What Paint Sheen Should I Use?

When you’re planning for an interior repainting project the most difficult task it choosing the right paint. The goal is to be living with that paint for many years, so choosing wisely is important. Most homeowners focus on paint color as their only concern, but rarely consider the paint sheen. Usually, people don’t know much about sheen, but it’s an important element of choosing an interior paint color you’re going to like. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what paint sheen is and why it’s important when choosing colors for your interior paint project.

What is Paint Sheen?

Paint sheen is the shine a surface gives off after it has been painted. In essence, it’s the ability of a paint to reflect light. Sheen, as a paint property, impacts how the paint color appears, and the ease of paint maintenance.

Flat Paint Finish

Flat paint has no shine at all and is commonly used on interior walls and ceilings. Flat paint finishes are great for hiding small bumps, cracks, and other surface imperfections. Once applied, flat paint finishes may have a slightly chalky feel to them. The downside is they don’t stand up to regular washing and are more difficult to maintain. They’re not a great option for the kitchen, bathroom, or high traffic areas.

Eggshell Paint Sheen

As the suggests, eggshell paint has a slight sheen that resembles an eggshell. It only gives off a slight hint of light reflection and stands up to regular washing much better than flat paint. Eggshell paints are popular in family homes because they’re easier to maintain and hide surface flaws pretty well. Although a good choice, they’re still not the best choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Satin Paint Finish

Satin paint is shinier and offers more luster than both flat and eggshell paint. It’s significantly easier to maintain and can resist abrasions well. Satin paint is a popular choice for windows, doors, trim, and ceilings. It can be used as wall paint too. It’s a great choice for bathrooms, kitchens, kid’s rooms, and high traffic areas.

Semi-gloss Paint Sheen

Semi-gloss paint gives rooms a subtle shine that is a step above satin paint. Semi-gloss is extremely resistant to scrubbing and abrasion. It’s a great choice for doors, windows, kitchens, baths, and moldings. The downside is semi-gloss can highlight dirt and surface imperfections and may require frequent cleaning. You also don’t want to use it on walls that receive a lot of natural light.

Glossy (High-gloss)

The paints with the most sheen are gloss paints. They almost have a reflective quality to them. Their shininess mimics the look of plastic or enamel and can feel overwhelming if used in large areas. Gloss paints can highlight dirt and imperfections, but they’re incredibly scrubbable. They’re great for creating dramatic finishes on cabinets, furniture, or trim.  When choosing the type of sheen to use, always use darker and more intense colors for higher sheens. Make sure the surface is prepared well because high sheen paints will highlight surface imperfections.

Need Help Painting Your Home?

If you’re in the market for a new exterior or interior paint, we can help. We use the highest quality paints from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams to ensure you get a finish that looks great and lasts. Call today and tell us about your project. 

(901) 444-0944