What’s the Difference Between Matt and Silk Paint?

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When it comes to choosing the right paint for your walls, it’s not just about picking a colour that matches your sofa. The finish of the paint plays a crucial role in the overall look and feel of your room. Two popular finishes are matt and silk, each offering its own unique qualities. So, what’s the difference between matt and silk paint? Let’s dive into the differences between these two to help you make an informed decision for your next decorating project.

Matt Paint: The Understated Elegance

Matt paint, known for its non-reflective finish, is a go-to option for those seeking a modern and elegant look. The lack of shine helps in hiding imperfections on walls and ceilings, making it an ideal choice for older homes or surfaces with a bit of wear and tear.


  • Hides Imperfections: Due to its non-reflective nature, matt paint is excellent at concealing small blemishes, dents, or uneven surfaces.
  • Depth of Colour: Matt finishes absorb light, giving a rich depth to the colour. Darker shades particularly stand out in a matt finish, offering a lush, velvety appearance.
  • Sophisticated Look: Matt walls have a sophisticated, modern aesthetic that works well in contemporary interiors.


  • Maintenance: The major downside of matt paint is its susceptibility to marks and scuffs. Cleaning can be tricky, as scrubbing can leave shiny patches or fade the colour.
  • Not Ideal for High-Traffic Areas: Given its delicate nature, matt paint is not the best choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Silk Paint

Silk paint, on the other hand, is known for its slight sheen. It’s more reflective than matt, giving a subtle glow to the walls. This property not only adds a touch of elegance but also makes it more practical for certain areas of the home.


  • Durability: Silk paint is more resistant to moisture and stains, making it a practical choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and playrooms.
  • Easy to Clean: The slightly glossy surface allows for easier cleaning, as it can be gently wiped down without affecting the finish.
  • Light Reflective: Its reflective quality can make small or dark rooms feel more spacious and brighter.


  • Shows Imperfections: The sheen can highlight imperfections in your walls, so it’s not ideal for older properties or flawed surfaces.
  • Limited Sophistication: While silk gives a room a bright and clean look, it lacks the depth and sophistication of a matt finish.

Matt vs. Silk Paint: A Quick Comparison


Matt Paint

Silk Paint


Non-reflective, flat

Slightly shiny, reflective

Ideal for Hiding Imperfections

Excellent (hides blemishes and uneven surfaces)

Poor (highlights imperfections)


Less durable (prone to marks and scuffs)

More durable (resistant to moisture and stains)


Harder to clean (scrubbing can damage the finish)

Easier to clean (wipes clean without damaging the finish)


Sophisticated, contemporary

Bright, practical

Best Used In

Living rooms, bedrooms, low-traffic areas

Kitchens, bathrooms, high-traffic areas

Effect on Room

         Adds depth and character

  Makes spaces feel brighter and more spacious

Now you know the difference between matt and silk paint, let’s focus on choosing the Right Paint for your space

Assess the Room’s Purpose and Traffic: 

High-traffic areas or rooms exposed to moisture (like kitchens and bathrooms) benefit from the durability and easy-to-clean nature of silk paint. For quieter spaces like bedrooms and living rooms, where a touch of elegance is desired, matt paint is a wonderful choice.

Examine the Wall Conditions: 

If your walls have imperfections like dents, patches, or uneven textures, matt paint is your friend. It excellently masks these flaws. For smoother, newer walls where you want to add a bit of shine and vibrancy, silk paint works well.

Consider the Desired Ambiance:

 For a sophisticated, modern look with deep, rich colors, matt paint is ideal. If you want to brighten up a space and make it feel more open and airy, go for silk paint with its reflective quality.

Think About Maintenance: 

If you have a busy household, especially with children or pets, silk paint’s easy-to-clean feature might sway your decision. For quieter households where walls aren’t frequently touched or marked, the aesthetic appeal of matt paint could be more appealing.

In essence, while matt paint offers an elegant and sophisticated finish, it’s more suited for spaces where touch and traffic are minimal. Silk paint, with its practicality and durability, is the go-to for busy areas. Your choice should align with the room’s function, the condition of your walls, and the ambiance you wish to create.

Also Read : 7 Tips for Selecting the Best Paint Colours for Your Home

Buy your paint here: https://paintersworld.co.uk

Hurlingham Painters Matt-and-Silk-paint What's the Difference Between Matt and Silk Paint?