Difference Between Flat and Matte


Main Difference

There are different types of paint available in the market and have their distinctive features, while we cannot rate one better than the other there is always something that gives the edge to one particular thing over the other and becomes the reason why people prefer it over the other. In this case flat and matte is two types of paint that are closely related to each other and the main difference between them comes when you talk about the level of shine they both provide. This, in the case of a flat, is relatively more and in the event of matte is less shiny since it has the ability to absorb light.

Comparison Chart

In the case of flat, it is smoother and brighter since light is not absorbed.It is not as shiny in the event of matte which has shine.
Ends up reflecting light and therefore does have a smoother finish.Ends up absorbing light and therefore does not have a smoother finish.
Used in places such as washroom and ceilings.Can be used include living room, drawing room, ceilings, offices, hallways, dining room and bedrooms.
Wall Errors
Helps in hiding the imperfections of a rough wall.Helps in doing that and makes the wall look more natural.
Dries with time.It dries quickly.
Home décorHome décor and Automotive industry as a car paint.


The flat is a type of paint finish that is mostly used at homes by people for their rooms and toilets. This paint has distinctive features that bring along many advantages and disadvantages and therefore is pretty famous. This type of paint is the one which when applied on the wall, tends to dry at a fast rate and gives a surface that is reflective. The main benefit of this type of surface finish paint is that it tends to get along with walls of different kinds. No matter if they are wet or dry, rough or ugly, this color will work perfectly on them. What happens is that the body who has sharp edges or cracks can easily hide behind the paint. This thing, at one place, might seem like an advantage but at the same time can act as a disadvantage because when applied, because of its stickiness it is able to catch dirt and other stains easily on the wall and are then hard to remove. It does give a glossy surface, but that does not mean it is the most lustrous of all the type of paints used in the market. One reason why people use such type of pain on the upper wall or ceilings is so that they do not have to worry about cleaning it. It employs itself in toilets where there are fewer chances of catching dirt, and people should not use in places such as kitchens where people tend to do more activity than other areas. If you want to have a shiny surface that gives a good look at stays for a long time, then this paint can become an excellent choice for such conditions.



Matte is the type of paint that gives a bright finish to the surface but does not show any gloss when it dries. This definition means that although there will be shine on the finish, it will not be too much. That is because of the reason that it absorbs light and therefore the surface cannot become reflective. The primary purpose of using such type of surface is that when there is a surface or wall which is not perfectly smoothed out, then this paint helps in hiding all the errors. Matte is not just used for home purposes but recently has developed its applications in the field of automotive, where the employment of this paint becomes on the surfaces of cars. They also have the problem of cleaning since; all the dirt gets stuck on the main surface, and when someone tries to remove them, the whole surface and paint can come off. They always minimize the rough surfaces since they do not emit light or reflect it so it can be a good idea to use such type of finish on places where people want a wall full of textures, although it will minimize the appearance. Some of the manufacturers have introduced scrubbed versions of this paint to make sure that people are able to clean the walls without any problems, but this is just in the experimental phase, and recommends that people should not use them in rooms where kids stay or in the kitchen because of the reactions. Central places where they can be employed include living room, drawing room, ceilings, offices, hallways, dining room and bedrooms. But it depends totally on the type of structure that exists and the amount of people living or working at a place.

Key Differences

  1. The surface finish in the case of a flat is smoother and brighter since light is not absorbed and it is not as shiny in the event of matte and has shine.
  2. Matte paint ends up absorbing light and therefore does not have a smoother finish whereas the flat paint has a smooth finish that gives it a glow.
  3. Flat paint mostly becomes useful in places such as washroom and ceilings whereas matter paint mostly employed in bedrooms and hallways.
  4. The flat paint helps in hiding the imperfections of a rough wall while a matte color helps in doing that and makes the wall look more natural.
  5. Matte can be used in artistic terms and is the one that dries quickly whereas flat is the one that can only be used for home decors and does not dry quickly.
  6. Matte paint has its applications in the field of automotive industry and is used on cars whereas there is not such case for flat paints.
  7. Matte paint has a scrub version and helps in removing dirt from the wall while there is not such advancement in the case of flat paint.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss