Is Flat Paint Good for Living Room Walls?

Are you considering painting your living room and wondering if flat paint is right? You’re not alone. Many homeowners need help deciding which paint to use for their home’s interior.

Flat paint is the most popular choice for living room walls. It offers good coverage with fewer coats and hides imperfections well. Its finish helps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in any living room. Flat paint can also make rooms look larger by creating an even surface that doesn’t reflect light.

Is flat paint the right paint for you? Read on to learn more about flat paint and how it holds up versus other kinds of paint.

5 Benefits of Using Flat Paint in Your Living Room

Flat paint is one of the best paint finishes for living rooms. Here is a list of the 5 reasons why.

Low sheen

The low sheen of flat paint is what gives it its matte finish and makes it ideal for creating a soft and calming atmosphere in your living room.

Unlike high-gloss or semi-gloss paint finishes, which reflect light and can make a room feel more energetic and lively, flat paint absorbs light and creates a more muted and tranquil environment.

This makes it a great choice for a living room where you want to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere for yourself and your guests.

Easy to apply 

Flat paint is relatively easy to apply compared to other paints, such as gloss or semi-gloss. This means you can save time and money when painting your living room walls because you won’t need to hire a professional painter or worry about spending too much on supplies and materials. All you need is a brush and roller, and you’re good to go.

Hides imperfections

One of the main benefits of using flat paint is that it hides any wall defects, such as bumps or small cracks. This makes it an ideal choice for rooms with uneven or less-than-perfect surfaces. Also, because of its low reflectivity, flat paint can make a room appear larger due to the lack of harsh shadows.

Easy to touch up

When you touch up a wall painted with flat paint, the repaired area will blend in seamlessly with the rest of the wall because flat paint has little to no shine or reflectivity.

Unlike glossy or semi-gloss paint finishes, which tend to show brush strokes or roller marks, touch-ups with flat paint will be much less noticeable.

This makes it easy to fix small imperfections without having to redo the entire wall, saving you time and money.

Additionally, because flat paint has good color retention, you can be sure that your touch-up will match the original color of the wall, ensuring that your living room looks cohesive and polished.


Flat paint is also economical for painting projects because it covers evenly without requiring multiple coats. This means you can get the job done faster and more efficiently, saving time and money. Since flat paint does not reflect light, it also helps reduce glare from overhead lights. 

3 Drawbacks of Using Flat Paint in Your Living Room

Despite its many benefits, there are some disadvantages to using flat paint.

Difficult to clean and maintain 

The biggest downside to using flat paint in your living room is that it is extremely difficult to clean and maintain. Flat paint has no sheen or reflective properties, meaning dirt and debris will stick easily and be much harder to remove than other types of paint. 

Since flat paint has no shine, there is no protective coating. This leaves your walls more susceptible to wear and tear over time. As such, you may need to repaint your walls more frequently if you choose flat paint for your living room.  

Can look dull over time 

Although flat paints come in all colors, they look duller than other paints because they don’t reflect light off the wall surfaces like satin, semi-gloss, or gloss paints. 

Over time, this can lead to a lackluster appearance as the color begins to fade from the wall surfaces due to sun exposure or simply from wear and tear caused by everyday use in rooms with high foot traffic, like living rooms.

Not kid-friendly

Flat paint is not the best choice for rooms with small children, as they are more likely to draw on and scuff up flat walls more easily than glossy ones.

The lack of a sheen also means that any crayon marks or fingerprints will be more difficult to remove. If you have kids in your home, use a more durable paint finish for your living room walls.

How Does Flat Paint Compare to Other Finishes?


Matte and flat are terms that are often used interchangeably; however, they do have a slight difference. Matte paint has a higher sheen, reflecting more light than flat paint, giving it a velvet-like finish. 

On the other hand, flat paint does not reflect much light. This results in a dull look but is often preferred for walls since the lower light reflection can help hide imperfections such as bumps or cracks.

While matte paint is still reasonably priced, it comes at a slightly higher cost than flat paint. Matte paint is slightly more durable than flat paint, as it’s better at resisting dirt and scuffs due to its glossier properties.  However, it’s still not as durable as gloss finishes. 

Matte and flat paints are excellent choices for covering up imperfections and damage on walls, as they conceal flaws by absorbing light. However, there are some differences to consider when it comes to maintenance. 

Flat paint is more susceptible to fading from the sun’s rays and needs to be touched up more often than matte paint. Matte paint is more scrubbable due to its glossier finish, so it can withstand more frequent cleaning without needing touchups.


Eggshell paint has a slightly glossy sheen, which gives the painted surface a subtle shine. This finish is more durable and resistant to stains than flat paint, making eggshell ideal for living rooms.

The texture of eggshell paint is somewhat smoother than that of flat paint, and it’s preferred by interior designers who value its aesthetic appeal.

Eggshell paint is slightly more expensive than flat paint due to its higher pigment concentration and durability. However, it provides greater coverage than flat paint, so fewer coats are needed, which means it can cost less in the long run.

Eggshell paint is more durable than flat paint. This makes it better able to resist stains and wear and tear from high foot traffic and sunlight exposure.

Eggshell paint offers greater resilience to moisture, mold, mildew, and other environmental factors. Its superior coverage provides a longer-lasting finish that is more durable and easier to clean than flat paint. Touch-ups blend well. 

Lastly, an eggshell finish will outlast a flat paint in most cases. The occasional cleaning of the surface with a damp cloth will help maintain the integrity of the finish.


Using satin paint in your living room can give it a luxurious feel with its beautiful, glossy sheen. Unlike flat paint, which is matte and has no shine, satin paint offers a subtle luster that adds richness and depth to the color.

Satin paint is slightly more expensive than flat paint, but its richer color and glossier finish can make it worth the extra cost.

Generally, satin is considered more durable than flat paint. It provides a harder, more flexible finish that can withstand wear and tear in high-traffic areas. It is also better at resisting moisture and humidity. 

It stands up well to wear and tear while remaining relatively easy to clean. To keep it looking good, just make sure to wipe away any dirt or dust regularly with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Lastly, satin paint has superior adhesion properties, which makes it harder for the chipping or flaking of the paint to occur.


Using semi-gloss paint in a living room will reflect light off of its surface, resulting in a shine that can make the area look brighter and larger.

However, glossy paints are much more expensive than flat paint. This is largely because of the durable finish that gloss paint provides, which offers greater protection against wear and tear.

Regarding durability, there is a significant difference between gloss and flat paint. Gloss paint is highly durable and can handle intense scrubbing without losing its glossy finish. This makes it ideal for very high-traffic living rooms, such as those with young children.

Unfortunately, gloss paint is harder to apply than flat paint, meaning the application process can be more time-consuming and require a higher level of skill. Additionally, touchups are more likely to be noticeable on glossy surfaces due to their reflective nature. 

Furthermore, gloss paints highlight imperfections in the underlying surface much more readily than flat paint. On the other hand, gloss finishes are highly washable because of their high sheen, making them resistant to staining in many cases.

What Paint Finish Is Best for Trim, Baseboards, Doors, and Casings?

Semi- and high-gloss paints are often considered the best option for trim, baseboards, doors, and casings. Glossy finishes have a reflective sheen that amplifies natural and artificial light in a room resulting in an overall brighter look and feel. 

There’s a range of options to choose from when selecting gloss paints, and they all offer different levels of reflectivity. Keep in mind that darker colors may display more imperfections, such as brush strokes, when using high-gloss finishes as they are highly reflective.

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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