Should I Apply Satin or Semi Gloss Paint Exterior Doors?

You’re considering painting the exterior doors of your home, but you’re not sure if you should use a satin or semi-gloss paint. Let’s help you make the decision.

Semi-gloss paint is a good choice for exterior doors because it stands up well to weather and wear. It also has a high sheen, which makes it more reflective and therefore more visible in the dark. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences.

Satin paint is less reflective and therefore less visible in the dark than semi-gloss paint. However, it doesn’t hold up as well to weather and wear as semi-gloss paint does, so it’s not as ideal for exterior doors.

Difference Between Semi Gloss and Satin Paints

There is a big difference between semi gloss and satin paints.

Satin paint is more reflective than semi gloss, and it has a subtle sheen. It’s a good choice for areas that get a lot of wear and tear, like doors and trim. Satin paint is also easy to clean and resists dirt and stains.

Semi gloss paint is more durable than satin paint and has a higher shine. It’s a good choice for high-traffic areas, like doors and trim, because it stands up to scuffs, scratches and everyday wear and tear better than satin paint.

Pros and Cons of Semi Gloss Paint for Exterior Doors

Semi gloss paint is a good choice for exterior doors because it offers a balance of durability and sheen. It’s not too shiny, which can make a house look garish, but it’s also not too matte, which can make it prone to dirt and water stains.

It’s also easy to clean, which is a big plus. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe it down. And because it’s more durable than satin paint, it can withstand the wear and tear that comes with constantly being opened and closed.

The only downside is that semi gloss paint can be a bit more difficult to apply. It’s more prone to streaks and you need to be careful not to overapply it. But overall, it’s a good choice for exterior doors.

Pros and Cons of Satin Paint for Exterior Doors

When painting your exterior doors, you have the option of using satin or semi gloss paint. Here are the pros and cons of each to help you decide which is best for you:

Satin Paint:

  • Less likely to show dirt and dust
  • Easier to wipe down
  • Not as durable as semi gloss paint

Semi Gloss Paint:

  • Very durable
  • Better at resisting moisture and fading
  • Shows every little detail

Benefits of Using a Semi Gloss Paint for Exterior Doors

If you’re looking for a more durable finish, then semi-gloss paint is the way to go. It has a higher sheen than satin and is much more resistant to mildew, dirt, and moisture. Plus, it’s easier to clean since dirt and grime won’t cling as easily.

The increased durability of semi-gloss paint features makes it ideal for exterior doors. So if there’s any chance that your exterior door will be exposed to moisture, then I would highly recommend using semi-gloss paint over satin.

One thing to note is that semi-gloss paints can be a bit too glossy in certain situations, so you may want to consider using a product with a medium sheen instead. Keep in mind that regardless of which type of paint you use on your exterior doors, they should be given two or three coats for maximum protection against the elements—especially if they’re exposed to direct sunlight or rain.

Benefits of Using a Satin Paint for Exterior Doors

Using a satin finish for exterior doors is an excellent choice for many reasons. The first benefit of this type of paint is that it is extremely resistant to water and harsh weather conditions, which make it ideal for outdoor use. It also has a slightly glossy finish without being too shiny or reflective, so it won’t be distracting while still providing an elegant look to your door.

Another reason to opt for a satin paint on your exterior door is because of its durability and its ability to stand up to wear and tear. This means that you won’t have to worry about your door fading or chipping as easily as if you had used a semi-gloss paint. Plus, satin also resists staining better than semi-gloss which makes it easier to clean and maintain over time.

Finally, satin finishes are great because they provide more coverage than semi-gloss finishes, meaning that you can achieve a much smoother look with fewer coats of paint.

Tips and Tricks When Painting an Exterior Door

Painting an exterior door is a great way to spruce up the look of your home. But before you dive in, there are a few things you should consider. First, you need to choose the right type of paint—semi gloss or satin?

When it comes to painting exterior doors, semi-gloss paint is your best bet. The higher sheen and slight gloss will give the door a durable finish that stands up to wear and tear. Plus, semi-gloss paint is easier to clean, which is important when it’s exposed to the elements.

But if you don’t like the glimmer, then satin is another reasonable choice because it’s slightly less glossy than semi-gloss but still offers plenty of protection against fading and wear and tear. However, be sure to check with your contractor first to make sure that satin paint won’t void any warranties on the door.

Also keep in mind that there may be differences in types of paints for metal or wooden doors so make sure you choose the correct one for your needs. Lastly, don’t forget about primer—primer helps ensure a better bond between the surface and the paint, so you get better coverage and longer lasting results!


There really isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between satin and semi gloss paint for your exterior door. Both finishes have their pros and cons, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

If you’re looking for a paint finish that will add a little extra shine to your exterior door, then semi gloss is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a more subtle finish that will still protect your door from the elements, satin is a good option.

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