Question on clear finishing - Satin and matte finish, are they the same?

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Blog entry by Alan Hart posted 02-21-2015 03:24 PM 1591 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So there is my question. Is a satin finish the same as a matte finish? I made my wife a barn door headboard for Valintines Day (I will post picture when it is up). I made it out of 1×4 lumber and stained it gray to look old. She wants a matte finish, no shine at all, on it. She says a satin finish will have a slight shine to it. I said that satin and matte are the same. I know paint have a matte and it’s a dull look. If it is different, what do I use to put a clear on it that doesn’t shine. She said it could be left bare but I said that it’s not a good idea to keep wood unprotected. Any and all thoughts are welcome.

Thanks fellow Lumberjocks

-- Al Hart

5 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3085 days

#1 posted 02-21-2015 04:12 PM

As far as I know, satin and matte are the same. There’s semi-gloss, which I think she might be confusing with matte or satin.

-- Brian Timmons -

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 2129 days

#2 posted 02-21-2015 05:05 PM

Satin has more sheen than matte.
Depending on manufacturer.. milage between the 2 may vary.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3909 days

#3 posted 02-21-2015 07:50 PM

Satin is a wee bit more shiny that matte. You can easily take some fine sandpaper and remove the shine if you have a satin finish. it will even dull the matte finish also.

View stefang's profile


17034 posts in 3935 days

#4 posted 02-21-2015 11:03 PM

What Greg said. I feel it is always better to use a glossier finish and dull it afterward with sandpaper or steel wool because glossy finishes offer more protection even when dulled down to whatever level of shine or lack of that you want.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Alan Hart's profile

Alan Hart

71 posts in 3293 days

#5 posted 02-22-2015 03:18 PM

Thanks, looks like we’re going to put on satin poly and then lightly sand it.

-- Al Hart

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