Paint Sheen Guide – Choose The Right Paint Finish For Your Project
Paint sheen is one of those super important details to painting projects that most people don’t know enough about. There is a general rule of thumb when it comes to choosing paint sheens but most people don’t know about it. Sheen is basically just another term for shine, so the higher the sheen, the more shine a paint will have. The more shine a paint has, the easier it is to clean, but the more imperfections it will show. Here is a break down of all paint sheens:
High-Gloss – The most shinny out of the bunch and the easiest to clean. This paint sheen is light-reflecting and hard which makes it a good choice for areas that a lot of people touch, such as front doors and windows. It can also be used on kitchen cabinets for a modern look. High-gloss, however, is too shinny for walls and will show every bump on the surface it is applied to, which is why you should never skip the prep work. It is the least used sheen out of them all.
Semi-Gloss – The perfect paint sheen for trims and mouldings that take a lot of wear and tear. It has the perfect amount of shine to add contrast and it is also incredibly easy to clean. It is the most recommended for baseboards, crown mouldings, chair rail and wainscoting, as well as doors and woodwork.
Satin – This paint finish has a beautiful velvety luster and is mostly used in high traffic areas or high moisture rooms, such as hallways, laundries and bathrooms. Because of its shine, the paint won’t look streaky if water droplets run down the wall. It is easy to clean but will also show a lot of imperfections on the walls. Touch ups can also be tricky because the luster will make the area that was touched up noticeable. Satin finish is also recommended for kitchen cabinets because it resembles the factory finish of cabinets.
Eggshell – The name of this sheen will already give you an idea of what it looks like. It is a low luster finish that resembles the sheen of a chicken’s egg. Eggshell will cover wall imperfections better than satin, but it can also be tricky when touch ups are needed. It is mostly recommended for kid’s bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens. It is the most used sheen because it is still easy to clean, without being too shinny.
Flat – Perfect for walls that have imperfections because it does not reflect light and will help hide any blemishes. It has the most pigment which will provide the best coverage, but it is hard to clean without removing the paint along with the grime. This is the best sheen for touch ups since they will not be noticeable. Recommended for ceilings, adult’s bedrooms and other interior rooms that won’t get roughed up.
Paint sheen may seem like a minor design choice at first, especially when compared to color. However, choosing the ideal paint finish for a project takes a few visual and functional considerations. When choosing the paint sheen for your project, consult with your painting company if in doubt. At PhD Painting we like to make sure that our customers choose the sheen that will work best for the look they have in mind but also for the functionality. A house with kids, for example, would not benefit from a flat finish because it is not easy to clean. On the other hand, an investment property would greatly benefit from a flat paint as the landlord would be able to touch up walls between tenants instead of having to repaint the entire property. Hence, it is important to consider the functionality of the sheen to ensure the paint job will last long.
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