Which Paint Sheen Is Best? Tips for House Painters

Your interior paint is actually a lot like your wardrobe.

It changes with time as styles come and go (well, at least for some!), and different colors and “looks” are chosen for different functions and moods. You also pick your clothing based on durability, strength, and how well it will meet the needs of a given activity. For example, you would never wear a business suit to play a game of pick-up football, or your athletic gear to a job interview.

In the same way, the sheen you choose for your interior paint needs to be carefully paired with exactly what is going to be asked of it. Because of that, picking your sheen is equally as important as picking the perfect color.

What Does “Paint Sheen” Refer To?

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“Sheen” refers to the level of gloss that a paint offers. The scale moves incrementally from flat to high-gloss, and as it climbs it becomes increasingly durable and reflective.

Here is a basic overview of the different sheens that you can expect to find in your local paint store:

  • Flat Paint – This is an option that is most often used for ceilings because it has a dull, non-reflective finish, and is easily smudged. You could consider this your more fragile “outfit.” It may look nice, but it isn’t meant for wear and tear.
  • Satin, Eggshell, and Semi-Gloss – These three options are not all identical, but they offer a finish that is similar enough that we can group them for our purposes here. From satin to semi-gloss, they grow incrementally more reflective (brighter), and also more resistant to smudges and marks.
  • High-Gloss – This is a bright and (you guessed it!) glossy sheen that is incredibly tough, but also is not forgiving of any flaws in the wall. When you choose a high-gloss paint you need to be prepared for careful surface preparation if you want a smooth, blemish-free look.

How Do You Pick a Paint Sheen?

The easiest way is to consider these few questions:

  1. Are you looking for a finish that will amplify light or absorb it?
  2. Will your walls face wear and tear, or need to be frequently washed (kitchens and bathrooms)?
  3. What condition are your walls currently in (remember that lower-sheen paint covers blemishes more smoothly)?

Do You Need Help with Your Next Interior Painting Project?

If so, we hope that you will reach out to us at A.G. Williams Painting Company. It would be our pleasure to put our variety of services to work in your home.