Paint Sheen | Just as Important as Picking the Right Color | Debbie Dawson Re/Max

Paint Sheen

Just as Important as Picking the Right Color

We’ve all spent many hours selecting the perfect paint color, but how many of us considered the paint sheen we should use.  Paint sheen affects both the appearance of a paint job as well as its long-term performance. There are six standard levels of sheen, which is a measure of the reflectivity of the paint once it’s dried. In order of paint sheen with the flat being the least reflective is matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and–shiniest of all–high gloss.


So how so you decide the perfect paint sheen for your room? Well, if your walls are impeccable, you can choose any level of sheen your eye desires. But few of us have that luxury with. Uneven surfaces, patches and even filled holes from old picture hanging hardware turn perfect walls into flaw reflecting surfaces. Paint sheen with higher reflectivity will make these defects more apparent, while a coating with less sheen will help conceal them.

Another reason to consider paint is sheen is more about how the room makes you feel. The shinier the paint, the more it will reflect light, rather than absorb it. If you want a bright, energetic feel to your room, consider using wall paint with some significant sheen like a semi-gloss coating. If calm and relaxation is the mood you are going for, pick a sheen like matte of eggshell.


One more reason to consider the sheen is how your paint will look years later. Performance of paint with a higher paint sheen is used in rooms like the kitchen and bath. Kids playrooms might seem a good place to use a flat to hide the damage from uninhibited play, but a higher paint sheen is a more durable choice. Should they ever become soiled, the glossier paint sheen is much easier to clean. High gloss and semi-gloss paints will easily give up fingerprints and many other common stains with just light scrubbing. As a result, they’re ideal for use not just on walls, but also on windows, doors, and baseboards. The walls in lesser-used spaces such as entranceways or spare bedrooms will likely hold up well even with flat or low-sheen paint.



Debbie Dawson

RE/MAX Champions of Trinity, Florida


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