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Paint Sheen: Which One Should I Choose?

Paint Sheen: Which One Should I Choose?

As if choosing from a billion colors wasn’t hard enough, homeowners, contractors and interior designers must also decide which paint sheen – or gloss level – would be best for each space. It’s a rule of thumb that the higher the paint sheen, the higher the gloss, and the higher the gloss, the higher the durability.

A great little paint sheen guide from Valspar Paint

A great little paint sheen guide from Valspar Paint

Let’s look at the 5 most common paint sheens from no gloss to a high amount of gloss – flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss. As you can see from the picture below, the differences are obvious.

A paint sheen comparison

A paint sheen comparison sample on the walls

No and Low Gloss Paint Sheens

Most commonly called Flat and Low Sheens, there are instances when other companies refer to them as Eggshell, Matte or even Powder Finish.

Flat paint sheen is

  • elegant, smooth finish
  • easy to touch-up
  • non-reflective so it will not show imperfections
  • the non-reflectiveness will make it difficult to clean
  • perfect for bedrooms and ceilings

Eggshell/Matte paint sheen is

  • nice, velvety finish
  • easier to wash than flat finishes
  • resist stains and scuffs
  • offer more depth and warmth
  • great for medium-traffic areas such as living rooms and dining rooms

Satin paint sheen is

  • a classy pearl-like appearance
  • easy to clean
  • high durability and can withstand moisture
  • perfect for kitchens, kid’s bedrooms, hallways and foyers
  • not easy to touch up as it can reveal flaws in rollers and brush strokes

Semi-gloss paint sheen and enamel is:

  • a sleek, radiant sheen that brightens rooms
  • perfect for cabinets and trim
  • very easy to clean
  • great for rooms where moisture, grease stains and drips get on the walls
Semi or high-gloss kitchen cabinets reflect light and make rooms look significantly brighter

Semi or high-gloss kitchen cabinets reflect light and make rooms look significantly brighter

High-gloss paint sheen is

  • offers a smooth, high-shine finish
  • can be scrubbed clean with ease
  • ideal for surfaces that require lots of washing
  • perfect for trim, woodwork, doors, kitchen and bathrooms
  • shows every bump and roll, so do not skip on prep work

Hope this information helps you decide on the correct paint sheen. When in doubt, ask your painting contractor (US obviously) in the comments below or call your local paint supplier!

Good luck with your project and have a Happy Superbowl Weekend!

 

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