Have you ever walked down the paint aisle in a hardware store and noticed that not only are there 100 different hues of “white,” but that every hue comes in different sheens, including “flat,” “eggshell,” “satin,” “semi-gloss,” “gloss,” “high-gloss” and maybe more? It can be totally overwhelming.
There’s a basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing paint sheens: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine — and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be. But the other thing to consider is the general quality of paint. For instance, a good quality satin or eggshell may be more stain-resistant than a low-quality semi-gloss.
Sheen is a good indicator of stain resistance and how washable a coat of paint will be. Glossy finishes are much more stain-resistant than satin and flat. Gloss is also very easy to wipe down and wash, while low-gloss paints take a little more effort to clean. This makes higher gloss paints very useful in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as on front doors!
Here’s how to choose the right sheen for your various paint jobs:
- KITCHEN: Requires durable, easy-to-clean paint so hi-gloss or semi-gloss is best.
- FAMILY ROOM: Easy to clean, high-traffic areas so satin finish is recommended.
- DINING ROOM: Clean, smooth walls in low-traffic area so go with eggshell.
- BEDROOM: High pigment walls, low-traffic so flat or matte is best.
TIP: If your paint color is dark and rich but you don’t want a super shiny effect, step down at least one level on the sheen scale. That’s because the darker and richer the paint color is, the more colorant it has, which boosts sheen. Ditto if you’re painting a large, sun-washed, or imperfect wall. The higher the sheen, the more defects will show.
If you have any questions, let us know and we’re happy to have our experts work with you to choose the right sheen — and color — for every room in your home.