There is a wide range of finishes, but they are most often classified as flat, eggshell or satin, semi-gloss and gloss.
Flat paints have a soft dull appearance. This helps hide surface imperfections and also allows furniture to be the focal point of a room. Flat paints are not very scrub-able and are most often used in bedrooms, dining areas and living rooms.
Eggshell or satin paints look very similar to flat paints. But, when viewed at an angle, down a hallway for example, some shine can be noticed. Eggshell and satin finished are typically scrub-able and very stain resistant. That makes them popular for children's rooms, family rooms, and rec. rooms.
Although technically halfway between flat and gloss in shine, the semi-gloss finish is as popular as gloss. Both semi-gloss and gloss paints appear very shiny. They are very durable, scrub-able and resistant to chipping. Semi-gloss and gloss paints are normally recommended for bathrooms, kitchens, cabinets, trim work, and require special preparation before repainting. Now, these that we just covered aren't the only finishes available; there are many more to choose from, including matte, low luster satin, egg shell and high gloss finishes among others. Due to technology, almost any gloss level imaginable is available in the paint market, but not every store will have every finish.