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How to Choose Your Paint Finish

While selecting the perfect colour might seem like the ultimate factor in achieving your desired look, choosing the correct finish is equally as important. With several options to choose from and countless possible combinations, spending time considering which finishes are available to you and the unique characteristics of each is an essential part of planning your project. Follow this guide to learn more about the finishes and the qualities of each.

Our most popular finishes for interior spaces
Absolute Matt Emulsion

Our most popular paint, Absolute Matt Emulsion provides a beautiful and chalky matt finish, perfect for interior walls and ceilings.
A ‘barely there’ sheen level of 3%

  • No added VOCs, making it eco-friendly and certified child-safe
  • Wipeable with a damp cloth
  • Ideal for use on ceilings, walls and plaster work in quiet areas like bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms or study spaces

For a stunning, flat finish which accentuates the rich pigmentation of our paint colours, use Absolute Matt Emulsion.

Intelligent Matt Emulsion

True to its name, Intelligent Matt Emulsion provides a durable, washable finish for high-traffic areas.

  • A low sheen of just 5%
  • Contains no dangerous ingredients, certified Child Safe under the ‘Toy Paint Regulations’
  • Wipe away marks effortlessly, with warm, soapy water
  • Perfect for high-traffic areas like kitchens, utility rooms, hallways and children’s rooms

Intelligent Matt is the ideal choice for those looking for a finish for a busy, family home.

Intelligent Eggshell
Intelligent Eggshell

Intelligent Eggshell is an elegant yet robust, water-based finish ideal for interior woodwork.

  • A low sheen of 15%
  • May be used on walls which require complete scrubbability – for example, kitchens and bathrooms
  • Fully washable and stain-resistant
  • Provides an easy-to-apply, smooth finish on all your interior woodwork

Intelligent Eggshell is an elegant low-sheen finish, perfect for interior woodwork and walls where total scrubbability is required.

Intelligent Satinwood

With a slightly higher sheen level than Intelligent Eggshell, this satin-finish is suitable for all interior woodwork, in particular, household joinery, skirting, doors and windows as well as kitchen cabinets and wooden furniture.

  • 30-35% sheen level
  • Quick dry time of only 2-4 hours
  • Extremely wipeable and durable, especially when primed and applied with two coats
  • This low-maintenance woodwork option is ideal for kitchen cabinetry, household joinery, skirting boards and wooden furniture – anything that faces the brunt of family life!

Refresh your woodwork and cabinetry with this sophisticated finish, available in the complete Little Greene colour palette.

Other water-based finishes for interiors
Intelligent Floor Paint

Transform flooring with this revolutionary water-based paint, providing a finish that is both robust and sophisticated.

  • Sheen level of 30-40%
  • Suitable for the busy home, with a low odour and dry within four hours
  • Easily washable
  • Works well on all floors and interior woodwork

Unlike oil-based alternatives, Intelligent Floor Paint is exceptionally durable and easy-to-clean.


Distemper is a breathable, water-based interior paint which is commonly used in older buildings.

  • Less than 5% sheen level
  • Low odour and environmentally friendly
  • In contrast to its delicate look, this finish has been strengthened to be wipeable
  • Not recommended for high-traffic areas, use this chalky paint for a traditional style on walls and ceilings in bedrooms, living rooms and dining areas

A high opacity, low odour, chalky matt finish, Distemper is suitable for walls, ceilings and fine plasterwork.

Intelligent Gloss

Our high-sheen, water-based gloss provides an eco-friendly option for a traditional glossy finish.
Reflective high sheen of 85%
As with all our Intelligent finishes, this is washable with warm, soapy water
This is a popular choice for front doors, but it also works extremely well on interior woodwork and metals, especially in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms
Use this luxurious gloss on your wooden front door for an elegant, impactful finish.

Oil-based paint finishes
Interior Oil Eggshell

A durable, oil-based paint that provides a low-sheen finish. Suitable for use on most interior surfaces including woodwork and primed metals.

  • The sheen level sits between matt and eggshell, at 10-20%
  • Oil-based paints require a little bit of patience for their distinctive polished look; recoat in 16 hours.
  • Our oil-based paints are water-resistant and fully washable
  • A hard yet flexible paint, Interior Oil Eggshell is suitable for woodwork, primed metals and kitchen cabinets

Select this finish for a beautiful, hard-wearing finish.

Traditional Oil Gloss

This interior and exterior finish certainly lives up to its name, offering an exceptional, traditional look that simply oozes quality.

  • This finish has our highest sheen level of 85%
  • While it must be left for 16 hours before recoating, this finish forms a deep bond with the surface, for longevity.
  • Remove any marks by simply wiping
  • Use this finish on your front door or apply to any exterior and interior primed woodwork and metals

If you’re looking for a glossy finish that is both hard-wearing and stylish, use Traditional Oil Gloss.

Tom's Oil Eggshell

This exterior finish is named after one of our senior chemists, loved for its dual practicality and beautiful low sheen.

  • Sheen level of just 15%
  • This oil-based paint has been formulated using naturally-occurring vegetable oils
  • Tom’s Oil Eggshell works beautifully on wooden and metal garden furniture, gates, doors and even bird boxes

This finish is a fabulous weather-resistant, long-lasting option for your exterior decorating projects.

Exterior finishes
Intelligent Exterior Eggshell

This exterior eggshell finish is easy-to-clean and available in our complete colour palette.

  • Low sheen level: 15%
  • Low odour
  • The UV resistant film created by this finish resists flaking and minimises fungal growth
  • This is a great choice for your outdoor wooden surfaces, such as window frames, doors, gates, garden furniture and outbuildings

With no need for primer on new timber or previously painted wood, our Interior Exterior Eggshell provides an easy uplift for your exterior woodwork and joinery.

Intelligent Masonry Paint

Designed to last up to 15 years on exterior walls, this tough formula achieves a smooth, matt finish.

  • Very matt, with a low sheen of 5%
  • A robust film makes this finish highly resistant to water and completely washable
  • A versatile paint, our Masonry Paint can be used on brickwork, new render and existing exterior paint

Transform exterior walls with this quick-drying paint that provides effective protection against the elements.


A breathable finish, Limewash is the perfect choice for old and perhaps damp exterior walls.

  • 3% sheen level
  • An environmentally friendly, water-based option for your exteriors
  • Use this to protect porous stone and lime-rendered surfaces

While it may be dry to touch within an hour, we recommend allowing 24 hours between each coat, building up the colour over four applications.

Primers and sealers
Intelligent ASP

Use this highly versatile primer on interior and exterior surfaces to achieve an exquisite finish in your final top coat.

  • Low sheen of 5-8%
  • Quick drying time of just two hours
  • Prepares virtually any substrate for painting and can be coated in any of our finishes, even oil-based.

Available in any colour, this primer will be tinted to a slightly lighter version than your selected shade for a highly pigmented final finish.

Aluminium Wood Primer

This aluminium-based primer has many possible uses. It can prepare bare hard or softwood and can be used to seal knots on front doors and exterior joinery. It is also ideal as a stainblock.

Intelligent ASP

A water-based primer, this is suitable for exterior and interior use. It can prime new or unpainted walls and even those that are patchy or friable. We recommended its use on plaster and rendered walls, as it seals the surface and controls absorption for a smooth and non-patchy finish.