Decorating & Renovating

Is it ok to use matte paint in kitchen and bathroom?

Painters always say do semi, but I hate it

Re: Is it ok to use matte paint in kitchen and bathroom?

  • Flat paint is harder to clean, and won't hold up well in a damp location like a bathroom. 
  • I wouldn't. We used eggshell, its not as glossy as semi, but matte is a b!tch to clean if you get scuffs or food on the wall.
  • It really depends on the paint.  Flat paint will not hold up at all, but we used Sherwin Williams Harmony coating in matte or whatever the sheen is called there, and it is incredible.   It washes well and splashes don't discolor it or wash it off.
  • I used matte in my kitchen and bathroom.  I haven't noticed anything in the last three years that would prevent me from doing so again.
  • Matte is harder to clean. Gloss is easier to clean and kind of helps to block the moisture of the damp environment. I think it depends on how closed off your kitchen/bathroom is. If you have an open kitchen and the bathroom isn't super closed off with tons of steamy showers - go for it. 
  • There's a whole spectrum to paint sheen that nobody's talking about here.  You can't have this conversation without laying out where you are on the spectrum.  From most to least glossy:

    high gloss

    semi gloss

    satin*

    eggshell*

    flat

    *Some brands consider these two the same, and only offer one of them, or use the names interchangeably.  They are not the same when you see them on a sheen card, but it's all in how some brands market.

    I had never heard of semi on walls until I got on here.  IMO, semi is only for trim.  The shiniest a wall should be IMO is satin and that should only be in high traffic areas where you feel it's really necessary.  I personally paint all my walls eggshell because I like the look and don't have the concerns others have mentioned (moisture, children, messy cook).  Flat really won't last well, so think about stepping up to eggshell.

  • I can't imagine using semi-gloss paint on walls. And I think how well it will hold up/clean is very dependent on the quality and brand of paint. We have matte paint in the main floor and upstairs of our, except for our kitchen and baths. In those we used eggshell. We've had no problem with any of them being difficult to clean.

    We're in the process of finishing our basement and our local Benjamin Moore paint store recommended we use their Aura Bath and Spa paint in a matte finish.

  • I do eggshell and satin because semi is too shiny for me. 
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  • The answer is Behr Flat Enamel. It is just a tad shinier than flat, but it holds up really well in bathrooms and cleans up nicely.
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  • I used SW Duration paint in matte in the kitchen & baths, and so far, so good after 3 years.  I've cleaned scuffs, etc. a number of times.  Matte is not nearly as flat as "flat."

    I wouldn't use a cheaper, lower quality matte paint though.  

    What "painters" advise going all the way to semi-gloss for walls?!  That will look horrible.  And where do you go from there for trim, high gloss?  The room would look like a mirror.

  • The previous owners used Matte/flat finish in the bathroom and we need to repaint because of streaks/moisture on the walls. It's hard to clean and it drives me nuts! I can't wait to repaint!
  • At least use semi on the cabinets. Goodness gracious, I could probably hit the previous owners over their heads with 2x4s. They used FLAT paint on the cabinets. I can't clean anything off - plus you can see everything too - finger prints, food, dirt, scuffs, scratches. UGH.

    I used semi on the walls and I'm so glad I did. Between dog drool, food, MN winters, summer mud, I am so happy I can just take a damp paper towel/regular towel and wipe them down!

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  • I only use flat finish paint. In every room.

    It is cleanable, but you can also just retouch it.

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  • I second the bm aura paint. Expensive, but flat and recommends for baths and kitchens.
  • I have been painting for years and know a thing or two about paint sheens. But this post was very informative. i am going to locate my local benjamin moore store. Thanks ladies. Oh and i would NEVER paint a wall with semi. My house was built in the 40's and some of the walls are in horrible shape. Add semi gloss paint to that and it would look AWFUL!
  • I have small children.

    I have matte paint in my DR.

    The walls are COVERED in food that over the last 4 years has been poured, splashed, flung, spit out, etc.  

    I cannot scrub it off without taking the paint with it.  I don't care how good matte looks (I actually could care less but I know most people do like it) it looks horrible if it is covered with food stains.   

  • image ~NB~:

    I only use flat finish paint. In every room.

    It is cleanable, but you can also just retouch it.

    Maybe.  Maybe not.  Ours sure isn't clean-able.  I have now used an entire gallon touching up.  Except you can tell wear I touched up bc it is stained everywhere so the new paint looks different than the old dirty parts of the walls. 

  • I had no idea these matte finish bathroom friendly paints existed. 

    I knew there was a whole world of expensive paint outside of Home Depot just waiting for me, but I didn't know it included that

    My sad lumpy first-time DIY mud-job bathroom thanks you all so much.  I'm just glad I saw this post before we picked out paint!

  • image suzymarie:
    image ~NB~:

    I only use flat finish paint. In every room.

    It is cleanable, but you can also just retouch it.

    Maybe.  Maybe not.  Ours sure isn't clean-able.  I have now used an entire gallon touching up.  Except you can tell wear I touched up bc it is stained everywhere so the new paint looks different than the old dirty parts of the walls. 

    I really think it depends on the quality of paint. We have two kids, two dogs, a cat, and had a yard under construction for over a year (ie lots of mud). We've had no problem wiping things off our matte finish walls using just a baby wipe or sometimes a rag and cleaner.

  • image wawajeanne:

    I had no idea these matte finish bathroom friendly paints existed. 

    I knew there was a whole world of expensive paint outside of Home Depot just waiting for me, but I didn't know it included that

    My sad lumpy first-time DIY mud-job bathroom thanks you all so much.  I'm just glad I saw this post before we picked out paint!

    Exactly!!!!!!! 

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