It’s easier than you think.

You’ve heard it time and again: paint is one of the most effective and budget-friendly ways to dramatically transform a space, whether you’re trying to make it look bigger, display your artwork, or flatter everyone in the room. But selecting the right hue is only the beginning. In addition to the paint color, the finish can be just as crucial in setting the tone for your space. Paintzen, the online marketplace connecting homeowners to professional painting services, encourages homeowners to embrace the matte paint trend. “Layering various finishes within a room adds dimension to any space” says Kristen Chuber, Paintzen’s lead design consultant. Below, Chuber breaks down the best ways to try out this luxe look and why you should say sayonara to semi-gloss.

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Try High Traffic Areas

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whites-kitchen

Thanks to the advanced technology in premium paints, matte finishes are now as durable as semi-gloss finishes and can even be used in humid areas. The added bonus of using matte paints in high traffic areas? They’re extremely forgiving. “A wall with nicks or bumps would reflect light and expose the imperfections,” says Chuber, “But matte finishes can mask those pesky marks and make the wall appear much smoother and mark-free.”

2. Use It To Show Off Your Artworkmattewalls2-for-elle-decor

The soft, rich look of matte paint makes it perfect for plush sitting rooms and dreamy bedrooms, says Chuber, noting that the velvety finish especially highlights artwork and wall decor. “Polished fixtures and metallics really pop against a matte backdrop,” she says. “The flat finish provides a contrast to the glossy surface of picture frames, bringing an added elegance to a gallery wall.”

3. Try Bold, Dark Colorsdining
Matte paints are very high in pigment, meaning you’ll get full coverage no matter which color you choose. Chuber advises going bold when it comes to selecting a hue. “Whereas a glossy sheen can make a bold color appear a bit too harsh or gaudy, a matte finish has an almost chalky appearance that softens bold colors,” she says. “So you can dare to go dark with blacks, deep purples, charcoals, bold reds or navy blues for a feel that’s rich but comfortable.”

4. Experiment With Stripes1 black-white-breakfast

Chuber suggests playing with stripes to create a unique illusion and contrast that draws the eyes to the wall. For a monochromatic look, try painting stripes of the same color but varying finishes, such as semi-gloss and matte. Although the colors are the same, says Chuber, the two different finishes will make it appear as if they’re two different shades. For a more dramatic look, she encourages varying the finish and the color. “Try glossy white stripes against a matte black for a fun and bold ‘sleek vs suede’ look.”

5. Paint On Doors And Trim bluebathroom
If you’d rather play it safe, Chuber recommends experimenting on doors and trims. “Using a matte finish on trims and doors will create a silky and elegant contrast against walls that have a slight sheen,” she says. “Dark matte trim and doors against light walls will create an especially striking look that’s unexpected, while colorful walls with a white matte trim can modernize a space.”