paint sheen

When it comes to interior paint work for your home or business, there’s more to choose than just the color. The sheen of your paint plays a dual role, part accenting the aesthetics of your space and part providing durability to your decorative work. But which sheen is right for a given area? Though the answer to that question is largely based on personal preferences, there are a few basics about the various paint finishes that you might want to bear in mind before picking the sheen for your next painting project.


Flat paint is the most forgiving – it will cover defects better than glossier options and comes with the added bonus of being a buck or so cheaper per gallon. There are two general drawbacks to choosing a flat finish:

  • Flat finish paint is non-reflective, which can increase the overall feeling of darkness in spaces with less light; and,
  • Flat paint is less “washable”, meaning any accidental spills or crazy crayon creations might be difficult to remove and necessitate repainting the area.

Bearing those drawbacks in mind, it’s fair to say that flat paint is an excellent option for decorative walls that are unlikely to be touched, and low-traffic areas such as the parlor or formal dining area in your home.


Though similar to flat paint, eggshell is a paint sheen with slightly reflective properties. Eggshell is slightly more durable than flat paint, in terms of its resilience and is a great option for the public-facing areas of your home or business.


Satin is the next increment on our sheen ladder, offering slightly more light reflection and an easier maintenance approach than flat or eggshell finishes, satin paints offer a great blend of easy maintenance and under-stated elegance. Inadvertent spills or sticky finger marks are easily wiped away, making satin finish paint a great choice for high-traffic areas.


When it comes to decorating bathrooms, kitchens, and other wet areas, semi-gloss is the leading option. While semi-gloss paint makes a good solution for trim, it is an excellent option for walls where splashes are more likely, and areas where you are bound to have to wipe and clean frequently. Take care to choose a paint base with mildew-resistant properties for true wet areas, like bathrooms, as this can help you avoid headaches in the long run.


The main reason people use gloss paints for their paint projects is to let the intricate details of their interior spaces shine, literally. Gloss paint provides brilliant reflection, delivering a genuine shine to doors, molding, and other detailed elements. Gloss is a paint sheen rarely used for large expanses of space, due to the potential for creating glare, however along the top of a backsplash or other area where you are likely to do repeated cleanups, you cannot beat the durability of gloss paint.

The team here at Performance Painting is always ready to discuss the best paint solutions for your next project, from color to sheen, we pride ourselves in having the experience to make the right recommendations the first time. Contact our team today for more information about the best paint sheen solutions for your project, we’re happy to help.

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