Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

August, 2002

Eggshell Finishes

Q. There is a debate here as to whether eggshell is a type of finish or a color or both. Please give some information on the term eggshell.

A. I have no idea who the brilliant marketing person was who coined the word "eggshell" for paints, but it refers to the appearance of the finish that resembles that of an eggshell. The slight texture and matte appearance is probably thought of as resembling that of the chicken's pride and joy. It has nothing to do with color, resin, chemistry or anything else. A great marketing description.

Incidentally, we also use the word "orange peel" to describe paint finishes that resemble the texture of a large Florida orange. And all of us in the paint industry know what "orange peel" looks like.

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