Commercial Walls: Finding the Right Paint Finish

News   /   Jul 20th, 2018

Could the walls in your business or retail space use a fresh coat of paint? Or maybe you are constructing a new building and are trying to select finishes. There are quite a few factors to consider when deciding on the right commercial wall paint finish for your space.

First, you’ll want to answer these questions:

  1. Are you painting the interior, exterior, or both?
  2. Will the space have a high or low volume of traffic passing through?
  3. Will the surface need to be cleaned frequently?
  4. How often are you willing to repaint it?
  5. Is budget a concern?

Now that you have at least a rough idea of your requirements, let’s review your options. Paint finishes exist on a scale from completely flat, with no angular sheen at all, to gloss. Here’s a summary of each type:


This type of paint finish has no sheen to it. One benefit of flat paint is that it can help hide any surface blemishes on your walls. It is one of the most affordable finishes, but it will not clean as well as a paint with a higher level of sheen. You’ll only want to use this paint in low-traffic areas, such as a board room, or areas that aren’t as prominent, like the mail room or a back office. Flat paint can provide a sleek, modern appearance in exterior applications, but you may need to repaint more frequently.

Eggshell paint finishing at a church


Eggshell paint is more durable than flat and provides a slight angular sheen, which makes it the most common choice for areas with moderate to high traffic. Most marks on interior walls with an eggshell finish can be cleaned off with a damp cloth. And while eggshell is more durable than flat paint, it is still not recommended for outdoor use.


Satin paint finishing at a hospitalThis is a very good middle-ground choice: it’s not as expensive as the high-sheen paints and it’s more durable than a flat or eggshell finish. Some paint manufacturers classify eggshell and satin as the same thing, so it is important to review a sheen chart before making your final selection. Satin paint has a slightly higher level of sheen than eggshell and will withstand more cleaning. It can also be used on trim, crown molding and in exterior applications.


This option is slightly more expensive than a satin finish, but will give you a little more shine and durability. It is recommended for areas that need to be cleaned frequently and for trim. Semi-gloss can also be an ideal choice for high moisture areas, like bathrooms.


Gloss paint finishing on a basketball courtGloss paint produces the highest level of angular sheen. Its use is typically reserved for windows, doors, trim and furniture. While its finish is both beautiful and durable, it will show every imperfection of the surface it is applied to, so thorough prep work is a must for this sheen.

Remember, while shinier paints may cost a little more, they are more durable and will therefore be easier to maintain. Depending on how highly trafficked your space is, you could be better off paying more for a shiny paint now if it means you won’t have to repaint as often.

No matter what you decide, you should consider hiring professional painters to get the job done right – the first time. At Fritsch Custom Finishes, we bring four generations of experience to the job so that we can provide exceptional painting services and thereby, allow you to focus on your business. We’ll handle all substrate preparation and will bring all the equipment to handle your specific space – scaffolding, drop cloths, etc. To see more of our recent projects, view our project gallery.

Give us a call at (217) 546-6784 or email us at to see how we can help freshen up your commercial walls!


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