Satin Black vs Matte Black (Differences + Hex Codes)

Black paint is a popular choice when restoring vintage small engines, it helps create contrast between the engine block and the covers. Black paint conceals imperfections and contrasts well with other colors, but which is best? Satin black or matte black?

The difference between satin black and matte black is the amount of sheen each color has. In comparison, matte black does not shine while satin black shines a small amount. Both colors look dull when compared with the reflective brightness of glossy black.

Which is better between matte and satin depends on the intended application and your personal taste in style. For example, finishing metal in matte black will give it a smooth dull appearance, while finishing it in satin black will increase the contrast with other colors.

Satin Black vs Matte Black Paint

Is satin black the same as matte black?

Close, but no. There is a significant difference. Satin black refers to a specific shade, hue, brightness and tone of black color. On the color spectrum satin black is between matte black and glossy black, it has nearly the same shade, hue and tone as matte black but with increased brightness, also referred to as contrast.

Matte black is a shade of black color found between satin black and flat black. It is dull in appearance and shines very little, however, it is not as dull as flat black which has 0% gloss.

Shades of black, sometimes referred to as off-black, are colors that only slightly differ from pure black. Shades of black, including satin and matte, can be used to accentuate brighter colors by creating contrast. Each shade of black reflects a slightly different amount of light.

Why satin paint sometimes looks glossy

Satin paint can appear more glossy than intended when it is applied to porous materials, resulting in shiny spots. By properly stirring the paint and priming (sealing) the surface before applying satin paint, you can limit the amount and intensity of shine.

While satin paint can help conceal imperfections by reducing surface contrast, it does not hide them entirely. Properly clean and prime a surface before painting it to achieve the best results.

If concealing imperfections is important for your project, it’s recommended you use satin instead of matte colors, especially with black paint.

Satin Black Hex Color Code

The hex code for satin black is #0F0701. The equivalent RGB value is (15, 7, 1), which means it is composed of 65% red, 30% green and 4% blue. The CMYK color code for use in printers is C:0 M:54 Y:93 K:94. In the HSV/HSB scale, Satin Black has a hue of 26°, 93% saturation and a brightness value of 6%.

Matte Black Hex Color Code

The hex code for matte black is #171717. The equivalent RGB value is (23, 23, 23), which means it is composed of 33% red, 33% green and 33% blue. The CMYK color code for use in printers is C:0 M:0 Y:0 K:91. In the HSV/HSB scale, Matte Black has a hue of 359°, 0% saturation and a brightness value of 9%.

Matte black popularity

Matte black is popular when a low gloss version of black is required because it isn’t as reflective or as glossy as satin black. Interior decorators sometimes favor a matte black finish in areas that receive a lot of sunlight because it helps cut down on glare.

If you change your mind

As long as the surface is properly prepared before painting, you can always paint over one type of paint with the other and not have any issues. If the old paint is peeling or cracking, it’s best to remove as much as possible and apply a coat of primer paint to the surface first.