How to Use Eggshell Paint

Katelyn Lynn

Eggshell paint is a low-luster paint, similar in sheen to the shell of an egg. It is generally used in areas where flat paint is undesirable, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

It is considered a step up from flat paint and yet it is more frequently used over flat paint due to its ability to withstand cleaning and scrubbing. Eggshell paint comes in a wide variety of colors and is both easy to apply and easy to clean up. With a little careful preparation you can save a lot of money by doing your own painting.

How to Use Eggshell Paint

  1. Begin by removing any furniture, wall hangings, artwork, curtains and rods from the room.

  2. Using the painter's tape, tape off all areas around trim, such as windows, doorways and baseboards to avoid any paint spatters and unnecessary cleanup.

  3. Place your drop cloths on or over any leftover furniture or carpeting in the room, to avoid paint spatters.

  4. Prepare the walls, if necessary. If there are large holes, use spackling compound and a putty knife to fill in the holes (make sure to let them dry before proceeding). Wipe down the walls with a damp cloth, making sure the walls are clean so the eggshell paint will stick. If it's a kitchen or bathroom, or the walls appear to be dirty, use a weak solution of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and wipe down the walls according to the directions on the box. Make sure the walls are dry before proceeding.

  5. Open your can of eggshell paint and using a stir stick, gently stir the paint from the bottom up, for approximately one minute. Pour a small amount of eggshell paint into one of your buckets.

  6. With your edger brush, go around the room and paint the edges near the ceilings first, then the corners of the rooms. Remember a paint roller cannot reach far into edges/corners of the room.

  7. Pour some eggshell paint into your paint roller pan and take your roller and roll it into the paint until it is adequately covered. Begin with painting the ceilings and let dry before deciding if it needs a second coat.

  8. Paint the walls starting at the top and working your way down toward the floor. You will want to roll slowly to avoid any necessary paint spatter. Let the walls dry thoroughly before deciding if a second coat is necessary.

  9. Once you're satisfied your eggshell paint is dry and you're happy with the outcome, carefully remove the painter's tape and drop cloths and dispose of properly.


If you spill any paint, latex paint cleans up well with just plain water as long as it's still damp. Keep your room well ventilated while painting. It's a good idea to wear safety goggles while painting to avoid getting paint in your eyes. Avoid trying to paint latex paint over oil based. A sign of good paint is opacity, one coat should cover if paint is of equal tone.


If you use TSP always make sure to wear rubber gloves.