Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell Paint

Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell

Our Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell Paint comparison will show you which paint you should use in your home.

It can be challenging to determine the right sheen to put onto your walls and ceilings, and we will compare these two types of paints to find out which is better.

We’ll look at the different features of satin and eggshell paint, find out how they perform, and we’ll explore some alternatives too.

You can read a quick overview of the differences between satin and eggshell paint from Sherwin Williams below.

TL;DR Summary: Sherwin Williams satin pain is ideal for bathrooms (or other high moisture rooms) or smaller rooms where reflective depth is desired, but is a bit more technical in application, whereas Sherwin Williams Eggshell is easier to DIY and tends to obscure brush application imperfection.

Main Differences Between Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell

The main differences between Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell paint are:

  • Satin paint is better suited to high-moisture rooms such as a bathroom, whereas Eggshell is not
  • Eggshell is easier to use for beginners, whereas Satin will show imperfections such as brush strokes
  • Eggshell is a bit more durable to marks, whereas Satin will pick up dirt more frequently
  • Satin paint is usually more straightforward to clean, whereas cleaning Eggshell paint is harder to clean
  • Satin paint is more reflective, whereas eggshell doesn’t have the same glossy finish

Exploring Sherwin Williams Satin and Eggshell Features

We will take an in-depth look at the different features of satin and eggshell paint from Sherwin Williams, so you can find out which one will perform best for your home.

Number of coats required

Unless you are painting the same color as an existing wall (or perhaps just giving your ceiling quick spruce up), you will need to apply more than one coat. This will add to the time required to paint the room as you’ll need to wait for the existing coat to dry before adding another coat on top fully.

So, is there any difference between the coverage of satin vs eggshell paint from Sherwin Williams?

In reality, there shouldn’t be much difference between the number of coats you need to apply if you are using satin or eggshell paint. Both of these paints provide a good level of coverage, and in the majority of cases, you shouldn’t need more than two coats.

However, this will all depend on the color you choose and the color that is on your walls. If you are painting a lighter color onto a dark color, you might need three or more coats or even a paint stripper to get the finish you want. If you are painting a darker color over a light shade, you’ll require fewer coats of satin or eggshell.


Not every room in your home is the same, and temperature changes or excess moisture require you to use different types of paint. If you are painting a bathroom where the temperature will rise and fall on a daily basis, you’ll need paint to cope with this.

Satin paint is best for high-moisture environments because it is more straightforward to clean. The shinier and more durable construction of satin paint makes it better for a high moisture environment, and this means if any mold or mildew appears, it can be taken care of easier.

Many people do use Eggshell paint in their bathroom, so it isn’t entirely useless for this area of your home. However, this type of paint is generally better in lower-traffic areas of your home. As your bathroom is likely one of the busiest rooms in your house, eggshell paint isn’t always equipped to deal with the dirt, marks, and mold that can appear.


Your beautiful freshly painted wall is going to build up dirt and marks over time, especially if you have children or pets. This is why choosing a paint sheen that is easy to clean can be very important. It also depends on the room you are painting because if it is a low-traffic room (for example, a spare bedroom), you could probably use paint that isn’t as easy to clean.

Satin paint is easy to clean. While this paint is prone to picking up more dirt and marks than eggshell, overall, it is more straightforward to clean and retain its fresh paint look. You can clean satin paint with a damp, soft sponge, and it should take off any marks and imperfections. You should avoid using any abrasive cleaning products.

Eggshell paint generally isn’t as simple to clean as satin. The advantage of eggshell is that it doesn’t pick up dirt or marks as quickly as satin, but it can be more challenging to get them off with an eggshell finish if your walls do accumulate dirt. A wipe with a damp cloth can often remove some slight marks on an eggshell painted wall, but it is better to use this paint in lower-traffic areas of your home to avoid any major spills or marks.

satin paint

Drying time

Painting a room is time-consuming work between the preparations you need to do, such as cleaning the walls, moving furniture, and applying painter’s tape. So, cutting down on the time before you are able to add another coat can be attractive for many DIYers.

Satin paint has a touch drying time of 30 minutes to one hour with a recoat time of one to two hours. It is usually better to leave the paint for two hours before applying another coat to be on the safe side. This is pretty good and means you can quickly get two coats applied throughout the morning or afternoon.

Eggshell paint has a slightly longer drying and recoat time. The touch dry time for most eggshell paint is one hour to two hours, and you can generally apply the second coat after two hours.

There isn’t a massive difference between satin and eggshell paint in their drying times. Satin will dry a little bit quicker than eggshell paint, but the difference is relatively minimal.


Painting your home can be arduous at the best of times; that’s why you probably don’t want to have to do it all over again in a year or two. Buying durable paint means that it will last for several years without losing its sleek finish.

Satin paint is very durable and long-lasting, and the durability makes it ideal for high-traffic areas in your home, such as hallways, kitchens, and other places in your home where marks and dirt can appear. Even though satin pain can show imperfections over time, it is effortless to clean and retains a good look for years.

Eggshell paint isn’t as durable as satin; however, that doesn’t mean it will need to be painted over again a few months later. Some people don’t notice a massive difference in longevity between satin and eggshell, but satin is generally more durable and will last longer.

Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell Features

Comparing Sherwin Williams Satin vs. Eggshell – Pricing

Sherwin Williams paint isn’t the cheapest on the market; however, their paint doesn’t cost a lot of money compared to many other home improvement materials that you can buy.

When it comes to satin and eggshell paint pricing, there isn’t a massive difference between the two; however, eggshell is often slightly cheaper. You can save a few dollars per gallon by opting for eggshell paint over satin, but you need to consider if the room you are painting is suitable for an eggshell finish.

Sherwin Williams Satin vs Eggshell – Ease of Use

If this is your first time painting a room yourself, it can seem very intimidating. Aside from all the preparation work you need to do, you will undoubtedly be worried about the finish.

This is why using paint that is easy to apply and won’t show many mistakes in your work. Even if you have a lot of experience painting a room, paint that does an excellent job of masking imperfections makes the process a lot more straightforward.

Eggshell paint is the best choice for beginners. This paint doesn’t show up brush strokes as much, and if you have uneven walls with bumps cracks, eggshell paint does a good job at hiding these. Eggshell paint isn’t as reflective or shiny as satin, so your eye won’t be drawn to mistakes during the painting process or bumps on your wall.

Satin paint isn’t massively tricky to use, but it doesn’t do as good a job as eggshells of hiding imperfections. You will notice brush strokes more with satin, and if you aren’t massively experienced at painting a room, satin can be a more challenging paint to begin with. However, if you are painting a small room, satin is the preferred choice. This is because it offers a reflective finish and can help to increase depth in small spaces.

Note: One pro tip if using Satin for the first time is to definitely invest in a variety of large and small paint rollers to minimize the risk of brush stroke malfunctions.

Pros and Cons

Satin Paint Pros and Cons


  • Easy to clean and maintain a great finish
  • Suited to high-moisture rooms such as bathrooms
  • Shorter drying time of around 30 minutes to one hour
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Ideal for smaller rooms and spaces


  • It isn’t as straightforward to use for beginners
  • Will show brush strokes and other imperfections
  • Picks up dirt easier

Eggshell Paint Pros and Cons


  • An ideal choice for beginners as it is easier to use
  • It won’t show imperfections in your paintwork
  • Eggshell covers bumps and cracks better
  • Doesn’t pick up dirt as easily


  • It isn’t suited to high-moisture rooms
  • Eggshell is a bit harder to clean
  • Longer drying time of around two hours
  • Isn’t as durable as satin

Are There Any Alternatives?

While both Sherwin Williams satin vs eggshell have their benefits for sprucing up your home, they might not be ideal for what you need.

There are other paint sheen options out there that can be more beneficial.


Faux Impressions Latex Glaze

Matte paint is a very popular paint sheen that is widely used in many homes. Matte  finish does a fantastic job at covering up any imperfections on your walls, such as bumps, cracks, and marks, and it leaves a smooth finish that is easy to clean.

For beginners, matte is an excellent choice, and it is very straightforward to paint with. If you have a small room, you might be better off going with satin as it is more reflective. Matte finish doesn’t reflect much light at all, so it can make tight spaces appear smaller, although this depends on the color you choose.

Matte finish is usually the choice for spare bedrooms and other low-traffic areas as it isn’t the most durable. Usually, matte paint is great for hiding surface imperfections. It is generally inexpensive to buy; however, it doesn’t hold up that well in busy rooms compared to satin or eggshell.


SuperPaint Interior Latex with Sanitizing Technology

Another alternative that you can consider is semi-gloss paint from Sherwin Williams.

This type of paint is quite versatile as semi-gloss can be used on walls in some rooms and trim and doors. The high durability that you get with semi-gloss (and gloss paint) means perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, and it performs excellently in high-moisture environments and rooms that are prone to spills and dirt.

Another benefit of semi-gloss paint is that it is the best choice for trim and doors. This paint reflects a lot of light, so it can really bring up skirting boards (and trim) and the interior doors in your home and brighten up a room with just a couple of coats. If you need to bring some depth to a small space and make it appear more significant than it is, the shiny and reflective finish of semi-gloss is a great choice.


Harmony Wall Primer

Flat paint is a type of paint that is highly versatile and can be used on many different surfaces, including ceilings, bedrooms, living rooms, and hallways.

This paint finish sheen is similar to matte as it doesn’t reflect much light. If you have a large room that gets a significant amount of natural light, flat paint can be a good choice. However, we wouldn’t recommend this paint in a small space, as it can make a confined room feel even smaller.

That being said, flat paint is ideal for covering up surface bumps and cracks, and it is a very beginner-friendly paint to use. Another benefit of flat paint is that there are generally many different colors and shades available, so you have many options for your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Where should I use satin paint?

Answer: Satin paint is ideal for many rooms, including those with high-moisture, such as bathrooms. You can also use satin finish in bedrooms, kitchens, and hallways.

Question: Where should I use eggshell paint?

Answer: Eggshell paint can be used in many rooms in your home, although it isn’t recommended for bathrooms as it doesn’t perform well in areas with moisture or frequent temperature changes.

Question: How long does satin paint take to dry?

Answer: Satin paint is generally quite quick-drying, and it is often touch dry between 30 minutes and one hour. You will need to leave it around two hours before you can apply a second coat.

Question: How long does eggshell paint take to dry?

Answer: Eggshell paint takes a bit longer than satin to dry. This paint should be touch dry between one and two hours, and you can usually add a second coat after two hours.

Question: How do I clean satin paint?

Answer: Even though satin paint can easily pick up dirt and marks, it is straightforward to clean and will maintain its finish over time. To clean satin paint, use a soft cloth or sponge with some water and wipe softly. You can also use two to three tablespoons of white vinegar for, particularly tough stains.

Question: How do I clean eggshell paint?

Answer: You need to be careful when cleaning walls with an eggshell finish, as it can be easy to rub the paint off. It is recommended to use minimal pressure and clean the walls with a soft cloth or sponge and water.

Question: Is satin paint more reflective than eggshell?

Answer: Yes. Satin paint is more reflective than eggshell so that it will give off a glossy finish. The reflective finish of satin is ideal for smaller spaces as it can brighten up the room and appear bigger.

Verdict: Choose Satin paint for a durable and glossy finish.

Both satin and eggshell paint from Sherwin Williams have their advantages. However, in our opinion, the best paint finish to choose for durability and flexibility is satin.

The downside to satin paint finish is that it can be harder for beginners as brush strokes and other mistakes can be more prominent in the finish.

If you can put some time into painting your home, you can achieve a quality finish with satin paint. This paint is also more versatile as it can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and even though it can attract dirt, satin is easier to clean and more durable.

For a high-quality finish to your home, satin is a paint that can work in any room and is especially good for smaller spaces due to its glossy paint appearance.

Further Reading on Interior Painting & Quality Paint:


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