The Best Scratch-Resistant Paint For Busy Hallways, According To Our Expert

Who wants to spend time fixing scuffed paint in a home? If you have a busy hallway that is coated in the wrong type of paint, this frustrating task might be inevitable, as high-traffic areas are more prone to scratches and other minor damage than other parts of a home. But you can minimize this problem by using scratch-resistant paint. Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, shared that satin and eggshell paint finishes are great for busy hallways, as they make scratches less visible.

The expert explained the benefits of using either of these two popular finishes for high-traffic hotspots around a home. "The less sheen a finish has, the less reflection it provides when dry," Wadden revealed while speaking exclusively to House Digest. "The higher the sheen, the higher the reflection. Flat finishes diminish minor flaws and help hide imperfections in a wall. Shinier finishes, like a semi-gloss or gloss, can highlight imperfections. In general, paints with a higher gloss/sheen are easier to clean and are typically used for kitchens, bathrooms, and high-traffic areas."

The benefits of using satin or eggshell paint

While either eggshell or satin paint finishes can be used to help protect busy hallways that are vulnerable to scratches, they both offer different benefits. "Satin finishes are highly durable and can withstand heavy traffic and frequent cleaning, making them ideal for high use areas like kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and children's rooms," Wadden shared while speaking exclusively to House Digest. Additionally, satin finishes are easier to clean thanks to their high-gloss texture. This type of paint is also more stain-resistant than others.

Eggshell paint finishes display a lower sheen but still do a great job of hiding minor flaws. This is a better option if your home's hallway or other high-traffic space is primarily illuminated by natural light. "Consider low-gloss coatings when a space has plenty of natural light," Wadden said of eggshell paint finishes. "Gloss and light have a close relationship, and using high-gloss paint in an area with significant natural or artificial light could create a mirror-like effect and lead to excessive glare, while also revealing imperfections in the finished paint job.‚Äč" The expert went on to share that eggshell finishes work well on ceilings, too. With this information, you should be well equipped to choose the right finish of scratch-resistant paint for your house.

Evaluate your hallway's lighting before selecting your paint

You need to evaluate your home's lighting before determining whether you should purchase paint with a satin or eggshell finish to help protect your busy hallway. This is due to something called Light Reflective Value (LVR), which can impact how color looks on your walls. "The sheen or glossiness of a surface impacts its Light Reflective Value," Wadden explained exclusively to House Digest. "LRV measures the percentage of visible and usable light that is reflected from a surface when illuminated by a light source." She went on to share that "higher gloss finishes reflect more light and can appear to have a higher LRV."

There are a few factors to consider when determining where you need to select paint with a high LRV or a low LRV. "Higher LRV colors work well in rooms with less natural light, as they can make the space appear brighter and larger," Wadden shared. "Conversely, rooms with ample natural light can handle lower LRV colors without feeling too dark." There are a number of other design factors that are impacted by LRV, such as color contrast, how your decor looks in your home, the overall mood of your living space, and more. It is certainly something to keep in mind to ensure you make the best color selection for your scratch-resistant paint. This will keep your fresh paint looking bright.