates a smooth surface since it seems shiny and reflective.

Satin paint conceals flaws better than gloss paint since its texture isn’t completely flat but also isn’t shiny.

Gloss coatings are not appropriate for larger rooms since the brighter they are, the more they can draw attention to flaws.

Ø Gloss vs. Satin durability

These two finishes are most frequently argued since both are strong, washable, and resistant to scratches. The two have different levels of durability, though.

Be aware that durability increases with glossiness. Even while satin paint can stay longer, the shine will eventually fade, making it unsuitable for regular cleaning and harsh washing.

Instead, because it won’t draw attention to flaws, it can keep stains better than shine.

However, because gloss paint has a high shine, it is more prone to frequent washing and won’t lose its dazzling appearance.

Ø Gloss Versus Satin: Moisture and Water Resistance

The moisture resistance of satin paint is respectable. As a result, it will somewhat shield the wood, drywall, and other construction materials you coat from water.

Whatever you paint will protect it from moisture, whether it be a bathroom, a kitchen, or even some interior furniture.

However, paint with a gloss finish can be more appropriate if you want the greatest level of protection. This is because everything you paint will practically be waterproof once it has dried.

A satin finish will initially have better moisture resistance. The resistance will then start to lessen for a few months, on average. Glossy coatings tend to continue to be water-resistant for several years.

Lastly, a few words

With that knowledge in hand, you should be able to choose between a satin finish and a gloss finish for your project.

The Gloss is preferable in certain cases while satin is appropriate in others. Use the information you’ve learned today to ensure that you make the right decision.

When the finish you choose exceeds your expectations in every way, you’ll be glad you did.

Leave a Comment