Is Flat or Matte Paint Good for Kitchen Walls?

Painting your kitchen walls can be fun to refresh your space and add character. While flat paint may seem appealing due to its lower price point, it’s important to understand that it has drawbacks when used in the kitchen. 

Using flat or matte paint on kitchen walls is generally not recommended due to its lack of durability, moisture resistance, and protective qualities. Flat paint can’t stand up to moisture or cleaning and will start showing wear and tear quickly. This makes it a poor choice for any area of your kitchen.

If you’re intent on using paint with a flat finish, read the article to learn about specially-formulated flat that can be used in the kitchen.

4 Reasons Flat Paint Is a Bad Idea for Your Kitchen

Flat paint is far from being one of the best paint finishes for kitchens. Here is a list of the 4 reasons why you should find an alternative.

Easily stainable 

The biggest problem with using flat paints in the kitchen is that they can easily become stained. They don’t have any protective finish, so spills and splatters from cooking will quickly seep into the paint and mar the surface.

Cleaning them off can also be difficult because they don’t seal well, so you could end up with streaks or discoloration on your walls. 

Humidity resistance

Kitchens are often high-humidity areas, and flat paint has no resistance to moisture. This can cause it to blister and peel over time, making it look unsightly.

Difficult to Clean 

Flat paint is much harder to clean than other types of paint because it lacks a protective finish. If you do get a stain on it, it will be much more difficult to remove without damaging the underlying paint job.

This means that you will likely have to repaint sooner than if you had chosen a different type of paint for your kitchen walls. 

No sheen or shine 

Another issue with using flat paints on your kitchen walls is that it does not have any sheen or shine, which can make them look dull and unappealing.

One of the best ways to brighten up a room is with reflective light, but this won’t be possible with a matte finish since there will be no reflection from the wall itself.

You may also find that dust accumulates more quickly on matte finishes since there is nothing to help prevent it from sticking to the wall surface.  

Additionally, no shine means no protection against fingerprints or smudges. Contrast this with gloss or semi-gloss finishes, where you can easily wipe away any messes to keep your walls looking clean.

Specially-Formulated Flat Paint for Kitchens

When it comes to painting your kitchen, you want a paint that’s going to hold up well against dirt and wear. Oil-based paints are the most affordable option, but they come with challenges in prep and cleanup.

Luckily, there are alternatives. Water-based paints are virtually odorless and offer never-worry cleaning options. However, they’re often double the price of oil-based products.

If you’re insistent on a flat look for your kitchen, specially formulated bathroom paint can be used for a low-gloss finish that resists scuffs and fingerprints.

Opt for Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa MattOpens in a new tab.. This premium product offers an impressive matte finish with excellent resistance to mold and mildew with no compromises on durability.

The 2 Best Paint Finishes for Kitchens

Different paint finishes offer different levels of durability and gloss, so it’s essential to know which ones will stand up best to everyday wear and tear in your kitchen. Here are two of the best paint finishes for kitchens. 


Using satin paint in kitchens provides a mid-tier sheen that is perfect for walls in high-traffic areas. It is less reflective than glossier finishes like semi-gloss or high-gloss and helps hide imperfections on walls.

Satin also works well for cabinets, trim, and doors as it stands up to scrubbing better than other finishes. Additionally, its sheen makes it easy to clean off fingerprints and other dirt that can accumulate on surfaces in a busy kitchen. 


Semi-gloss enamel is a popular choice for kitchens due to its hardiness and durability. Unlike some other paint finishes, semi-gloss enamel is resistant to moisture and heat, making it ideal for areas where food preparation takes place.

It also has excellent coverage and dries quickly, meaning you won’t have to wait long between coats. Semi-gloss enamel is also great if you have any area within your kitchen that requires frequent wiping down.

Additionally, it resists moisture better than other finishes. Plus, its shine helps reflect light around the room, making it feel brighter and bigger. 

Kitchens Need Special Primer

Painting a kitchen should never be taken lightly. Taking the appropriate steps is essential to achieving a beautiful, long-lasting finish. To ensure a proper bond between paint and wall, it’s necessary to apply a specialized primer to prevent peeling and fading over time.

Not only that, primers with added mildewcide will provide additional benefits by protecting walls. Moreover, if you’re looking for a low-sheen or no-gloss finish for your kitchen, opting for quality primer is particularly important for creating a lasting effect.

Even if you buy all-in-one paint and primer combo tins, applying a separate layer of dedicated primer can prove most practical in providing greater stability from both environmental effects and common wear and tear.

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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