How to choose the right paint finish

Learn the difference between matt, gloss and silk.

Matt emulsion – best for internal walls - ICI Dulux Pentalite Classic

This water-based emulsion is perfect for use on indoor walls. It also does a great job at disguising surface imperfections, such as in older homes or on walls where you’ve recently taken down wallpaper. You can touch up matt walls easily, and they have the added benefit of being washable so you can wipe the walls down too.

Soft sheen paint – gives internal walls a gentle sheen – ICI Dulux Inspire Emulsion

If you find silk paint a little too shiny, soft sheen is a happy compromise between practicality and good looks.

Silk paint – best for busy, high-traffic areas – ICI Dulux Inspire +

With the highest sheen of all wall paints, silk paint can be wiped and scrubbed easily, making it ideal for busy areas that require frequent cleaning. You can also use it to subtly highlight traditional features like coving and cornices.

Solvent-based Matt Enamel– best for kitchen and bathroom walls – ICI Dulux Matt Enamel

This has a lower sheen and is moisture-resistant, so it’s perfect for kitchen and bathroom walls, as well as painting woodwork, kitchen cabinets and furniture. The finish is durable enough to be scrubbed and can be easily touched up.

High gloss – best for internal and external wood – ICI Dulux Gloss Enamel

This super-shiny paint gives a mirror-like finish that looks great on all kinds of wood and can be used indoors and out, where it will highlight any design features. Choose for indoor and outdoor Projects. Gloss finishes are generally easiest to keep clean because they don’t hold dirt so much and can be cleaned easily.