Choosing the Right Paint Sheen

By January 4, 2021Uncategorized
Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch Painting

You’re standing in your local hardware store or paint shop. You’re looking at row after row of paint options for your home. Even if you’ve already decided on the perfect color, you’re faced with another decision to make: Which sheen is the right one for your project? 

Of course, you can always ask the person working at the store. But, even they might have limited knowledge about which sheen would look best or what each one is made for. 

The best thing you can do is to inform yourself about the different sheens for painting projects. So, whether you’re hiring a professional or tackling a paint job yourself, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right sheen to fit your needs. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few common finishes and which one(s) you should be going after. 

What Are the Types of Sheens?

Before you know which sheen will work best for you, it’s important to know the different kinds and where they tend to work. The most common are: 

  • Flat: A flat base has almost no sheen to it at all. It won’t leave a reflective finish, and tends to be better for covering up existing imperfections. 
  • Matte: Matte has a subtle sheen, but it is low-luster and easy to clean. Because of that, it’s great for places like bedrooms or hallways. If you’re just looking for a bit of reflection in your walls, matte is the way to go. 
  • Eggshell: Eggshell, also referred to as eggshell enamel, works great in common areas like living rooms. It has a soft look and feel to it and can be incredibly comforting. 
  • Satin: Satin sheens are best used in areas that tend to receive a lot of moisture, like the kitchen or bath. While it isn’t super shiny, it gives off a sort of “pearl” like quality that can be comfortable and elegant all at once. 
  • Semi-gloss: Most people have at least heard of semi-gloss enamel, but you may not know what it really is. Semi-gloss looks sleek and sharp, especially when you’re able to apply multiple thin coats. As the name suggests, it is a bit glossy and reflective. Typically, a semi-gloss is applied to woodwork. 
  • Hi-Gloss: If shiny and reflective is what you’re looking for, a hi-gloss base is absolutely for you. Hi-gloss can make almost any surface look just like glass, and it is often used in areas that see a lot of use. 

Many times, the sheen you choose will be a matter of preference. But, knowing where each one “belongs” and what you can expect from them can make it easier to feel confident in your decision. 

How to Know the Right Paint for Your Project

So, now that you know a bit more about the different types of sheens, which one best fits your needs? It depends on which room in the house you’re thinking of painting, and how that room is going to be used. 

For example, if you have texture problems on the walls or ceilings that you want to hide, a matte or flat sheen might work better. If you have kids or rooms in your home that get a lot of traffic, a semi-gloss or hi-gloss might be better, as they are much easier to clean up. Unfortunately, hi-gloss paints also show cracks and imperfections in the walls and ceiling more clearly, too. 

Commercial Painter | Residential Painter - Arch PaintingWhich Paint Sheen is the Best?

There is no clear “winner” when it comes to choosing a paint sheen. Again, it depends on where you’re painting. Eggshell and satin tend to be the two most popular bases for home interiors. If you’re painting your home’s exterior, you might want to consider things like weather, the material of your home, and how certain types will handle wear and tear. For example, shinier sheens are easier to clean but can show any damage your house might have. 

Keep this knowledge about different sheens in your arsenal the next time you’re considering a painting project. Different sheens will work best for different rooms and purposes. When you know exactly which room(s) you’re painting, you can choose your sheen based on that. Having knowledge when you’re buying paint is extremely important for a successful project!

If you’re still not sure about which paint sheen to get, or you’re confused by the differences, feel free to contact us for more information, and consider hiring a professional for your paint job to make sure it looks fantastic when all is said and done. Download our free app now to receive a quote within two days!

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