Gloss vs Satin: Difference and Comparison

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

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

Gloss and satin paint are paint that protects a surface.  Satin gives a more transparent finish and does not hide flaws, whereas gloss gives complete coverage and can hide every flaw.

Gloss paints are also highly durable and can protect the surface it is coated on, whereas satin is less durable and incapable of completely protecting the surface.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Gloss and satin are finishes used on wood, metal, or paint surfaces.
  2. Gloss has a shiny, reflective surface with high reflectivity, while satin has a softer, more muted sheen with less reflectivity.
  3. Gloss finishes are more durable and resistant to wear and tear, while satin finishes are better at hiding imperfections and providing a smoother appearance.

Gloss vs. Satin

The difference between gloss and satin is that gloss paints provide a high sheen, whereas satin paints provide a moderate sheen. As the gloss gives a more shiny finish product, they are highly reflective, whereas the satin finish leaves an ultra-shiny finish that 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 sheen level in the paint. The gloss has the highest level of shine among all the other paints.

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

It is also considered professional as the paint barely wears out. The binder used in the gloss paint is alkyd resin; it is a long chain of polymers 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, containing 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?

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

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

Satin paints have a velvety touch to them. They are resistant to mold and 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 cracks or badly patched spots.

Satin paints 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 is less reflective.
  4. Gloss paints are easy to reapply, whereas satin paints are a task.
  5. Gloss paints have more binder content, making them more durable, whereas satin paint contains less 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
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