Flat, matte
Photo: David Papazian/Corbis
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Flat or Matte Finish

Paint starts out glossy and loses luster with the addition of titanium dioxide, a chalky material. Flat finishes have the most, making them very low on reflectivity. That means they mask flaws in irregular surfaces, but they scuff easily. The best place for flat paint is on the ceiling, where less reflection is a plus. But mattes can enhance the richness of a deep color when used on a wall.
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