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The Differences Between Matte vs. Flat Finishes

Glancing to begin your next paint project but aren’t sure which paint finish you should use? Matte and flat paint finishes may seem interchangeable, but the truth is that they work well in different circumstances. Below, we’ll cover the differences between these two types of paint finish and their uses for your home.

If you’re looking for professional painters in your area, call us today at 601-574-0028 for a free estimate.

Flat Paint

Flat paint is a type of paint with no shine, which means it reflects a minimal amount of light. There is typically minimal gloss in the paint or none at all.

Advantages of Flat Paint

If your walls aren’t smooth or have noticeable imperfections or irregularities, flat paint works excellent for concealing these spots. Since a minimal amount of light reflects off of this paint, these imperfections won’t be noticeable. It’s also an excellent choice for mixing with other paints and is easy to touch up if needed.

Matte Finish

Matte finishes, also called velvet, are a low gloss paint choice that adds a lavish feel to any room in your home. Matte finishes tend to have low or medium gloss, but they usually have more gloss than flat paint. Depending on your brand, matte paints can be mold resistant, more durable, and maintain their color better than flat paints.

Matte paint is a great cost-effective choice for painting any room too.

Advantages of Matte Paint

Matte paints are great for larger paint projects since you usually require fewer coats to attain an even finish. These paints have more pigments, making their color saturation much more manageable, which means you need to buy less paint. While they do have more gloss than flat paint, these paints are still a good choice for covering up imperfections.

Matte vs. Flat Paints


Depending on the brand, flat paints may have no gloss at all. Typically, the amount of gloss in the average can of flat paint is between 0-5%. Matte paints almost always have more glossiness, typically between 5-10%.

Best Locations

Flat paint is most suitable for areas that won’t get too dirty since it’s hard to clean properly. Matte paints are great for bedrooms, dining rooms, and bathrooms. Depending on the paint brand, matte paints can also be mold resistant and more manageable to clean.


While these two paint types may seem alike, they are very different when cleaning them. Matte paints are much easier to clean than flat paints, which cannot be scrubbed clean. Scrubbing a flat-painted wall can change the appearance of the finish and make it appear patchy.

Cover Ups

Both paints are excellent for covering up any imperfections on your wall. Matte and flat paint have relatively low glosses compared to other types of paint. That means the imperfections or unsmooth walls won’t be very evident even when light shines on your walls.

Which is Better: Matte or Flat Paint?

No paint is better than the other; matte and flat paint work nicely in various scenarios. Depending on the area, your timeframe, and your goals determine which is most suitable for you. If you’re pressed for time and want to paint your walls in as few coats as possible, we suggest using matte paints. Ultimately, both are effective options for ceilings and covering up imperfections.

If you’re unsure which paint is best for your next paint project, Potter's Painting Solutions can help you with our free color consultation and professional painting services. Call us today at 601-574-0028 for a free in-home consultation.

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