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What is a nice cream paint?

What is a nice cream paint?

Nice cream paint is a type of interior wall paint that provides a smooth, velvety aesthetic for spaces like living rooms, bedrooms, and dining areas. It’s known for its ability to hide minor wall imperfections while offering rich, uniform color saturation. Here’s a closer look at what defines nice cream paint.

What Is Nice Cream Paint?

Nice cream paint, sometimes called velvet finish paint, has a matte look that falls between flat and eggshell paint. It reflects a soft, subtle sheen that’s smooth to the touch, not shiny or glossy. This makes it ideal for low-traffic areas where you want walls to have a classy, upscale appearance without looking too glossy or reflective.

Nice cream paints are formulated to have a higher binder-to-pigment ratio than flat paints. The binder, usually latex acrylic, allows the paint to glide onto surfaces more smoothly. The higher pigment load provides enhanced hide and color depth. Combined, these qualities give nice cream paint its signature velvety, creamy finish and help disguise surface imperfections.

Key Characteristics

Here are some of the defining features of nice cream paint:

– Subtle velvety sheen – Not completely matte but with less shine than eggshell or satin paints. Has a soft, velvety look.

– Hides imperfections – High pigment concentration helps conceal minor flaws like small cracks and texture differences. Provides a smoother overall appearance.

– Rich, uniform color – The increased amount of color pigments allows for greater color saturation with minimal variations in hue and tone across the painted surface.

– Durable – More durable than flat paint thanks to higher binder content. Can stand up to light scuffs and cleaning.

– Washable – The subtle sheen allows nice cream paints to be lightly wiped clean without damaging the finish.

Where to Use Nice Cream Paint

Nice cream paint works well in most low-to-medium traffic interior spaces:

– Living rooms
– Dining rooms
– Bedrooms
– Home offices
– Hallways
– Accent walls

It’s not ideal for high moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens where washable paint finishes are needed. The subtle sheen shows more scuffs and marks than flat paint, so it’s also not the best choice for kids’ rooms or other high-traffic spaces. Nice cream paint shines in more decorative rooms where you want a polished, put-together look.


Here are some of the benefits that make nice cream paint a great choice:

– Beautiful smooth finish – The velvety look is aesthetically pleasing and can make rooms look more refined.

– Easy to apply – Goes on smoothly and easily thanks to good flow and leveling. Requires less re-rolling to get an even coat.

– Dries quickly – Allows for fast recoat times. Second coats can usually be applied within 2-4 hours.

– Excellent hide – Obscures minor imperfections better than flat paint so walls look smoother.

– Uniform appearance – Provides consistent color saturation for a seamless look across walls. Minimizes obvious touch-ups.

– Durable – Stands up better to light cleaning and scuffing than flat paint. Helps maintain the finish over time.

– Stain-resistant – The velvet sheen allows many stains to be washed off without ruining the paint’s appearance.

Potential Drawbacks

The disadvantages of nice cream paint include:

– Visible flaws – While it hides imperfections better than flat paint, flaws are still more visible than with glossier sheens. Requires properly prepared surfaces.

– Prone to scuffing – The velvet finish scuffs and marks more easily than eggshell or satin sheens. Needs gentle cleaning.

– Not washable – While it can be lightly cleaned, nice cream paint is not as scrub-resistant as higher-sheen options.

– Challenging touch-ups – The smooth finish makes touch-ups more obvious than with textured flat paint. Professionally painted best for flawless results.

– Higher cost – Nice cream paint is usually priced above economy flat paints. The higher binder-to-pigment ratio increases manufacturing costs.

Top Brands

Popular paint manufacturers that offer nice cream paint options include:

Brand Paint Line
Behr Premium Plus Ultra
Benjamin Moore Regal Select
Sherwin-Williams Cashmere
PPG Timeless
Valspar Signature

These brand lines are considered upper-mid to high-tier offerings within each company’s portfolio. Nice cream is not generally offered in budget-friendly lines.

Sheen Level

Nice cream paint is classified as having an eggshell sheen, ranging between 10-25 units on the industry standard gloss scale. By comparison:

– Flat paint: Under 5 gloss units
– Eggshell paint: 10-25 gloss units
– Satin paint: 25-35 gloss units
– Semi-gloss paint: 35-45 gloss units

So nice cream offers more sheen than flat but less than standard eggshell finishes. The exact gloss level can vary slightly between manufacturers.

Finish Options

While most nice cream paints come in a standard latex acrylic formula, you may also find options with unique finishes such as:

– Ceramic – Contains ceramic microspheres that increase durability and stain resistance. Popular for high-traffic areas.

– Antimicrobial – Contains agents that inhibit bacteria growth and resist mold and mildew. Ideal for bathrooms, basements, and other damp areas.

– Enamel – A solvent-based alkyd or oil-based paint that provides a harder, more durable finish. Requires special cleanup.

Always check the manufacturer’s specifications to understand the exact coating formulation and features.

How to Apply

These application tips will help you get great results with nice cream paint:

– Properly prepare surfaces – Fill cracks, sand rough areas, remove old paint if needed. Nice cream shows flaws more than flat paint.

– Use high-quality applicators – Choose premium microfiber roller covers and angled paintbrushes for smoothest results.

– Roll on a smooth coat – Maintain a wet edge and roll in the same direction using light pressure. Over-rolling can create excess texture.

– Work quickly – The velvet finish tends to dry fast. Spread paint evenly before it starts drying.

– Blend color – Box or intermix multiple cans to prevent slight hue variations between batches.

– Finish with a second coat – Most rooms need two coats for best hide and color uniformity. Allow proper dry time between coats.

– Clean up spills immediately – The low sheen stains easily. Rinse drips before they dry.

Following a professional painting approach will deliver a beautiful velvety finish.

Cost Comparison

Nice cream paint lands in the mid-to-upper price range for interior wall paint:

Paint Finish Cost Per Gallon
Flat $20-35
Eggshell $30-50
Nice Cream $40-70
Satin $40-70
Semi-Gloss $40-75

It ranges from 1.5 to 2 times the cost of basic flat paint. The premium is due to extensive quality testing and the higher volume of binders used in the formulation. For best value, look for sales or bulk pricing options.


With its ability to provide refined, velvety finishes and conceal minor flaws, nice cream paint can turn average walls into a work of art. It excels at adding a polished yet understated elegance to living spaces, dining areas, and bedrooms. Just be ready to pay a small premium and take care to apply it properly. Preparation is key – if you start with properly smoothed and primed surfaces, nice cream paint can make your home look luxurious.