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Gloss and satin spray paint serve as two distinct options when it comes to adding a finishing touch to a variety of projects, be it DIY crafts, furniture, or home decor. The debate on gloss vs satin spray paint stills occurs as the choice between them can significantly affect the aesthetic and functionality of the painted item. 

Gloss spray paint gives a more reflective quality, whereas satin provides a more matte finish, yet retains a slight sheen. Additionally, other aspects like durability and the capacity to conceal surface flaws also make a huge difference. To understand them clearly, keep going through the rest of the article.

What Is Gloss Spray Paint?

Gloss spray paint is a type of paint that, when dried, offers a high-shine, reflective finish due to its high resin content compared to pigments. This glossy finish not only enhances the vibrancy of colors but also provides a durable coating that stands up well to wear and tear. 

While it’s well-suited for a multitude of surfaces such as metal, wood, and plastic, its reflective nature can highlight imperfections on the surfaces it’s applied to. It’s a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor projects including furniture, automotive parts, and home decor due to its aesthetic appeal and ease of maintenance. 

Helpful Resource: Learn how to dull a glossy finish on wood in our guide with expert tips!

What Is Satin Spray Paint?

Satin spray paint is a type of spray paint that gives a satin finish, which is a smooth, velvety finish with a slight gloss. This is midway between a matte and glossy finish, providing a soft sheen that is appealing without being overly shiny. 

Satin spray paint is popular to use in high-traffic areas such as the kid’s room, kitchen, bathroom and also on molding and trims in the house. This type of paint finish is also appreciated for its versatility, being a suitable choice for both indoor and outdoor projects including furniture, home decor, and automotive finishing. 

Unlike gloss spray paint, satin does a better job at hiding surface imperfections due to its lower reflectivity. 

The option to use aerosol cans for this paint simplifies the application process, ensuring a smooth and user-friendly experience for DIY enthusiasts. It exhibits strong adherence to various surfaces and frequently doesn’t necessitate the use of a primer. 

While it boasts moderate durability, it may call for a more delicate cleaning method when compared to high-gloss finishes.

Semi gloss Vs Satin vs Gloss Wood Finish

Here is the comparison table between satin, gloss, and semi-gloss paint finishes!

AspectSatin PaintGloss PaintSemi-Gloss Paint
Sheen LevelLow sheenHigh sheenModerate sheen
Light ReflectionLowHighModerate
DurabilityGoodVery goodVery good
Color AlterationMinimalNoticeableSlight
Best for WallsYes, especially for larger roomsNot ideal, can be overpoweringSuitable for accent walls
Best for TrimNot typically used for trimIdeal for trim and accent piecesGreat for molding and trim
Usage AreasLarger rooms, concealing imperfectionsFurniture pieces, unique room featuresHigh-touch surfaces, kitchens, and bathrooms
Imperfection ConcealmentEffective due to low sheenNot ideal for concealing imperfectionsModerately effective
Overall AppearanceMore subtle and forgivingHigh shine, bold and reflectiveA balance between the two

Is satin paint the same as gloss?

No, satin paint is not the same as gloss paint. They are different in terms of sheen and appearance. Satin paint has a low sheen and a more subtle, matte-like finish, while gloss paint has a high sheen, providing a shiny and reflective appearance. The choice between satin and gloss paint depends on your specific preferences and the look you want to achieve in your project.

Gloss Vs Satin Spray Paint: An In-depth Comparison

“The choice of sheen plays an important role in the success of your painting project.” Terry Williams

Gloss spray paint provides a high shine, making colors vibrant, ideal for smooth surfaces and attention-grabbing areas. Satin spray paint, with its soft, low-sheen look, offers a middle ground between gloss and matte, forgiving minor surface imperfections and adding an elegant touch to various projects without the high shine. 

It’s a versatile choice suitable for a broad range of uses. I’m going to compare both finishes comprehensively so that you can make a better choice.


Gloss and Satin spray paints have their unique strengths in terms of durability. Gloss paint, known for its durability, is ideal for high-wear areas like skirting boards, banisters, and  interior doors and its outdoor suitability makes it a great choice for front door painting. However, it tends to highlight imperfections such as dings, dents, or blemishes. 

On the flip side, Satin spray paint, with its soft, low-sheen look, offers a more forgiving surface on minor imperfections, making it a viable choice for dining rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. 

While it may not have the same level of durability as gloss, it’s still robust against wear and tear, and along with its ease of cleaning, stands as a comparable alternative. 

Both paint finishes provide a balance of aesthetic appeal and protective qualities, serving different preferences and functional requirements in home decor and maintenance.


Gloss spray paint tends to be shinier and reflects light, while satin has a more muted or dull look but with a slight shine. Satin finish gives a medium shine, not as shiny as gloss paint since it reflects less light. In terms of paint finishes, satin or eggshell coatings are commonly characterized as having a smooth and soft texture.


When it comes to application, satin and gloss spray paint don’t have much difference in how they spread in a room while application. Both come with a similar consistency and blend seamlessly. 

However, achieving a smooth finish is typically more challenging with gloss paint compared to satin because gloss paint tends to highlight any imperfections, including brush strokes or roller marks. 


Gloss and satin spray paints offer different textural finishes upon application. Gloss spray paint is known for its ability to reflect light, giving a shiny, high-gloss finish. On the other hand, satin spray paint has a subtler sheen, falling somewhere between a gloss and matte finish. 

It doesn’t reflect light as intensely as gloss paint. The texture of satin paint is smoother and less shiny, which can provide a more sophisticated and less flashy appearance. 


Spray paint with a high gloss finish tends to be priced higher compared to those with a more subtle satin finish. On average, one could save about $5.00 by opting for a satin finish instead. 

For instance, a can of Krylon fusion all-in-one spray paint in satin black is priced at around $14.45, while the same paint in Gloss black is available for approximately $18.00.

Best Paint Finish Type Recommendation for Each Room

Here’s the right paint for every room in the table below. Whether it’s the busy kitchen or the quiet bedroom, I’ve got suggestions for paint that looks good and works well.

Room / AreaRequirementsPaint Finish Recommendation
KitchenDurable and easy to clean paint in a high traffic areaSemi-gloss or high gloss paint
BathroomEasy to clean and moisture resistance wallsSemi-gloss or high gloss paint
BedroomLow traffic location with minimal reflection of light Flat or matte finish
HallwaysLight-reflecting, easy-to-clean wallsSemi-gloss or gloss finish
Dining RoomSmooth FinishEgg shell, satin, or semi-gloss finish
Family RoomHigh-traffic area walls that hide imperfectionsSemi-gloss or satin finish
CeilingsBudget-friendly paint finish that is good at hiding imperfections and doesn’t require cleaningFlat or matte finish
Interior TrimEasily cleanable, durable paint that enhances the appearance of windowsHigh-gloss paint

Explore the differences between two commonly used Eggshell and Semi-Gloss paint finishes, for your next painting project.

What’re The Best Satin And Gloss Spray Paints?

To make a comparison, I decided to paint different areas and furniture of my room with satin and gloss paint finishes. Here you go!

Best Satin Spray Paint

1. Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Satin White Spray Paint

I started with my kitchen cabinets to give them a fresh look with Rust-Oleum’s satin white spray paint, and the transformation was stunning as shown in the picture below;

Rust-Oleum's satin white spray paint

The oil-based formula adhered well to the doors, providing a smooth satin finish that cleverly masked the old scratches, making the doors look new. Despite my initial concern about the odor, it was surprisingly low, and the quick dry time had me admiring my handiwork in no time.

2. Krylon Fusion All-In-One Satin Black Spray Paint: 

For the experiment, I painted my car, particularly the engine bays and this type of stuff in my car using Krylon fusion all-in-one spray paint and the results were truly impressive. 

krylon satin black paint on engine bay

The satin black color gave a modern, sleek look, while the paint bonded seamlessly without any need for tedious sanding or priming. The paint proved its durability on versatile metal surfaces and the quick drying time was a lifesaver.

Best Gloss Spray Paint

1. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Gloss Clear Spray Paint:

After painting engine bays, I refinished my car’s bonnet with Rust-Oleum’s gloss clear spray paint and the glossy finish added a vibrant, fresh look to the surface. The comfort spray tip made the application process a breeze. 

This oil-based formula lived up to the promise of chip resistance, ensuring my efforts will look great for a long time to come.

2. ERA Paints High Gloss Clear Coat Spray Paint:

To compare with Rustoleum clear coat gloss paint, I along with my friend decided to paint his car with ERA paints high gloss clear coat spray paint.

ERA paints high gloss black spray paint on my car

The fast curing time was a boon, letting us enjoy the updated look in just a day, and the protective coat promises to keep the new shine intact against daily bumps and scratches.

Comparing both, each paint was easy to apply and made our cars look great. Rust-Oleum didn’t chip while ERA dried really fast. Both paints had a nice glossy finish which made the cars look fresh and well-kept.

Satin vs Gloss Finish- What’s Best for You?

When choosing between satin and gloss paint finishes, it comes down to the desired sheen and where you plan to use them. Satin finish offers a low sheen with minimal light reflection, making it ideal for larger rooms and spaces where a more subtle and forgiving appearance is preferred. On the other hand, gloss finish has a high sheen, notable light reflection, and is best suited for furniture or to make trim and accent pieces stand out with a bold and reflective appearance.

Inshort, the debate on gloss vs satin spray paint ends on your choice and aesthetics requirements. 


Q. Does satin spray paint give a shiny look?

A satin finish has a moderate level of gloss, sitting between matte and semi-gloss in terms of shininess. It has a bit more sparkle or light reflection compared to eggshell finishes. 

Satin is a great choice for smooth walls in busier areas such as family rooms, hallways, and children’s rooms due to its balanced sheen.

Q. What are the disadvantages of glossy paint?

Glossy paint has a few drawbacks including its tendency to make colors look darker due to its reflective nature, so it’s advisable to test colors prior to application. 

Additionally, the increased light reflection can highlight wall imperfections such as dents and bumps, making them more noticeable.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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