Difference Between Gloss and Satin

Choosing suitable paint for the interior and exterior of our house can be a difficult task, so one has so many different options to choose from. It is broadly classified under one category that is “finish”.


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What finish it leaves on the end result plays an important role to determine the paint. Two such paints that are often confused as they give the same sheen but one less than that the other are gloss and satin.

Gloss and satin paint are paint that provides protection to a surface.  Satin gives a more transparent finish and does not hide flaws whereas gloss gives complete coverage and is capable of hiding every flaw.

Gloss paints are also highly durable and can protect the surface it is coated on whereas satin is less durable and is not capable of completely protecting the surface.

Gloss vs Satin

The difference between gloss and satin is that gloss paints provide high sheen whereas satin paints provide moderate sheen. As the gloss gives a more shiny finish product they are highly reflective whereas satin finish leaves an ultra-shiny finish is not that reflective.

Gloss vs Satin

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonGlossSatin
SheenHigh sheenModerate sheen
ShineVery shinyUltra shiny
ReflectivityHighly reflectiveLess reflective
Touch upEasy to reapplyTricky to reapply
DurabilityHighly durableLess durable
Pocket-friendly CleaningEasy to cleanDifficult to clean

What is Gloss?

Whenever one thinks of gloss it immediately refers back to the level of sheen in the paint. The gloss has the highest level of shine amongst all the other paints.

Typical gloss paint contains 70%-90% gloss. The mirror-like reflection that the paint gives happens because the paint contains a lot of binders that give at a smooth finish when applied.

It is also considered professional as the paint barely wears out. The binder that is used in the gloss paint is alkyd resin, it is a long chain of polymers that are formed by the formulation of vegetable oil such as linseed oil along with organic acid and alcohol.

Initially, gloss paints were manufactured as oil-based and it contains dangerous lead. But now these paints are also water-based and they contain chemicals that are not harmful.

Gloss paints provide durability and resistance to the surface hence it is mostly used for painting the outside of houses to protect them from aging. These paints are highly water-resistant and protect any surface from moisture.


What is Satin?

Whenever one thinks about satin it links back to a smooth and shiny velvety texture. Satin paint has a very mild sheen hence making them less reflective of light.

Most people choose satin pain for their hallway, family rooms, bedrooms, and living room. Satin paints moderate durability as a result of which it does chip off easily in cases of harsh scrubbing.

Satin paints have a velvety touch to it. They are resistant to mold hence they are widely used to paint outdoor portions.

Satin paints require a lot of effort to apply them. It is also not an easy task to reapply or retouch them.

Satin paints do not cover any crack or badly patched spot.

Satin paints usually contain chemicals such as water, tithan, calgum, color, P.V.A., texanol, nitrosol, ammonia, and anti-fungal.


Main Differences Between Gloss and Satin

  1. Gloss paints have a high sheen to them whereas satin paints have a moderate level f sheen to them
  2. Gloss paints are very shiny whereas satin paints are ultra-shiny.
  3. Gloss paints have a high sheen hence they reflect more light being highly reflective whereas satin paints have a moderate sheen to themselves hence they do not reflect that amount of light being less reflective.
  4. Gloss paints are easy to reapply whereas satin paints are a task to reapply.
  5. Gloss paints have more content of the binder in them making them more durable whereas satins paint contains less amount of binder restricting them from being highly durable.
  6. Gloss paints are more expensive as they provide a lot of factors whereas satin paints are pocket friendly.
  7. Gloss paints are easy to clean and remove stains  from whereas satin paints are difficult to clean and remove stains from
Difference Between Gloss and Satin


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4615-3812-7_10
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030094400300095X
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300944001002065
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