What Paint Finish Is Best for Bedroom Walls and Ceilings?

When it comes to painting a bedroom, choosing the right paint finish is crucial for both appearance and durability. A paint’s finish affects its shine, texture, and resistance to wear and tear. So what paint finish is best for bedroom walls and ceilings?

Flat, matte, and eggshell are the best finish options for bedroom walls and ceilings. Bedrooms do not require the tough, glossy finish often seen in other areas of the home. Flat, matte, and eggshell finishes are popular in bedrooms because they offer a soft look, are non-reflective, and hide imperfections.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The 5 factors to consider when choosing a finish
  • The 3 best finishes for bedroom walls and ceilings
  • When it’s appropriate to use glossy paint
  • How to choose the right color

5 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paint Finish

Here’s a look at five of the most important things to remember when selecting a paint finish.


A factor to consider when selecting a finish for a bedroom is how easy it is to clean, especially if there are children in the home. Some finishes are easier to clean than others, which can be crucial for those who want an easy-to-maintain surface.

Durability and maintenance requirements

Durability and maintenance should always be taken into account when selecting a finish. Certain finishes may require frequent painting or touch-ups, while other options may provide better protection against wear and tear.


Lighting can play a major role in selecting a finish for bedroom walls and ceilings. Some finishes may reflect the light, while others will absorb it. It’s important to consider how much natural or artificial light is present in the room before making your selection.

Resistance to high-humidity

High humidity can cause certain finishes to peel, bubble, or chip. For bedrooms with high humidity levels, it’s important to consider choosing a finish that is resistant to moisture and dampness to ensure that walls and ceilings remain their best for years to come.

Room size

The size of the room can also influence which finish to choose. Smaller rooms may require a more reflective finish, while larger bedrooms may benefit from a softer, less reflective one.

The 3 Best Paint Finishes for Bedroom Walls and Ceilings

Gloss measures the amount of light reflected from a paint finish. It can range from flat or matte finishes, with no shine, to high gloss finishes with a bright and reflective sheen.

Gloss level isn’t just important for aesthetics. It also impacts how serviceable and durable the paint finish is. 

The gloss level is calculated using a gloss meter which measures how much light is reflected off the paint’s surface when illuminated by a beam of light at an angle. Gloss level is often shown in percentages, with 100% being the highest level of gloss.

Flat paint

Flat paint is one of the best finishes for bedroom walls and ceilings due to its unique serene qualities. With a low reflectivity level of less than 5%, this velvety finish offers a muted, flat appearance that absorbs light instead of reflecting it.

This makes it an ideal choice for bedrooms, as it can bring out the beauty of any wall color or design without being overly glossy or shiny. Flat paint is effective at hiding wall imperfections and can also mask brush and roller marks. 

Although flat paint may be easily scuffed and scratched, it is still a perfect choice for bedroom walls since bedroom walls don’t experience as much wear and tear as the other sections of your home.

But if you have children and pets, we recommend Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Interior Extra Durable Flat Paint & Primer in OneOpens in a new tab..

This paint is specially formulated to offer unparalleled protection against scuffs, stains, and marks. On top of that, it provides outstanding coverage for walls and ceilings.


  • Perfect for hiding wall imperfections
  • Great choice for creating a serene atmosphere
  • Low maintenance


  • Not highly scrub-resistant
  • Susceptible to scuffs and marks

Matte paint

Matte paint is an ideal finish for bedroom walls and ceilings, providing beauty without the expensive cost. With its 5-9% reflectivity, matte paint offers just enough light reflection to give any space a gentle touch of interest.

The low gloss level helps hide any imperfections or blemishes in the wall or ceiling, creating a more even look. The coverage provided by matte paints is also superior to higher gloss finishes, allowing you to achieve the right amount of color without applying multiple layers.

Regarding cost, matte paints are still quite affordable though slightly more expensive than flat paint. Due to its ability to tolerate some cleaning and scrubbing, this minimal extra cost will come in handy if your bedroom walls or ceilings require light maintenance.

Glidden Essentials InteriorOpens in a new tab. paint delivers exceptional coverage and hide. It has a luxuriously smooth, rich, and silky finish that looks good from every angle.

Glidden Essentials provides an ultra-smooth application with no stippling or visible brushstrokes. Moreover, this paint is a two-in-one product and acts as a primer and paint.


  • Provides good coverage for walls and ceilings
  • Better scrub-resistant than flat paint
  • Relatively low cost


  • Higher cost than flat paint
  • Will not tolerate intense scrubbing

Eggshell paint

Eggshell paint is ideal for bedroom walls and ceilings, boasting a luxurious and stylish look with added practicality and durability. Its slightly glossy finish provides an aesthetically pleasing and modern effect that can easily elevate any space.

The subtle sheen of eggshell paint gives it a more vibrant appearance than flat paint, making it the perfect way to bring life to your bedroom.

Designers and homeowners love eggshell paint because of its ability to cover imperfections while still looking attractive and elegant.

The moderate durability makes it less susceptible to wear and tear, and the slightly glossy finish provides excellent coverage for imperfections while still looking attractive.

Its moderate glossiness also protects against dirt, dust, and other elements that can accumulate on walls over time.

Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Interior Acrylic LatexOpens in a new tab. in eggshell is an ideal choice for bedroom walls and ceilings. Its creamy texture makes it easy to apply and ensures a professional finish.

The high opacity of the latex paint will easily hide existing colors and provide even coverage. The eggshell finish is soft and won’t produce too much glare, making it comfortable for bedrooms.

Furthermore, this paint offers superior durability and is designed to last many years without fading or chipping. The low VOC (volatile organic compounds) content also makes it safe for indoor use as it won’t emit harmful toxins into your living space.


  • Attractive and luxurious look
  • Excellent coverage for imperfections
  • High longevity
  • Cost-effective


  • More expensive than flat and matte paint
  • Will not tolerate intense scrubbing and cleaning.
  • Less washable than higher gloss finishes
  • Not as resistant to scratches and fingerprints as glossier finishes

Can High-Sheen Paints Be Used in Bedrooms?

High-gloss paint is the most reflective of all the sheens and can make a room seem brighter and more vibrant. While this could work in some rooms, it’s often too harsh for the atmosphere that people want their bedrooms to have.

Semi-gloss paint has less shine than high-gloss but still provides some shine and reflection, while satin finishes lie between flat and semi-gloss finishes with more subtle reflections.

It’s important to note that each sheen will also cause slightly different color variations on your walls due to the nature of light reflection off surfaces painted with various sheens. 

Flat, matte, and eggshell sheens are typically your best options for the bedroom. These finishes provide a more subtle finish that won’t be too harsh on the eyes and will help create a soothing atmosphere in your bedroom.

However, for kids’ rooms, durability is key. High-sheen paints may be appropriate as children can be prone to messes and spills, which are much easier to clean up off a glossy surface than one that is non-reflective. Also, since kids are active, having something easy to clean makes sense from a practical standpoint. 

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based (Latex) vs. Acrylic Paints

Oil-based paint

Oil-based paints have long been used in painting projects due to their durability and smooth finish. However, they are not as widely used today due to the high levels of VOCs they emit when applied. The high VOC levels mean they release dangerous toxins into the air.

Despite this, there are still certain painting jobs that may benefit from oil-based paints, such as trim and molding, because they are easier to clean and less likely to chip or scratch.

When selecting an oil-based paint, it is important to consider its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, these types of paint are known for being particularly durable, having excellent coverage, and providing a good base for stain-blocking paints.

However, oil-based paints have some disadvantages, such as a higher likelihood of chipping compared to latex paints and the need for specific solvents like paint thinner or mineral spirits for cleanup.

They also tend to have longer drying times between coats. Finally, these paints can also turn yellow over time if exposed to too much sunlight or heat. 

Water-based (latex) paint

Water-based latex paint has become the go-to option for homeowners looking to give their walls and ceilings a fresh look.

This type of paint is affordable and offers many advantages over traditional oil-based paints, making it the preferred choice by those who value convenience, health, and cost.

For starters, water-based latex paints have minimal odor compared to oil-based paint and low levels of VOCs that can harm one’s health when inhaled.

This makes them an ideal choice for interior painting projects since there won’t be any lingering paint fumes after the job is done.

Moreover, these paints dry quickly between coats, which helps speed up the painting process and allows you to move furniture back into the room more swiftly. 

In addition to being convenient and safe, water-based latex paints are easier to clean with just soap and water. Plus they won’t yellow over time like some types of oil-based paints can do.

Depending on your desired look, you can also get various finishes, from high gloss to flat. Unlike some other types of paint, which can trap moisture, water-based latex will protect against mold and mildew growth. 

The only caveat with this type of paint is that it may cause the grain in wood surfaces to swell. In most cases, this doesn’t happen, but if you’re worried about it, there are special sealers that help prevent this from happening. 

Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is made from a combination of pigments suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. The emulsion acts as a binder to hold the pigments together and makes them last longer. It also helps the paint dry more quickly and evenly than traditional oil-based paints.

What sets acrylic paint apart from other types is its ability to expand and contract when exposed to temperature fluctuations. This allows it to hold up better over time without cracking or peeling off the surface it’s applied to.

Additionally, it is UV-resistant, so it won’t fade due to exposure to sunlight. Because of these properties, acrylic paint is often best used for exterior projects.

However, it can also be used for interior painting if you want a finish that will last longer and is more resistant to chipping, fading, and scratching. It has excellent coverage and is easy to clean up with soap and water.

The downside of using acrylic paint is it usually requires multiple coats for good coverage, which can be expensive for bigger projects like bedroom walls.

Additionally, it produces moderate levels of volatile organic compounds, which may pose health risks if breathed in regularly. High-traffic areas may also show scuffs or cracks over time. Finally, the color options for this type of paint are limited.

How to Choose the Right Paint Color for Your Bedroom

Finding the perfect hue for your bedroom does not have to be a stressful experience. You can make the process enjoyable by following some simple tips that will help you select a calming color that reflects your unique style. Here’s how you can achieve just that:

Create a mood board 

One of the best ways to make sure you’re choosing the right paint color is to create a mood board. Gather up some of your favorite colors and textures in the room, and use them as inspiration when finding your perfect paint color.

This will help inform what kind of tones are already present in the room and limit your choices when it comes time to pick out a color. 

Consider the size of your bedroom

A small bedroom may benefit from a lighter, brighter color to make it feel larger, while a larger bedroom may be able to handle a darker or bolder color.

Start by looking at what you already have 

Before picking out a new paint color, look at what you already have in the room. Look at the furniture, bedding, lighting fixtures, and any artwork or decorations in the room.

Are there any colors that stand out? Think about how these colors make you feel and if they’re something you want to keep in the room. This will help narrow down your choices when it comes time to pick a paint color. 

Think about undertones and lighting 

The best way to pick a paint color for your bedroom is to consider how it will look in different lighting conditions. Natural light streaming through windows can change the look of a color, so it’s important to get an idea of what it will look like under different lighting conditions.

Additionally, many paint colors have underlying tones, such as yellow or blue, so consider this when selecting a hue for your walls. Selecting an undertone based on the natural light in the room is key. You don’t want one that clashes with other elements in the space.  

Consider your style  

Your style should also be considered when picking a paint color for your bedroom. Before heading out to buy paint swatches, consider what kind of vibe you want your bedroom to evoke.

Do you prefer bright and bold hues? Or muted and subtle shades? Knowing what type of look appeals most can help narrow down your choices.  

Test out different colors 

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to test out different colors in person. While samples can only tell you so much, seeing them in real life will give you a better idea of how they’ll look on your walls.

If possible, try painting swatches directly onto one wall so that you can get an accurate representation of what each hue looks like in natural lighting. This will save you from having any unpleasant surprises later on.

5 Preparations to Consider Before Painting Your Bedroom

Gather your supplies

Before beginning any painting job, it’s important to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies. This includes drop cloths, tape, brushes, rollers, and the paint itself.

Prepare the room 

Start with removing furniture or pushing them away from walls and covering any items that can’t be removed with drop cloths or plastic sheets.

Next, use painter’s tape around window frames, doorways, baseboards, light switch outlets, and other areas you don’t want to be painted to protect against accidental paint splatters and spills.

Clean the walls 

The next step is to clean the walls and ceilings with a mixture of mild soap, warm water, and a non-abrasive sponge. If stubborn dirt or stains remain on the walls, try a stronger cleaner.

Prepare surfaces

For an even, long-lasting paint job on walls and ceilings, lightly sand them first for a level finish. If any holes or cracks in the wall need to be filled, use spackling compound or other filler material and make sure it is fully dry before applying paint.

Prime the walls

Priming the walls is an important part of prepping the surface for paint. Primers help seal and protect the wall and create an even canvas that allows for easier painting and improved coverage.

After all the necessary preparations have been made, you can now start painting. Follow the directions on your paint can to ensure you get the best results possible.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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