Matt or Silk Paint?

Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Matt or Silk Paint
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Depending upon the type of surface and finish you wish to achieve will determine whether matt or silk paint is most suitable. Both of the paint finishes provide their own unique qualities and can make or break the finished result.

Matt Paint

By far the most popular interior paint is matt paint due to its light absorbing and smooth finish it provides. Matt paint is water-based and doesn’t reflect light and is best used upon walls or ceilings as its great at covering imperfections. Whether you use a paint brush or roller, matt paint it’s an easy paint to work with to produce great results.

What Surfaces To Use Matt?

Matt paint is quite a versatile paint to use and is ideal for using upon plasterboard, most wallpaper, hardboard, brick, cement, rendering and so many more surfaces.

Advantages of Matt Paint

  • Hides imperfections in the painted surface
  • Great for touch-ups and repairs
  • Requires less coats than higher gloss paints
  • Provides a warm and cosy feel
  • Easily wipeable

Disadvantages of Matt Paint

  • Paint removes easily when scrubbed
  • Soft texture holds onto dirt more than other finishes
  • Doesn’t deal well with condensation
  • Not suitable for high traffic areas

Silk Paint

Silk paint is also water-based but unlike a matt paint, it provides a more shiny finish and reflects light. Silk paint is a good choice for painting bathrooms as well as kitchens due to the fact it has less texture on its surface to absorb moisture.

What Surfaces To Use Silk?

Silk paint is best used in high traffic areas due to its additional durability and it’s also ideal for walls, woodwork and much more. However, it worth pointing out that unless the surface is in a good condition, a silk paint wouldn’t be the best option due to the fact it doesn’t hide imperfections as well as a matt paint.

Advantages of Silk Paint

  • Desirable “mid-sheen” finish
  • More hardwearing than a matt finish
  • Ideal for high traffic areas
  • Easy to scrub off marks
  • Withstands areas of high moisture

Disadvantages of Silk Paint

  • Harder to apply and achieve even coats
  • Not as easy to touch up with paint
  • Brush marks are more visible
  • Requires a high level of preparation work

Which Is The Preferred Option?

Both matt or silk are excellent paints and depending upon the area that you are painting and the finish you’d like to achieve will determine which is the better option. As you can see from the above pro’s and con’s of each, matt paint is the best option for hiding imperfections and achieving a high quality finish as an average DIY’er.

However, if you wish to achieve a more stylish finish with a silk paint, the mid-sheen finish adds an elegant finish to the painted surface. It’s also more hardwearing, which is ideal for high traffic areas or rooms with high condensation.

Choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference but if you are relatively new to decorating, we would recommend a matt paint. This is primarily due to the ease of applying it, ability to hide imperfections and the little preparation work required.

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