You finally selected the right color for one or several rooms in your home after countless hours of research with multiple paint samples painted on the walls. Then you find out it’s not just selecting the right paint color, you need to select the right finish (sheen) for your rooms. So what is a paint sheen? It’s basically the gloss level that will determine the final look and durability you want to achieve for your home or office. Therefore, it’s important to choose the proper sheen for the different surfaces and areas of your space to help you get the most from your paint for a beautiful look that is timeless.
There are different sheens that work best for certain rooms from ultra shiny to no shine and they are listed below.
High Gloss is the most durable paint sheen and the easiest to clean. It is a very shiny sheen that allows more light to bounce around the room, brightening it and visually expanding the space. This brilliant polished sheen creates a glass like finish that resists moisture and mildew and allows dirt and grease to be easily wiped clean. However, it does show defects from imperfections on the walls such as bumps and small cracks. It’s great for doors, windows, trims, interior furniture, and cabinets, plus it’s perfect for the kitchen and bathroom.
Semi-Gloss also very durable and it’s great use for rooms that get a lot of moisture and grease stains. It stands up best to water and cleaning and is great for trims, cabinets, moldings, bathrooms, kitchens, and any room with high moisture.
Satin is also quite durable and easy to clean, making it excellent for high-traffic areas. It has a pearl like finish that is very pretty. However, it does reveal application flaws such as roller or brush strokes. Touch-ups later can also be tricky. It’s great for most rooms such as bedrooms, foyers, hallways, living rooms, kid’s rooms, etc..
Eggshell is a flat sheen with a low luster (no shine) reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and also hides minor surface imperfections. It is a great finish for low traffic areas such as dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, etc.. that don’t get a lot of bumps and scuffs.
Flat/Matte is a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections. It has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage, which means saving time and money. However, it can be difficult to clean without taking paint off with the dirt. It’s great for low traffic areas such as bedrooms, ceilings, living rooms, dining rooms, etc.
So, if your walls are painted a dark and rich color but you don’t want a shiny effect, select a sheen that is one level lower on the sheen scale. The darker and richer the paint color is, the more pigments it has which boosts its sheen. Keep in mind that the higher the sheen, the more defects from imperfections in the wall will show. Also, shiny surfaces, because they are reflective, help to make a small space feel larger so use a semi-gloss sheen to make a small kitchen or bathroom appear larger.
Check out some additional info on paint finishes by Behr.