What is a Matte Finish?

A matte finish is a finish with a non-glossy, flat appearance.


A matte finish, in the context of interior design, pertains to surfaces that exhibit a dull and flat look, devoid of any shine or gloss. This finish absorbs light rather than reflecting it, resulting in a smooth texture and a subdued appearance. Matte finishes exude an understated elegance and can convey a sense of warmth and modernity. They are commonly applied to a wide range of materials including paints, metals, and fabrics, becoming a popular choice for walls, furniture, and decorative items.

Opting for a matte finish can be particularly appealing because it hides imperfections such as fingerprints and smudges better than its glossy counterparts. It also plays a significant role in creating a specific atmosphere within a space, leaning towards a more contemporary and sophisticated aesthetic. However, it's worth noting that matte surfaces can sometimes be more challenging to clean, as they can absorb stains more readily than glossier finishes.


In interior design, a matte finish is often chosen for its ability to create a soft, serene ambiance. It is frequently used on walls to promote a muted and elegant feel within a room. Matte finish paints are ideal for spaces such as bedrooms and living rooms, where a cozy and relaxing atmosphere is desired. Beyond paint, matte finishes are also popular in kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, and hardware, providing a sleek, modern look that complements a variety of design styles.


  • Is a matte finish the same as a flat finish?

    Yes, a matte finish is often referred to as a flat finish in the context of paint. Both terms describe a finish that lacks luster and is smooth and even to the touch.

  • What are the benefits of using a matte finish in interior design?

    A matte finish offers several benefits in interior design, including hiding imperfections better than glossy finishes, creating a sophisticated aesthetic, and lending a soft, warm ambiance to spaces. It's particularly effective in achieving a modern and understated elegance.

  • Can a matte finish be used in high-traffic areas?

    While a matte finish can be used in high-traffic areas, it's important to consider its maintenance requirements. Matte finishes can be more challenging to clean and might be prone to showing wear more quickly than glossier finishes. For high-traffic areas, using a matte finish specifically designed for durability can be a practical choice.

Practical Application

When incorporating a matte finish into your design, consider the overall aesthetic you aim to achieve. A matte finish works well in providing an atmosphere of sophistication and calm. For best results, ensure that the chosen matte finish product is suitable for the surface and the room's function. Be prepared for a bit of extra maintenance, particularly in high-traffic areas, by selecting high-durability matte products. It's also advisable to experiment with light sources, as matte surfaces will absorb light differently than glossy ones, potentially affecting the room's overall ambiance.