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  • Dave Boatwright

Paint Sheens 101



Let’s talk paint! Did you even realize what sheen choices you had when you went to buy paint? Were you a little overwhelmed? You probably did your research on what brand of paint and color you wanted, but SHEEN? Decision overload! What is Sheen? Paint sheen or finish refers to the amount of light that the paint reflects from its surface. Simply put, paints with a sheen reflect light and paints without a sheen absorb light. This very simple guide will help you pick the perfect paint sheen for your next paint project!


FLAT: Absorbs light. Flat pain has ZERO sheen. When and where to use flat paint? On surfaces that you are wanting to hide blemishes (such as nail holes or patches). Commonly used on ceilings or low traffic rooms. Easy to clean with water but not with a cleaner. Typically requires less coats of paint to cover the surface.


EGGSHELL: One of the most popular paint sheens! It absorbs some light for a soft and smooth surface. It is perfect for low to mid-traffic areas such as hallways, living and family rooms. Is easy to clean and resists stains and scuffs.


SATIN: Satin sheen is considered the most versatile. It’s good for just about any wall in any room. It has an elegant, pearl-like finish with a soft sheen. It is also great for both indoor and outdoor surfaces! Works great for “busy” areas as well as areas that see moisture.


SEMI-GLOSS: Semi-gloss is more reflective than satin and gives off a very sleek appearance. Has a high resistance to moisture – so perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Easy to clean but prone to showing blemishes in your surface.


GLOSS: Offers the highest level of sheen and light reflection. Gloss is perfect for doors, moldings, cabinets, and trim. Requires more coats as compared to low gloss paints. Definitely the easiest sheen to clean.


Overwhelmed? Let your local paint expert help you pick the perfect sheen for your project! With this sheen guide, you should have a pretty good idea of what to pick, however, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance from the professionals!

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