Satin Black vs Matte Black

By: Leon Rhodes

The difference between satin black and matte black is the amount of sheen each color has. In comparison, matte black has no sheen and does not shine while satin black has a small amount of sheen and shines a small amount. Both colors look dull when compared with the reflective brightness of glossy black.

Satin Black vs Matte Black

Which is better between matte and satin depends on the intended application and your personal taste in style. For example, finishing a wood floor in matte black will give it a smooth dull appearance while finishing it in satin black will make is shine a little more.

Satin and matte can be shades of the same color, however, they are not the same because they each have different reflective properties. Matte is dull in appearance while satin is a little brighter.

Satin black finish refers to a specific shade, hue, brightness and tone of black color, typically paint. 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.

Matte black is a shade of black color found between satin black and flat black. It is dull in appearance and shines very little though, technically, it has a minimal amount of shine but not none like flat black which has 0% gloss.

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

Satin finish photos

A satin finish photo is a photo printed onto paper finished with only a small amount of gloss. Satin finish photos are ideal for displaying behind glass because they reflect less light, something the glass itself already does.

Why satin paint sometimes looks glossy

Satin paint can appear more glossy than intended when it is applied to porous materials, such as wood or paper, 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.

Hiding imperfections with satin paint

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

Black satin color specs

Matte black popularity

Matte black is popular with people who want a low gloss version of black because it isn't as reflective as a glossy black. Interior decorators sometimes favor a matte black finish in areas that receive a lot of sunlight because it helps cut down on glare.

The difference between satin and matte

Though satin and matte are similar in appearance, satin is meant to provide a slightly more glossy finish than matte. The difference between satin and matte is subtle but satin shines slightly brighter than matte.

Glossy vs matte pictures

Glossy pictures are recommended if you don't plan to frame or display your pictures in bright areas. Matte pictures on the other hand help reduce glare while behind glass frames making them ideal for display.

Matte finish shine

Matte color is designed to reflect less light than a satin or semi-gloss color does. A shiny finish can be applied over matte paint to make it more shiny but matte paint by itself is not considered shiny.

Flat vs satin paint on walls

For new and relatively blemish free walls satin paint works well. For walls with imperfections, such as cracks or bumps, a flat paint will help conceal the imperfections by not drawing attention to them.

Painting matte over satin

As long as the wall is properly prepared before painting you can paint over a satin wall with matte paint and not have any issues. If the old paint is already peeling or cracking it's best to sand it down and prime it first.

Satin paper is slightly more glossy than matte but is not fully glossy, it's in between the two. Satin paper is designed to be less reflective than glossy paper while being more reflective than matte paper.

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