24 Eggshell Paint Tips And Tricks For Better Results!

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The popularity of eggshell paint is continuing to increase with each month that passes resulting in more and more people reaching out with various questions about getting the best end results out of their eggshell paint. Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over our list of eggshell paint tips and tricks to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Our article is essentially a collection of the frequently asked questions about using eggshell paint from the community to try and help you get the best possible end results when using your paint as possible. Modern eggshell paint formulas are considerably easier to use than the older eggshell paint formulas making them very beginner friendly too.

Due to covering so many different questions that we see from the community about using eggshell paint, we have decided to add a table of contents below. This should allow you to quickly navigate to the relevant questions that you would like the answers to without having to scroll through the whole article.

What Is Eggshell Paint?

Eggshell paint is a popular paint formula that has a very low amount of gloss in it making it reflect between 10-15% of the light that hits it. This low light reflection makes it a popular option as it is not as dull as matte but dull enough to help create a relaxing vibe.

Eggshell paint performs well on a wide range of different surfaces in your home and we have a dedicated article on the surfaces that you can paint with eggshell paint. That article may offer some inspiration on what you are actually able to paint within your home to complete the look and help to bring the overall vibe together.

The modern eggshell paint formulas are very beginner friendly too making it very easy to paint the rooms in your home with eggshell paint without issue. This helps to open up the potential customer base for eggshell paint and helps its popularity increase at an even faster pace.

Is Eggshell Paint Water Based Or Oil Based?

The majority of eggshell paint has a water based formula it there are a small number of products that are oil based. This should be clearly displayed on the container of your paint to allow you to better understand what you are buying.

Although the water based formula is more popular at the time of writing, the oil based formulas are starting to see a spike in their popularity. That said though, for larger surfaces in your home such as your walls or doors, we would still recommend that you go with the water based formulas.

The oil based formulas tend to be solid options for smaller surfaces in your home but they tend to perform at a similar level as the water based formulas. Due to this, we usually just recommend that our readers use a water based eggshell paint as it allows you to use it on all of the surfaces in the room you are decorating without having to switch.

Does Eggshell Paint Cover Imperfections?

Eggshell paint is excellent at hiding imperfections in the painted surface due to it only reflecting between 10-15% of light. This drastically reduces the amount of light hitting the imperfections and reduces the chance that your eye will be drawn to them.

If you are looking to paint a surface that does have a large number of imperfections such as bumps, scratches, or dints then eggshell paint really is an excellent choice. Unless you are specifically looking for the imperfection in the wall, it will be very hard to see them.

Although both matte and flat paint is technically better than eggshell paint at hiding the imperfections in a surface due to them reflecting less light, the difference is minimal. This is why we usually consider matte, flat, and eggshell paints about the same when it comes to imperfections as the differences between them are minimal.

Does Eggshell Paint Need Undercoat?

The majority of the time, there will be no need to use an undercoat with an eggshell paint. Simply apply your first layer, let it dry, and see if you are happy with the results. In a very small number of situations, you may need to apply a second coat of the eggshell paint but this is rare.

That said though, your own specific situation will come into play for this one too as each person will have their own unique situation. For example, say the wall that you want to paint currently has a dark navy paint on it and you are wanting to use a light green egg shell paint, it may be worth applying an undercoat first.

This will prevent the dark navy color from showing through your light green color and ruining the look of the room. If the base color currently on the surface is pale or light then you will probably not have to apply an undercoat though and a single coat of eggshell paint should be sufficient.

Does Eggshell Paint Contain Eggshell?

Eggshell paint does not contain eggshell, the name comes from the pale look and texture of the paint once dry being similar to some eggshells. Some of the modern eggshell paint formulas don’t have this texture but the term “eggshell” has stuck with the paint.

Although it may sound obvious, we do see a large number of people reaching out about if eggshell paint contains eggshell or not and we can definatley see where the confusion comes from. Although eggshell paint may look like any other paint when first applied to a surface, as it dries its texture usually changes and it will reflect a similar amount of light to an eggshell giving it a similar look.

With the decent, modern eggshell paint formulas on the market being available in such a wide range of different colors, this may not be accurate though. Some colors tend to display the similar texture and shine of eggshell better than others so there are multiple factors that you have to factor in.

Is Eggshell Paint Shiny?

Eggshell paint is not shiny and only reflects around 10-15% of the light that hits the surface. It reflects more light than flat and matte paint but less than sheen, satin, semi gloss, and full gloss.

The low amount of light that eggshell paint reflects is one of its main selling points as shiny paint seems to be going out of trend. This is due to the busy life’s people live, often looking at computer screens for hours each day and eye fatigue building up.

A non-shiny paint such as eggshell reflects less light around your room helping to relieve eye fatigue while also creating a more relaxing vibe for your home. Due to matte and flat paint reflecting so little light, it can often give a depressing vibe so more and more people are opting to use eggshell.

Is Eggshell Paint Easy To Clean?

The majority of eggshell paints are not as easy to clean as something like a full gloss or semi gloss. Although there are more robust eggshell paint formulas on the market, they are usually more expensive and can have a surprising effect on your bottom line.

We usually recommend that our readers try to go with a semi gloss or full gloss product when looking to paint a surface in their home in a high trafficked area. The same goes for any homes with small children or pets too that may need you to clean the paint on a regular basis.

Eggshell paint is ideal for areas of the home where you will not need to clean the paint on a regular basis. This will ensure that your eggshell paint will last you for as long as possible without color fade or having issues with peeling and flaking too.

Is Eggshell Paint Washable?

Although you can wash eggshell paint, it is not as robust as paints such as semi gloss or full gloss so should not be washed on a regular basis. Try to only use eggshell paint in areas of your home where you know it will not be disturbed on a regular basis to get the best possible long term performance from it.

Most eggshell paint formulas tend not to do well with moisture either increasing the risk to the paint if you do have to wash it on a regular basis. The easiest way to avoid these problems is to go with a semi gloss or full gloss instead as they tend to do better with being washed.

That said though, there are some sealing agents that you may be able to use depending on your situation. These sealing products essentially act as a protective barrier above your eggshell paint and allow you to wash them without issue.

Is Eggshell Paint Waterproof?

The majority of eggshell paint formulas on the market are not waterproof in anyway and will perform poorly with constant exposure to water. That said, there are a small number of outdoor eggshell paint formulas that tend to do better with water than the standard indoor paint formulas.

If you are looking to paint a surface that will be exposed to high levels of moisture or water on a regular basis then going with a different paint type is definatley a better option. Although you could try to cover your eggshell paint with a sealing agent, the results can be mixed and not perform as well as you may expect.

If you are looking to paint a surface that will constantly be submerged in water then eggshell paint is not the paint for you. There are a number of suitable paint options on the market but eggshell is not one of them.

Do You Need Primer With Eggshell Paint?

The need for primer is dictated by the surface you need to paint, not the paint formula that you are using. If you are looking to paint a rough surface or something with a flakey texture then using a primer for your eggshell paint is a good idea otherwise the paint should perform fine.

Priming agents do have their place but if you are looking to use your eggshell paint for home decoration on walls, doors, and furniture that have been well maintained, you should not have any problems with it. The paint can usually be applied to the surface directly without you having any problems.

An old and relatively inaccurate test you can do to see if you need to use a primer is to run your finger over the surface. If you can see a large number of particles on your finger, almost like running it over a dusty surface then cleaning the surface or using a primer may be a good option for your eggshell paint.

What Is The Best Way To Apply Eggshell Paint?

The majority of people will either use a paint brush or a paint roller to apply their eggshell paint and get excellent results. There are a few niche specific application methods to get some unique looks to the paint once but these are more advanced and the majority of people tend not to use them.

Although the older eggshell paint formulas were somewhat of a paint to apply to even smooth, clean surfaces, the modern eggshell paint formulas are much better. The majority of people should be able to use any paint brush or roller to apply their paints without issue.

That said though, a $10-$20 paint application set offers you the best of both worlds with a decent paint brush and roller system all in one. This ensures that you get the best results possible for the lowest possible price point when applying your eggshell paint.

Can You Use A Roller With Eggshell Paint?

You can use a roller to apply your eggshell paint and they are usually the best option for large surfaces such as walls or doors. They allow you to apply more paint in a shorter time period when compared to a brush getting the job done quicker.

Modern paint rollers are an excellent tool too have an even the entry level rollers should be enough for the majority of our readers to apply their eggshell paint. They are very beginner friendly and offer a nice and even layer of eggshell paint on the surface that you are wanting to paint.

The modern paint rollers also come with a number of spare rollers too allowing you to hot swap between rollers to apply different colors of eggshell paint. Although this may sound like a simple feature, it can end up saving you a huge amount of time.

Can You Use A Brush With Eggshell Paint?

You can use a brush with your eggshell paint and they are the ideal tool to apply your paint on smaller surfaces. If you are looking to paint furniture, skirting boards, or trims then using a brush is a great way to get the job done quickly.

Depending on what you are painting, you may also need to use a decent paint brush to make up for the short comings of some paint rollers in the corners of walls. This helps to get the job done as fast as possible as some paint rollers can have a hard time getting into the corners of walls.

That said though, paint brushes have their own short comings and they can take a considerable amount longer than a paint roller. In addition to this, paint brushes can have issues with keeping your paint layers even too so you have to look at the advantages of using a brush and a roller too.

Can Eggshell Paint Be Sprayed?

Most eggshell paint formulas can be used in a paint sprayer without issue allowing you to quickly and evenly apply a coat of your eggshell paint to a surface. Paint sprayers can be an excellent option to take advantage of when looking to paint large surfaces.

Even a cheap paint sprayer will work well with the majority of eggshell paint formulas too. Although these cheaper paint sprayers are more expensive than a paint roller, they tend to be between half and a third of the price of the expensive paint rollers while offering similar levels of performance.

If you are just looking to apply your eggshell paint to a wall or door in your home to decorate a room then going with the cheaper paint sprayer will probably be the better option for most people. This can help to save you money and help keep you on budget for your home decoration project too.

Is Eggshell Hard To Paint?

Although some of the older eggshell paint formulas were harder to paint than some of the other paint types, the modern eggshell paint types tend to be easy to apply. They work well with brushes, rollers, and sprayers allowing you to quickly and easily apply to paint as needed.

Please keep in mind that the quality of the surface that you are looking to paint will also come into play with smooth, clean surfaces being considerably easier than rough and dirty surfaces. This is not specific to eggshell paint though and is true for all paint types.

One thing to note is that just because you can’t see a dirt and grim on a surface does not mean that it is not there. Oil and grease can be hard to see with the human eye but can make it harder to apply any type of paint to the surface so a quick run over with your hand should be able to tell you if it is actually clean or not.

Does Eggshell Paint Need Stirring?

Although some eggshell paint formulas may not need stirring prior to use, we still recommend that you do stir your paint. This will help to break any skin developing on the paint as well as force air into the paint and get it ready for use.

Depending on the specific paint formula that you are using as well as how long it has been left to sit, stirring your eggshell paint may be essential. Although it is rare in modern indoor paint formulas, the base level ingredients can start to separate so a quick stir can be enough to get them mixed together again.

If you are using an outdoor eggshell paint formula that has priming or sealing agents build into the paint formula then stirring the paint prior to use is usually recommended. This ensures that the primer and sealers are mixed with the paint to get you better results once dry.

How Long Does Eggshell Paint Take To Dry?

Different eggshell paint formulas have different drying times with most drying in 16-24 hours but some may take as long as three days. Indoor eggshell paints tend to dry quicker where as outdoor paints tend to take longer due to the various additives to protect the paint from the elements.

The conditions of the surface you are painting as well as if you used a water based or oil based eggshell paint will also come into play. Water based paints usually dry faster than oil based paints too but we have an article on how you can get your oil paint to dry quicker that may be helpful.

For the most part though, the vast majority of eggshell paint should be dry in less than three days unless there are problems with the surface or humidity in the room. Thankfully, these tend to be obvious and easy to detect allowing you to paint the required surface at a later time.

How Do I Get A Smooth Finish With Eggshell Paint?

Most eggshell paint formulas do have a slight texture to them due to their formula and this is part of the reason they are called eggshell paints. The dried surface of the paint has slight bumps similar to that of an eggshell but you should still get a relatively smooth finish once your paint has dried.

If you are painting on an un-even or fought surface then it is usually a good idea to sand it down prior to painting to help ensure that you get a smooth surface. As we touched on earlier in the article, using a cheap paint sprayer or one of the modern paint rollers tends to be easier to keep your paint layers even and smooth too.

Some people do try to sand the layers of their eggshell paint prior to apply an additional layer in an attempt to help get the best possible smooth finish. Although this can technically help, the process is difficult to do for most people and we usually recommend against it.

Why Does My Eggshell Paint Look Streaky?

The most common reason that eggshell paint will look streaky for most people is due to it being applied in un-even layers. This is a very common mistake for beginners that is hard to fix but easy to avoid. Our advice would be to use a roller or sprayer to apply your paint to keep the layers even during the application phase.

A decent cheap paint sprayer is usually around $50 and a decent modern paint roller is usually around $15. Although there are cheaper products on the market, spending that little extra to help ensure that you get even layers of your eggshell paint so it is not streaky is well worth it.

Another common cause on streaking on your eggshell paint is applying it at different times. Different temperatures and humidity levels when applying the paint can have a surprising result on the color it will dry to always to try get as much of your paint applied as possible without leaving weeks between painting sessions.

Should I Sand Between Coats Of Eggshell Paint?

Some people do sand between coats of eggshell paint to get a smoother surface once the painting is complete. The process is usually difficult for most people so we usually recommend that our readers avoid it and just paint the required layers of paint and leave it to dry.

There are some specialist tools on the market that allow you to quickly and easily sand your eggshell paint between layers but they tend to be too expensive for the average person. If you are getting a painter and decorate to paint your rooms for you then they will probably have the required equipment to do it though.

If you don’t like the slight bumps on the texture of eggshell paint then considering using a satin paint may be worth it too. It is around the same price as eggshell, reflects a little more light but doesn’t have the natural texture to it once dry too.

Does Eggshell Paint Get Lighter As It Dries?

The majority of eggshell paints do tend to dry slightly darker than their applied color as the water evaporates out of the paint and condenses the pigment making it look darker. This is totally normal and most paints do it so don’t worry if the paint looks lighter than its color sample once applied.

We have a dedicated article going over why paint gets darker once dried but the short version is that when applied, your eggshell paint will have water or oil in it depending on the formula. As the water dried or the oil oxidises, the density of the paint reduces but the pigment count stays the same forcing the pigment to come together and make the paint look darker.

This is why your eggshell paint may look lighter than the color sample or swash for the paint you are using once applied. As it dries, it should darken and look similar to the advertised color of the paint though.

Does Eggshell Paint Go Yellow?

Although cheap eggshell paints can yellow due to them containing low quality ingredients, the majority of eggshell paints will usually remain true to their original color. You should be looking to spend $7-$10 per tin of paint to avoid this yellowing effect and anything cheaper than that may yellow with time.

Please note that if you do add a sealing agent on top of your eggshell paint to protect it, the sealing agent may yellow. Although this will give the effect of your eggshell paint yellowing, it is actually the sealing agent having the issues, not your paint.

Another reason that your eggshell paint may look like it has yellowed if due to oil and grease being on the surface prior to painting it and causing a reaction with your paint. This is why it is essential that you ensure that the surface is clean prior to painting it.

Why Is My Eggshell Paint Shiny?

It is common for oil based eggshell paints to look shiny for the first week to a month after their initial application. This is due to the oil not having fully oxidised yet and reflecting more light than the paint will once fully dry.

This is normal when using an oil based eggshell paint and to be expected. This shiny effect is unavoidable in most cases with an oil based paint as it is the oil medium in the paint reflecting the light, not the actual paint formula so there is nothing you can do to prevent it until the oil has oxidised and left the pigment behind.

If your eggshell paint is still shiny after a month of applying it to your surface then there may be an issue with the paint formula. If you have applied a sealing agent over your eggshell paint then you may have used a gloss sealing agent and that will be reflecting the light, not your eggshell paint.

Can I Put Eggshell Paint Over Gloss?

Although you can apply your eggshell paint over gloss, it does have an effect on the end result of your eggshell paint and can cause it to have more of a satin paint look. This is due to the gloss under your eggshell paint being able to reflect a small amount of light.

Another thing to consider is the color of the gloss and the color of your eggshell paint. If the gloss is a dark color and your eggshell paint is a light or pale color then the gloss may cause issues with its color showing under the eggshell paint too.

The final thing to consider is that the texture of the gloss may encourage your eggshell paint to peel. If you have to leave the coat of gloss paint on the surface then a base coat prior to applying your eggshell is probably a good idea and one of the few situations where we would recommend using a base coat for your eggshell paint.


That brings our collection of eggshell paint tips and tricks to a close. We have tried to go over as many different tips as possible while covering all of the frequently asked questions that we see from the community on a regular basis. Factoring in the various points that we have raised above should be able to help you get the best possible results when using your eggshell paint while ensuring that they will last for as long as possible.