As a small team of decorators in London, we get asked this question: “what is the difference between matt and silk paint?”

As much as interior wall paints come in different finishes, most people tend to select painting products based on the colours. This comes even as compelling evidence shows that the finish can make or break the overall process of painting. It’s important to realize that the finish is a general term referring to how shiny paint can dry on the wall and its texture. Paints come in different textures and, therefore, must be selected wisely. It must be remembered that some paints are smooth while others come with a rough surface. Across the divide, smooth matt and silk are the most common finishes for interior design painting. This is because they can produce different effects, especially when you want your rooms to have different attractions. In general, matt and silk are great products, and your discretion will be needed to select the ideal paint for decorating your room.

Matt Vs. Silk Paint


It’s good stating that wall and ceiling paints have four sheen finishes that vary from dull to high-sheen to shiny. Few people understand that mid-and high-sheen wall paints are not meant for home use. Mid-and-sheen products are specifically designed to be used in places with high-traffic areas, such as schools, offices, and not to mention industrial kitchens. With mid-sheen or high-sheen paints, you’ll be able to give your residential homes a gorgeous look since they are too shiny. More importantly, the two interior wall paints you need to select for the residential property include flat colours that come in either matt or ultra-matt and low-sheen colours. Low-sheen colours come with a wide range of products consisting of eggshell, silk, and to say, nothing of satin finishes. Eggshell and satin are two finishes that can be described as special paints because they are found in particular places, including bathroom and kitchen products. While this has been widely accepted, it has been a source of confusion between matt and silk. Before we look at specific situations where matt and silk should be used, our discussions will be meaningless without looking at the difference between two equally essential finishes. 

Differences Between Matt And Silk 

According to experts, matt paint is dull, meaning it doesn’t shine. Also, it has the power to dry on a smooth, velvety finish, one thing that helps it to hide imperfections. On the flip side, it comes with a soft porous surface that can stain easily, giving your interior an uglier appearance. While shifting for washable matt paint seems the best idea, you will still require more maintenance than silk. On the other hand, silk paint can dry to a smooth, low-sheen finish that has the power to generate a gorgeous glow. Unlike matt, this paint is elegant and easy to maintain. Nevertheless, its slightly shiny surface can also highlight surface imperfections.

When To Use Matt Paint?

We cannot deny that Matt paint is one of the most popular interior paints. Studies show that 6 out of 10 painters support using matt paint in interior design. After drying, matt has the power to blend in all interior styles. Besides being the easiest paint to touch up, it can bring what can be described as a new richness to the colour. You can depend on matt if you want to hide minor imperfections, and it is the perfect paint for your living room, formal dining room, master bedroom, and guest bedroom. Typically, you can use matt paint in any area that can hold visitors. Subsequently, it’s the only paint that has gained massive approval for painting ceilings. Lastly, applying washable matt in areas that may get dirty more easily is prudent. The only challenge is that the paint will not produce a velvety finish.

When To Use Silk Paint?

Even though silk paint is sophisticated, it’s best known for being elegant.

Features Of Silk Paint 

  • It is less porous when compared to matt paint
  • It doesn’t get soiled as fast. 
  • It had a mysterious glow that makes a better option in the children’s room
  • Use this paint in areas hidden from visitors because it is harder to achieve a flawless look.
  • The silk finish is harder to touch since brush marks will appear on the surface.

What Is The Best Paint For Walls Matt Or Silk?

No doubt that we’re back to our original question. Identically, the question of which is which between Matt and Silk paint cannot be answered conclusively for various reasons. One, there’s no single paint that’s substandard. To be more precise, both paints have strengths and weaknesses. For example, matt can be your best option when you want a professional, flawless look while taking a DIY approach. 

Further, painting in a matt finish can effectively be done by anybody; prior experience may not be necessary. Since the paint lacks shine, it can hide minor surface imperfections that come with fine cracks plus small holes. Conversely, silk paint is your choice if you want to keep the interior of your room practical and stylish. It has a soft glow that attracts your room, and it’s easy to clean.

The best bet is if you want to add the finishing touches with glitter glaze to your apartment. The only problem with silk is that you need to be an expert in producing a fine result. In terms of the prices, the two paints come with comparable prices, and therefore, price is not a point of contention.

What paint is best for living room walls matt or silk?

It ultimately depends on your personal preference and the specific needs of your living room. Here are some things to consider when deciding between matt and silk paint finishes:
– Matt paint has a non-reflective finish, which can help to hide imperfections in the wall. It is also good at blocking out light, making it a good choice for darker rooms.
– Silk paint has a slightly reflective finish, which can help to make a room feel brighter and more open. It is also more durable and easier to clean than matt paint.

Ultimately, the best paint for your living room walls will depend on your personal style and the space’s specific needs. It may be helpful to sample both types of colour in your living room before deciding.

What is best, matt or silk paint for a dark room?

In a dark room, matt paint may be the better choice because it has a non-reflective finish, which can help to absorb light rather than reflect it. This can make the room feel less bright and cosier, which may be desirable in a dark room.

However, it’s essential to remember that matte paint can be more challenging to clean and may show imperfections on the wall more easily than silk paint. If you prefer a matte finish but want a more durable paint and easier to clean, you may want to consider a matte finish with a low-sheen or eggshell finish, which has a slightly less flat finish than a full matt.

Ultimately, the best paint for your dark room will depend on your personal preference and the space’s specific needs. It may be helpful to sample both types of paint in the room before deciding.

Matt or silk paint for the bedroom?

Deciding between matt or silk paint for your bedroom can be difficult. While both finishes have pros and cons, each has its unique set of benefits that make it worth considering for your room. With a matt finish, you can achieve a velvety look that feels comforting and luxurious. It’s also hard-wearing and easy to clean, perfect for kids’ bedrooms or frequently used rooms. Silk paint gives off a beautiful sheen and leaves spaces with an elegant look that catches the eye – ideal for bedrooms used as workspaces or showpieces. It’s less durable than matt paint, so bear this in mind if you want to invest long-term. Whichever option you choose, shop for the best quality product available – it’ll ensure the job is done right the first time!

Paint comparison table

We haven’t spoken about other types of paint in this article, but to help, we created the table below to compare your options:

Paint FinishDescriptionProsCons
GlossHigh shine and reflective.Durable and easy to clean.Shows imperfections and touch-ups.
Semi-glossLess shine than gloss but is still reflective.Durable and easy to clean.Shows some imperfections and touch-ups.
SatinHas a slight shine and a smooth finish.Durable and easy to clean.Shows some imperfections and touch-ups.
EggshellHas a slight shine and a soft, velvety finish.Suitable for hiding imperfections.Less durable and harder to clean than gloss or semi-gloss.
MattHas no shine and a smooth finish.
Best for hiding imperfections.Less durable and harder to clean than gloss or semi-gloss.

Wrap up

The answer is that the best paint between Matt and Silk depends on one’s preference. Once you’ve decided between matt and silk paint and the colour and you’d prefer a local London decorator team to help you, give us a call to get a free quote.

We are based in South London and cover areas such as:

Fulham painter and decorator

Clapham painter and decorator

Crystal Palace painter and decorator

Dulwich painter and decorator

Battersea painter and decorator

Categories: Painting tips

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