Matte paint finish is nearly the polar opposite of a gloss finish. While glossy paints are highly reflective, a matte finish will reflect very little. Because paints can vary a decent margin from manufacturer to manufacturer, the word matte is often used interchangeably with flat when referring to paints with little or no sheen (reflectivity). Still other paint makers may differentiate between the two.
Matte finishes are best used on ceilings and large walls, away from high traffic areas. Matte finishes are also ideal for situations like a bumpy or blemished wall because they are good at concealing imperfections. On the other hand, a matte finish is easily marred itself. Therefore it is best left out of kids' rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms because it will stain and may actually rub off while you're attempting to clean it.
Matte finish paints are the type of paint that you want to keep an extra pint or so available for detail and patch work.
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