How Much Do You Know About Paint Sheen?

Posted by Sam Sundeleaf on Wednesday, August 09, 2017

You finally have your ideal interior paint color picked out, in-hand, and you’re ready to complete the purchase and get painting. You make your way to the counter, and suddenly you’re blindsided by a question you aren’t quite ready for: “Which paint sheen do you want?”

What’s the right answer, and why does it matter?

What Is Paint Sheen?

Paint sheen refers to the level of gloss your paint offers, and typically ranges from flat to high-gloss, with several other options sitting in the middle.

Why is this important?

Different levels of sheen perform better for specific surfaces and applications. You could think of it as the difference between tire options for a car: race cars have more slick, high-speed-specific tires, while an off-road vehicle may have knobbier tires to maximize traction. Each has its use, and they typically don’t perform as well when forced into a purpose they weren’t designed for.

Finding the Right Paint Sheen for You

Here’s a breakdown of your options:

  • Flat - Flat (or matte) finishes are extremely forgiving of blemishes, easy to work with, and can be touched up with ease. Lots to love, right? The downside is that the finish just isn’t very durable, and, being flat, it tends to absorb light rather than reflect it. Low-traffic walls can wear flat paint well, and ceilings, too.
  • Satin or Eggshell - Perhaps the most popular sheens, these two provide a nice balance between the forgiveness of flat paint and the shinier durability of higher-gloss options. You could consider either of these to be a fantastic go-to wall paint.
  • Semi-Gloss - Take the durability and shine to a new level. This finish is tough and easy to clean, but a little harder to work with and touch up down the road.
  • High-Gloss - This is typically reserved for trim, or other architectural elements you want to pop out. It’s a hard product to apply, and is very unforgiving of ANY surface imperfections, but it is bright and incredibly durable.

Talk To Your Local Professional Painter

Need a little more help and guidance? Talk to a pro about your goals!

And, if you live here in the Portland area, we encourage you to call us at Sundeleaf Painting. It would be our pleasure to serve you.

Sundeleaf Painting, Inc.
2037 SE Ochoco Street
Portland, Oregon 97222
(503) 236-9797

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