Paint sheen is almost as important as color. While expanding your painter’s palette, don’t forget to consider the gloss level of the finish. It’s important that you match the sheen to the purpose and function of the space.
Different Types of Paint Sheen
Paint finish terminology is not standard in the industry. Unless you intend to create a patchwork look with varying sheens, stick to one brand or let ProTEK Painters help you choose.
Paint sheen is a measure of pigment (color) to the bonding agent (adhesion). Sheen is also a gauge of durability. So which type of paint finish should you pick for your painting project?
Paint Sheen Chart
Which Paint Finish is Right for You?
Living Rooms and Offices
Apply an eggshell paint finish to these rooms. Unless your guests love to run around touching the walls. Then you might want to take the gloss up a bit.
Family Rooms and Dens
Satins belong here. If the room sees only gentle use, you can use an eggshell.
Foyers and Hallways
Satins are perfect for these high traffic areas.
You are going to spend a great deal of time cleaning your kitchen. Do yourself a favor and think of the time saved in cleanup over the higher cost for more shine. A semi-gloss and sometimes high gloss are your best kitchen choices.
In general, paint this room with an eggshell. If the room sees use often, upgrade to a satin. If you have small children, you may want to consider going to a semi-gloss.
Another high traffic, regularly cleaned area, this is the perfect room for semi-gloss.
Flat or matte sheens work well here. They help mute the light, allowing for a better night’s sleep. They also reduce the prep work needed on the surfaces.
Use a satin. This protects the walls, especially when you must wash off crayon marks and such. When the kids grow into teenagers consider switching to a matte.
Garage and Work Areas
This could go either way. Flat paints hide the nicks and scratches while reducing reflections from lighting in the space. Semi-gloss will increase the ambient glow if you intend to perform precision work in the area.
Semi-gloss is your best choice outside - unless you love repainting.
Paint manufacturers have created their own terminology for levels of sheens. For instance, both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams offer a Pearl sheen - but they are different finishes for different purposes.
The luster or gloss of exterior paint can vary from brand to brand as well.