Is Eggshell Paint Good for Baseboards and Trim?

Most people think any paint will do for baseboards and trim, but this isn’t the case. You need to use paint that is specifically designed for these surfaces. So do you go with a glossy finish or an eggshell finish?

Gloss paint is recommended for baseboards and trim. Eggshell paint is not recommended because it’s not as durable and may not hold up over time. It’s difficult to clean and isn’t resistant to scuffs, scratches, and moisture. Its low sheen also fails to accentuate the design details of the baseboard or trim.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why it’s best not to use eggshell
  • The best finishes for baseboards and trim
  • Whether priming is necessary

6 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Eggshell Paint for Your Baseboards and Trim

Eggshell is not one of the best paints for baseboards and trim. Here is a list of the 6 reasons why.

It isn’t durable enough

The problem with eggshell paint is that it’s not durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that baseboards and trim are subjected to. It has a low level of sheen, which makes it vulnerable to scuffs, scratches, and chips.

And because these areas are constantly exposed to heavy foot traffic, they will quickly show signs of wear if painted with eggshell paint. 

Faster wear means more repainting 

Baseboard and trim surfaces require a paint that can withstand frequent contact from shoes, pets, furniture, vacuums, etc., without showing signs of wear.

If you choose to use eggshell paint, you will be disappointed when you start seeing chips and scratches in the paint just a few months after applying it.

As a result, you’ll have to repaint your trim sooner than necessary, which is a hassle that could easily have been avoided by choosing a more durable option in the first place.

It’s difficult to clean

Another issue with using eggshell paint on baseboards and trim is that it doesn’t clean well.

Eggshell is not designed to resist dirt and grime, so it can be hard to keep your trim and baseboards looking clean if you choose to use it. And over time, the buildup of dirt and grime will cause the paint to look dull and aged.

Not kid and pet-friendly

The low level of sheen means that any scratches or scuffs will show up easily, making your walls look shabby and unkempt.

And because of its inability to resist dirt and grime, eggshell paint is also difficult to clean, making it a poor choice for areas frequented by kids and pets.

Avoid using in areas with high humidity or moisture

Also, eggshell paint should be avoided in areas prone to high humidity or moisture. This paint won’t do a good job of protecting your baseboards and trim from water damage.

If you live in an area with high humidity or moisture levels, opting for a more durable option, such as semi-gloss or high-gloss paint, is best.

Fails to showcase architectural elements

Finally, eggshell paint won’t do a good job of showcasing the architectural elements of your home.

This type of paint lacks shine and luster, so it won’t bring out the beauty of your baseboards or trim in the same way glossy paints can.

The 3 Best Paint Finishes for Baseboards and Trim


Semi-gloss is one of the best finishes for baseboard and trim, offering a perfect balance between durability and reflectivity. It has a much lower sheen than high gloss paint yet still provides enough shine to make it stand out from the wall.

The semi-gloss finish is highly durable and resistant to moisture, which reduces the need for frequent touch-ups. Additionally, semi-gloss paint is easy to clean and wipe down, so any smudges or spills will never be a problem. 

Oil-based trim paints are ideal for achieving a classic, glossy finish with minimal brush marks. Despite their long drying time and potentially harmful fumes during application, they also have the added benefit of filling in minor imperfections.

If you’re looking for an ideal semi-gloss paint option, one great choice is HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams Showcase Semi-GlossOpens in a new tab. or Sherwin Williams Everlast Ultra White Semi-GlossOpens in a new tab..

These products offer excellent coverage and easy application while providing long-lasting durability that looks beautiful in any home interior setting.


High-gloss is the perfect finish for baseboards and trims due to its reflective, glass-like appearance and smoothness, and extreme durability. It presents a bright, vibrant finish that can elevate any room’s style.

High-gloss also has excellent maintenance properties, withstanding heavy scrubbing and resisting staining better than other paint types. 

Oil-based high-gloss is the ideal finish. When painted onto baseboard and trim, oil-based high gloss creates a glossy yet subtle surface that is easy to clean and maintain while still standing out with its shine and concentrated color pigmentation.

When looking for an ideal all-around finish for your baseboards or trims, consider using Dura Clean Cabinet, Door & Trim Interior/Exterior Paint + PrimerOpens in a new tab. or Olympic’s Interior/Exterior Paint + Primer.

Both products are guaranteed to provide beautiful results without compromising the quality of coverage or maintenance ability.


Using satin paint on baseboards and trim is another popular choice due to its ability to hide imperfections in woodwork while providing a beautiful finish. Satin paints come in various sheens but typically range from low-luster to semi-lustrous.

Satin paints are easy to clean, but they are not as durable as semi-gloss or high-gloss paints when it comes to scuffs, scratches, and general wear over time.

However, satin is more forgiving than semi-gloss or gloss if you make any mistakes while painting since it doesn’t reflect light as intensely as other finishes do.  

When it comes to painting trim, semi-gloss is the clear winner for both homeowners and interior decorators.

This exceptional finish boasts enhanced durability, easier cleaning capabilities, and a vivid sheen that surpasses satin in every way. Thus making semi-gloss the more obvious choice for projects.

Do You Need to Use Primer When Painting Baseboards and Trim?

Primer is essential before painting, allowing you to achieve the best possible results. Stained or bare trim should always be primed before painting to get a uniform and long-lasting result.

Even if your baseboards are perfectly sanded before painting, use primer to ensure a perfect, long-lasting finish. Priming will block any imperfections on the surface that would otherwise be visible after painting, creating a cleaner and more consistent look.

Primer also serves an important purpose in terms of durability when it comes to painting trim. It will help increase adhesion between the paint and surface while also helping prevent chipping or peeling over time.

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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