Types of Paint and Finishes: What are They and What do They do?

a person opening a tin of paint
(Image credit: getty images)

Different types of paint do different jobs, so while your first thought might be about  appearance when choosing a paint, you also need to be thinking about durability. 

Matt paint, for example, is great at hiding imperfections when painting a wall, but it isn’t as durable as a satin or gloss paint. Gloss is great for a durable high sheen finish, but isn’t as subtle as matt or satin and can accentuate, rather than disguise, imperfect surfaces. 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.