Is Satin Paint Good for Baseboards and Trim?

When it comes to choosing paint for your home, you want to make sure you choose the right one for the job. So is satin paint a good choice for baseboards and trim?

Satin paint is suitable for baseboards and trim, but high gloss paint is better. Satin is more durable than flatter finishes and has a moderate ability to resist scuffs, scratches, moisture, and dirt. The downside is that its gloss level is not enough for high-traffic areas.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The benefits and drawbacks of satin paint
  • Which finish is best for baseboards and trim
  • Whether primer is needed before painting

6 Benefits of Using Satin Paint on Baseboards and Trim

Satin is one of the best paint finishes for baseboards and trim. Here is a list of the 6 reasons why.


One of the biggest benefits of satin paint is that it’s durable. This paint can withstand wear and tear, making it ideal for areas like baseboards and trim that see a moderate amount of traffic.

It’s easy to clean

In addition to being durable, satin paint is easier to clean than flatter paints. This makes it ideal for areas like kitchens and bathrooms where spills and splatters are common. A cloth and mild detergent are usually all needed to wipe away dirt or grime.

It hides imperfections

Another advantage of satin paint is that it can hide imperfections on the surface it’s applied to. If your baseboards or trim have nicks, scratches, or other blemishes, satin paint will help camouflage them. This makes it a good choice if you’re not looking to do extensive prep work before painting.

It looks great in any room

Another benefit of using satin paint is that it looks great in any room—from bathrooms to bedrooms, kitchens to hallways. Its slight sheen gives off a subtle shine without being overwhelming.

And because satin paints come in various colors, you can easily find one that complements your existing scheme perfectly.

Effortless application

Unlike glossier finishes, which can be challenging and require more time to apply, satin can be easily brushed or rolled on, making it a perfect option for those who want to avoid spending too much time on their painting project.


Finally, satin paints are cost-effective compared to glossier types of paints. This makes them ideal for anyone on a tight budget but who still wants their baseboards and trims to look good.

With its durability and affordability combined, there isn’t any reason not to use satin paint when painting your baseboard and trim.

4 Drawbacks of Using Satin Paint on Baseboards and Trim

Although satin paint is a great choice for baseboards and trim, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here are 4 reasons why you might want to consider an alternative.

Not as durable

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing paint for your baseboards and trim is durability. Satin paint has an attractive sheen but doesn’t offer the best protection against wear and tear.

Over time, it can begin to chip or fade if not properly maintained. If you’re looking for a long-term solution for your baseboards and trim, then you may want to choose a more durable option, such as semi-gloss or high-gloss paint.

It might not be glossy enough

Satin paint has a slight sheen but isn’t as glossy as semi-gloss and high-gloss paints. This means it won’t reflect light the same way those other finishes do. If you’re looking for an extra shine, satin might not be the best choice.

Not as resistant to mold and mildew

Another drawback of satin paint is that it is less resistant to mold and mildew. This makes it a less-than-ideal choice for bathrooms and other areas where moisture can accumulate.

If you’re looking for a finish that will hold up better in wetter environments, you may opt for semi-gloss or high-gloss paint.

Needs careful cleaning

Although satin paint can be cleaned if necessary, it needs to be done carefully so as not to damage the finish.

Abrasive cleaners can cause the paint to become dull and lose its sheen, so you’ll want to use mild detergent and soft cloth when cleaning your baseboards and trim. This takes more effort than glossier finishes that are more resistant to scratches and abrasions.

The 2 Best Paint Finishes for Baseboards and Trim


A high-gloss finish is often used on baseboards and trim because it gives a glossy shine that stands out. This type of finish is ideal if you want to create a more dramatic look in your home, as it will draw attention to whatever room it’s in.

On top of that, it’s also incredibly easy to clean, which makes it perfect for areas where there might be a lot of dirt or dust.

However, there are some drawbacks to using this type of finish. For one thing, it tends to show imperfections more than other types of finishes.

You may find that blemishes or uneven patches become more visible when you use high-gloss paint on your baseboards and trim.

Oil-based paint like Glidden’s Trim, Door & Furniture Paint is recommended for a high-gloss finish. Oil-based paint will better fill in minor imperfections and provide a smooth, glossy finish that will hold up over time.


Semi-gloss has some shine, but not as much as a high-gloss finish. Applying semi-gloss paint to your baseboards and trim will offer a perfect balance between glossiness and an understated look, making it a great option for those who want their baseboards and trims to be noticed but not too shiny.

It is an ideal choice for someone looking for something more subdued than a high-gloss finish.

Additionally, semi-gloss finishes are less likely to show imperfections on your baseboards and trim since they don’t reflect light as much as high-gloss ones. A good quality paint like Behr’s Ultra Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel is a great option for this type of finish.

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

Priming your baseboards and trim before painting can help ensure a consistent finish and better paint coverage, especially in areas where stain or prior coats of paint show through.

When prepping your trim for paint, sand away any imperfections and inspect the surface for any signs of wear or tear.

If you find any bare, stained, or otherwise impacted surfaces, they should be primed first to provide a suitable surface for your new coating of paint.

Taking the time to properly prep your baseboards and trim could make all the difference in achieving a smooth, lasting finish.

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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