HOW TO PICK A PAINT SHEEN
SELECTING THE RIGHT PAINT IS MORE THAN JUST CHOOSING A COLOR.
When choosing a paint finish don’t just look at color options, consider the aesthetics of the paint’s finish and what your surface durability needs are. Flat paint has almost no shine and gloss paint is all shine.
High-Gloss – (70–89% gloss) The most shiny and reflective of all the sheens. Because glossy paint is so highly reflective any slight imperfections will stand out. Meticulous surface preparation is essential. The upside is that the higher the gloss, the more scrubbable your surface will be. This makes glossy finishes the perfect choice for high traffic areas, playrooms, baths, laundry rooms, and kitchens, as well as for cabinets, doors, and moldings that get touched often.
Semi-Gloss – (41–69% gloss) This sheen is one of the most common choices for homeowners. It can be scrubbed clean easily so is another good choice for high traffic areas that may not need as much reflective light. Semi-gloss paint is a great choice for kitchens, baths, hallways, doors, trims and shutters.
Satin – (10–25% gloss) Satin is the middle ground between flat and high gloss and an elegant alternative to flat due to increased durability. Satin paint can he wiped clean and only lightly scrubbed. Satin is great for a family room or dining room that gets some use.
Eggshell – (26–40% gloss) Eggshell is more washable that a flat finish and best for lower traffic areas.
Low Sheen – (10–25% gloss) Slightly more glossy than flat.
Flat or Matte- (1–9% gloss) The least shiny of all the sheens, flat finishes are also the least light reflective, making it the perfect choice for ceilings and for covering areas with many surface mars and blemishes. Flat finishes are great for bedrooms where lighting concerns are an issue. The flats have an soft and elegant look and a more subtle appearance on the wall. The downside to flat finishes are that they are the least durable of all the sheens and have a low scrub threshold.