Paint Sheens – Differences & Uses

Choosing a paint sheen for your interior walls can be as important as choosing the color itself. Each sheen has its own unique characteristics that impact the overall look and feel of a space. When selecting a paint sheen, you need to consider the location, the amount of traffic, and the durability of the finish. Here are the different sheens of interior paint and where and when you might want to use them:

  1. Flat/Matte Sheen

    Flat paint has no shine or gloss and offers a smooth, even finish. It is perfect for hiding surface imperfections and is ideal for low-traffic areas like bedrooms and dining rooms, and is also used for ceilings. Flat paint is not durable and is relatively difficult to clean, so it is not recommended for high-traffic areas or rooms where moisture is present, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

  2. Eggshell Sheen

    Eggshell has a slight sheen that gives walls a soft, velvety finish. It is more durable than flat paint and can withstand light scrubbing, making it a great choice for living rooms, hallways, and bedrooms. Eggshell paint also hides surface imperfections.

  3. Satin Sheen

    Satin has a soft sheen and works well in high-traffic areas like hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms. It is easy to clean and can withstand moderate scrubbing without damage. Satin paint is also good for walls with imperfections since the sheen helps to reflect light and mask minor flaws.

  4. Semi-Gloss

    Semi-gloss has a noticeable sheen and is highly durable, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and children’s rooms. It is easy to clean and can withstand heavy scrubbing without losing its luster. Semi-gloss paint is also used for trim, doors, and cabinets as it highlights their details and gives them a polished look.

  5. Gloss

    Gloss paint has the highest level of shine and is highly durable – use it for high-traffic areas and surfaces that need frequent cleaning. Gloss is often used on doors, cabinets, and trim, and is not recommended for walls as the shine can be distracting. Please also note that gloss paint tends to highlight surface imperfections, so it is not recommended for rough surfaces.

When choosing a paint sheen, consider the style of the room in addition to the location and durability requirements. A matte finish may be better suited for a cozy, rustic bedroom, while a glossy finish can add sophistication and glamour to a contemporary space.
The type of sheen you choose depends on the location, use, and style of the room. Consider these factors when making a decision, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different finishes to find the one that best suits your needs and aesthetic.