Flat vs Matte Paint: Difference and Comparison

Everything becomes a little better with some color in it- our food, our dresses, our rooms, and our lives too. It is stated that the color of our room and the colors of the walls in our house sets the tone for describing the kind of person we are.

Therefore, if we think about it, choosing the color of our walls is very important, and the first step to doing so is by ensuring that we have the right type of paint. Flat, matte, and satin, are all types of paints.

Key Takeaways

  1. Flat paint provides a non-reflective finish, ideal for hiding surface imperfections, while matte paint offers a low sheen that still reflects minimal light.
  2. Matte paint withstands cleaning better than a flat paint, making it more suitable for areas with higher traffic or potential for dirt and stains.
  3. Flat paint works best for ceilings and low-traffic areas, while matte paint suits walls in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Flat Paint vs Matte Paint

The difference between Flat Paint and Matte Paint is that while the previous one adds absolutely no iridescent look to the walls, it does help in concealing its underlying imperfections. On the other hand, the latter type of paint adds an iridescent look to the walls, but since it dries up very quickly, several strokes of the brush will make the walls very unpleasant to look at. 

Flat Paint vs Matte Paint

Flat paint is a type of paint that does not have a shine when applied to the walls. What it is good at is concealing the underlying imperfections of the wall that cannot be seen with human eyes unless minute attention is paid to it. These colors are affordable and are pretty durable.

Matte paint, on the other hand, adds a glow to the walls. This is because the quotient of gloss in the paint is quite high in comparison to flat paint. This quality ensures that the light that falls on the walls is reflected instead of being absorbed by it. As a result of this, the walls appear iridescent.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFlat PaintMatte Paint
Ratio of glossThe quotient of gloss in the paint is under six percentThe quotient of gloss in the paint ranges between five to ten percent
Reception of LightAbsorbs the lights instead of reflecting itReflects the light
Best-suited forThe walls in ones’ toilets and ceilingsAll the walls in the house
Visibility of Wall ImperfectionsThe underlying imperfections of the walls are not visibleThe imperfections are quite visible
Time Taken to DryThe time taken to dry is quite highIt dries up pretty swiftly

What is Flat Paint?

This paint is widely used in households and other buildings, especially on walls that have not been built with proper care and bear imperfections. Flat paint is a type of paint that does not have a shine when applied to the walls. These colors are affordable and are pretty durable.

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The quotient of gloss in the paint is under six percent as a result of which the walls do not look as iridescent as it looks when matte paint is applied. The paint, instead of reflecting the light that falls on it, absorbs it. As a result of this, the shine diminishes.

It is due to this reason that this paint is best suited for houses with crude walls in our toilets or ceilings where people cannot see the abrasions on the walls unless they see it from a close distance.

This paint takes quite some time to dry up. Therefore, after applying the paint, it is best if the walls are not touched for at least more than half a day.

Another aspect about it that goes slightly against it is the fact that if you have a child at home who is an artist in the making and uses your walls as canvases, you have to be particularly careful because any marks made on the walls cannot be scrubbed off.

flat paint

What is Matte Paint?

As the name suggests, these paints give the walls a more iridescent finish. This is because the quotient of gloss that is mixed in the paint ranges between five to ten percent.

This quality ensures that the light that falls on the walls is reflected instead of being absorbed by it. As a result of this, the walls appear iridescent.

As the paint is quite fancy, it is used on the bedroom or sitting room walls. This is because apart from lifting the aesthetics of the room, the quality of paint also depicts one’s choice.

There are certain downsides to this paint. To begin with, this paint dries up very quickly. As a consequence, multiple strokes of brush will give the wall a very rustic and crude look.

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The paint should be applied swiftly with one straight stroke of the brush. The tiny bumps on your walls can be concealed with this paint, but it is not ideal.

However, what provides respite is the fact that if your child goes all Van Gogh on the walls, you can easily wash it off by scrubbing them gently.

matte paint

Main Differences Between Flat and Matte Paint

  1. Flat paint is a type of paint that does not have a shine when applied to the walls. On the other hand, matte paints add a glow to the walls.
  2. Flat paint is ideal for concealing abrasions, bumps, or other irregularities on the wall that is otherwise visible due to bad wall work. In contrast, Matte paint can hide tiny abrasions too, but it is not desirable to use this paint.
  3. Where flat paint takes a long time to dry up, has to be left without being touched for a long time, and gives ample scope for multiple touch-ups, mate paint dries up very quickly, as a result of this, the paint has to be applied with one swift and straight stroke of the paintbrush instead of applying multiple layers.
  4. While a wall that has been painted with flat paint absorbs the light that falls on it instead of reflecting it, a wall that uses matte paint reflects the light that it receives instead of absorbing it. This is why the wall appears iridescent.
  5. While any mark on the flat paint cannot be scrubbed off with soap and water, any mark on walls painted with matte paint can be washed off easily.
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References
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ANAxCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA66&dq=Between+Flat+and+Matte+Paint+&ots=VjBIAffzhQ&sig=Jg9Thd_7EB4EL5h6oCb0q
  2. https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/20512/34.Daudin-Schotte.SCMC3.Mecklenburg.Web.pdf

Last Updated : 11 August, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Flat vs Matte Paint: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed explanation of the characteristics of both flat and matte paint is incredibly helpful. I feel better equipped to make an informed decision when painting my home.

    Reply
    • I share the same sentiment. This article has certainly deepened my understanding of paint types and their respective uses.

      Reply
    • Absolutely, the knowledge gained from this article will undoubtedly influence my future paint choices for different areas of my home.

      Reply
  2. Interesting article! I never realized how much the type of paint affects the appearance of walls. Personally, I prefer matte paint for my living room and bedroom walls, but I see the appeal of flat paint for areas with more imperfections like ceilings and low-traffic areas.

    Reply
    • I agree, the type of paint definitely makes a difference in the appearance of a room. Matte paint does give a nice, iridescent finish, but flat paint seems more practical for certain areas.

      Reply
    • Yes, I never fully understood the distinction between flat and matte paint until now. This article provides great insight.

      Reply
  3. Informative and insightful article. The comparison between flat and matte paint is quite helpful for making the right choice when redecorating a home.

    Reply
  4. This article provides a comprehensive overview of both flat and matte paint. I appreciate the level of detail and clarity in the explanations.

    Reply
    • I completely agree. The article does a great job of breaking down the distinctions between flat and matte paint, making it easier to make an informed decision.

      Reply
  5. I never realized how much the sheen of paint can impact the overall aesthetics of a room. This article has broadened my understanding of the differences between flat and matte paint.

    Reply
    • Agreed, this article definitely highlights the importance of choosing the right paint finish for different areas of the home.

      Reply
    • I had a similar realization after reading this article. It’s fascinating how something as seemingly small as paint finish can make a significant difference in a space.

      Reply
  6. The comparison table is very informative, it helps to understand the key differences between flat and matte paint. I’ll take this into consideration for my next painting project.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the comparison table simplifies the decision-making process when it comes to choosing the right paint for a particular space.

      Reply
  7. The practical recommendations for where to use flat and matte paint are insightful. It provides a clear understanding of which type would be most suitable for different areas of the home.

    Reply
    • I found the practical advice to be very valuable as well. It’s evident that thoughtful consideration of paint types can significantly enhance the aesthetics of a space.

      Reply
    • I agree, the recommendations add a level of practicality to the decision-making process, making it easier to determine the best type of paint for each area.

      Reply
  8. Great article! The detailed explanation of flat and matte paint has definitely broadened my understanding of paint finishes. It will surely inform my future painting projects.

    Reply
    • I share the same sentiment. The article presents a comprehensive overview of paint finishes, making it easier to make informed choices.

      Reply
    • Indeed, the level of detail in this article offers valuable insights for choosing the right paint finish for different areas of the home.

      Reply
  9. After reading this article, I have a newfound appreciation for the impact of paint finish on the appearance of walls. The distinction between flat and matte paint is now much clearer to me.

    Reply
    • Likewise, this article certainly elevates one’s understanding of paint finishes and their respective characteristics.

      Reply
  10. The explanation of the application and drying time for flat and matte paint is eye-opening. It’s clear that both types have distinct advantages for specific areas in a home.

    Reply

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