Best Sheen for Bedroom Walls to Make Your Room Look Cleaner

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Get Smarter On Architecture and Design

Get the 3-minute weekly newsletter keeping 5K+ designers in the loop.

Enter your Email to Sign up


Every detail counts when creating the ideal ambiance in your bedroom. Each aspect, from the color scheme to the furniture selection, contributes to the overall aesthetic. One important aspect often overlooked is the sheen of your bedroom walls.

The right sheen can improve the beauty of the space while also considering factors such as maintenance and durability. We will explore the best sheen for bedroom walls and provide insight to help you make informed decisions.

What is Paint Sheen?

Isn’t that just some fancy term for shine? Well, you are not entirely wrong. Sheen refers to the glossiness or shine level in a paint or finish. It’s a phrase used to describe the reflective quality of a surface, especially when it comes to paints or finishes applied to walls, furniture, or other decorative elements.

There are several levels of sheen commonly used in home decor, each providing a distinctive aesthetic and level of durability.

Best Sheen for Bedroom Walls

1. Flat or Matte Sheen

Compared to other types of paint, paint with a flat finish has the most pigmentation. Because it is low-luster and non-reflective, it absorbs virtually all of the light, making it ideal for hiding imperfections such as scratches or bumps on the walls and creating a sophisticated look. Besides, this sheen has a velvety, smooth look.

A flat (or matte) Bedroom

Image Source:

A flat (or matte) paint sheen is perfect for spaces with little foot traffic or those that won’t be exposed to much dirt. Moreover, you can use this flat paint sheen on a patched drywall or one with imperfect taping.

Flat or matte finishes are ideal for adult bedroom walls and ceilings, dining rooms, or living rooms because of the difficulty of cleaning up marks and scuffs.

2. Eggshell Paint Sheen

The eggshell name comes from its similarity to the slightly matte look. Eggshell falls between flat or matte and satin paints. It feels velvety but is more durable than flat or matte paint. Eggshell paints are not glossy, but they are also not fully flat. It balances flat and glossy, providing enhanced durability and easier cleaning.

Eggshell Paint Sheen Bedroom

Image Source:

The gloss percentage in Eggshell sheen ranges between 10% and 25%. This implies they’re only glossy enough to make your paintwork stand out. This Eggshell paint finishes are perfect for bedrooms, dining areas, living rooms, and ceilings since these places are exposed to little traffic. Besides, this sheen will provide a touch of elegance when you use it on your bedroom walls.

3. Satin Paint Sheen

Paints with a satin finish sheen can be either oil or acrylic-based. Often, satin paint is classified alongside eggshells because of their low luster. However, they have a higher resin level, which results in a higher gloss than the eggshell finish. Also, satin paint has a softer sheen, almost pearl-like or velvety finish.

Satin Paint Sheen Bedroom

Image Source:

Satin finishes show application flaws like roller or brush marks. Nonetheless, surfaces with a satin finish are easy to clean and offer the same advantages as matte or eggshell finishes.

Satin paint sheen is ideal for children’s bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. Satin is also durable enough to be used on a building’s trim. Moreover, you can use a satin finish to make your bathroom or kitchen cabinets stand out.

4. Semi-Gloss Paint Sheen

Semi-gloss paint is the most active in the paint sheen world. Due to its crisp appearance and easy cleaning, a semi-gloss finish is perfect for doors, cabinets, and trim. Besides, some interior designers recommend using it for bedroom walls since it provides a noticeable shine and a vibrant look.

Semi-Gloss Paint Sheen Bedroom

Image Source:

A semi-gloss finish is more or less similar to a satin paint finish; the only main difference is a more noticeable sheen. It is a durable finish that you can use in your children’s bedroom. However, keep in mind that this semi-gloss paint finish may highlight imperfections on their walls.

5. High-Gloss Finish

High-gloss paint provides you with a glass-like sheen. It is both stylish and functional. Due to the high gloss level, cleaning dirt, oils, and stains is easy, making this paint perfect for high-touch areas such as doors and trims.

High-Gloss Finish Bedroom Walls

Image Source:

Although they have the highest durability, they are harder to apply than other paint sheens. Besides, they reflect light around and make a small space appear bigger. However, since it is overly shiny, it will highlight every bump, lump, and imperfection on the interior walls.

On the other hand, though high gloss paint provides a bold statement to any room, it may be too intense for bedroom walls unless you want a specific dramatic impact.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Sheen for Bedroom Walls

1. Lighting

Before choosing the best sheen, analyze your bedroom’s natural and artificial lighting amounts. Higher-sheen finishes, such as semi-gloss or satin, usually make the space appear brighter and reflect more light. Besides, a higher sheen finish can improve the room’s radiance if the room gets enough natural light.

Bedroom lighting

Image Source:

On the other hand, a lower sheen finish like eggshell or matte in rooms with little light can help reduce excessive glare and create a softer, more subdued environment.

It’s crucial to test paint samples on the walls and see how they respond to the lighting in the space. Depending on the lighting, the same paint color with various sheens might appear differently. Therefore, by analyzing your bedroom’s natural and artificial lighting, you can choose a sheen that complements the lighting and creates the desired visual effect.

2. Mood and Aesthetic

Determine the desired mood and aesthetic of your bedroom. Higher-sheen finishes, such as semi-gloss or satin, give a polished and sophisticated appearance that can add elegance to your bedroom. They usually reflect light more and create a subtle sheen. Conversely, a lower sheen, like eggshell or matte, gives a softer and more relaxed appearance, adding to a calm and cozy ambiance.

It’s a good idea to imagine and visualize how different sheens will interact with the rest of the design aspects in the space, such as furniture, lighting, and décor. But considering the desired mood and aesthetic, you can choose a sheen that complements your overall vision for the bedroom.

3. Style and Design

When choosing the best sheen for bedroom walls, pay attention to the overall style and design of the room. Different sheens can be used to improve certain design aspects. For example, a rustic or vintage-style bedroom may benefit from lower-sheen finishes. In contrast, a modern or contemporary room may benefit from higher-sheen finishes.

4. Room Function

Consider how you intend to use your bedroom. Bedrooms that function primarily as calming sanctuaries for rest can benefit from lower-sheen finishes contributing to a calm and cozy ambiance. Conversely, bedrooms used by children or as workspaces may require higher-sheen finishes that are more resistant to wear and tear.

Room Function

Image Source:

Understanding how your bedroom will be used helps determine the suitable sheen that meets practical requirements and improves the overall experience in the space. We recommend considering other factors like ease of maintenance and the specific needs of the activities in the room to make an informed decision.

5. Wall Imperfections

Before choosing the best sheen for bedroom walls, evaluate the conditions of the walls. Higher-sheen finishes, especially semi-gloss or high-gloss, highlight surface imperfections such as cracks or bumps. Use lower-sheen finishes such as matte or eggshell if the walls have noticeable flaws. These finishes help hide imperfections by diffusing light and creating a smoother look.

We recommend testing paint samples on the walls and observing how they interact with the lighting in the room to help determine the best sheen for minimizing the appearance of wall imperfections and attaining a desired aesthetic.

6. Durability and Cleanability

Consider the durability and cleanability required for the bedroom walls. Higher-sheen finishes like semi-gloss or satin are usually easier to clean and resistant to stains than lower-sheen finishes. Bedrooms with higher traffic, kids, or pets can benefit from the durability and cleanability of higher-sheen finishes.

Bedrooms with lower-sheen finish

Image Source:

Although lower-sheen finishes like eggshell or matte are less resistant to stains, they can still be cleaned carefully. Besides, to ensure that your bedroom walls remain in good condition and are easy to maintain over time, it is important to balance cleanability, durability, and the desired aesthetic of the paint finish.


Choosing the best sheen for bedroom walls depends on factors such as room function, mood and aesthetic, lighting, style and design, wall imperfections, and durability and cleanability. Higher-sheen finishes such as satin or semi-gloss can reflect more light, add sophistication, and are easier to clean and more durable, making them suitable for bedrooms with higher traffic or specific design styles.

Conversely, lower-sheen finishes, such as eggshell or matte, are ideal for bedrooms with limited light or a desire for a softer ambiance. They usually help hide wall imperfections and create a calm and warm atmosphere. We recommend considering your preferences and the specific needs of your bedroom space to help you make informed decisions and create the ideal atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Sheen for Bedroom Walls

1. What Sheen is Best for Bedrooms?

Choose a flat or matte finish unless you often engage in messy work in your bedroom. Although the two finishes are not as easy to clean as the others, you likely won’t have much of a mess on your bedroom walls to clean.

2. What Paint is Best for Bedroom Walls?

The choice of paint for bedroom walls usually depends on desired aesthetic, personal preference, and the room’s specific requirements. On the other hand, bedrooms are low-impact spaces, and you can use whichever paint you choose.

Since these spaces tend to be forgiving in terms of impact, you can use flat paint. Still, most homeowners usually use eggshell or satin latex paints in bedrooms and living rooms.

3. Should Bedrooms be Satin or Semi-Gloss?

The choice between satin or semi-gloss paint for bedrooms mostly depends on desired aesthetic and personal preference. Both finishes have their benefits and drawbacks.

However, as a general rule, use semi-gloss for spaces requiring highlighting, such as stair rails, mantels, cabinets, window frames, and doors. Conversely, use satin for interior walls and furniture.

4. What Sheen Makes a Room Look Bigger?

We recommend using lighter paint colors and paint finishes such as eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss to create the illusion of a larger room. You can improve the sense of space in a room by using lighter paint colors in combination with these paint sheens.

While these sheen finishes reduce the visual distractions that might make a room look smaller, Lighter colors usually reflect more light and create an airy open feel space.

Also, although paint sheen can contribute to the overall sense of space, other factors like room size, lighting, and furniture arrangement play an important role.

5. Should Bedroom Paint be Flat or Satin?

It usually depends on the surface being painted. Satin or eggshell finishes are ideal for interior walls in high-traffic areas such as a mudroom. On the other hand, flat or matte finishes work best for most ceilings, while semi-gloss is ideal for interior doors and trim.

6. Is Light or Dark Paint Better for the Bedroom?

The choice between light or dark paint colors for a bedroom depends on different factors, like the size of the room, the desired atmosphere, the amount of natural light, and personal preference.

If you value natural light and a room that feels larger, then a lighter color is a great option. If you rarely open your bedroom’s curtains and love sleeping in them, darker colors can help create a cozy ambiance.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Related Articles
bedroom remodel ideas

Bedroom Remodel Tips, Ideas, & Makeover Cost

It would be best if you remodeled your bedroom to change or update the value of your home. Standard remodels ...

Bedroom Accent Wall Ideas

Stylish Bedroom Accent Wall Ideas to You Started

If you want to add a little something special to your bedroom, an accent wall is an ideal way to ...

Best White Noise Machine for Snoring

Best White Noise Machine for Snoring: Sleep Soundly Tonight

Snoring can be annoying, especially when you're the sole recipient of it. However, before you go up in arms against ...