Choose Correct Interior Paint Sheen Finish

Choosing Interior Paint Finish Or Sheen

Choosing_Interior_Paint_Finish_Or_SheenChoosing correct interior paint sheen or finish can be quite confusing. Knowing more about flat, eggshell, semi-gloss best to protect each room in a home, really depends on room usage, and traffic, below are a few guidelines to follow


when deciding the right finish for your newly painted room. Typically each area of a room has various sheen differences making up the entire room's painting scheme. Paint sheen consist of flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss finishes.

Interior Paint Sheen Finish


Flat Sheen

Flat sheen is generally used where there is no attention is wanted inside, making area blend in almost unnoticed. Most flat painted areas include ceilings of all types of drywall textures. Drywall textures include popcorn, orange-peel, knockdown, skip trowel, and smooth level 5.

Flat paint sheen comes in just about any color imaginable, but ceilings are typically painted with the paint manufacture's ceiling white. Important to know, not all flat paint ceiling whites are the same. For instance, if you used Sherwin-Williams flat ceiling white, you would not be able to touch up with say Benjamin Moore flat ceiling white, as this would flash, seeing a contrast upon the visible ceiling.

Matte - Pearl Sheen

Matte paint sheen is widely used in professional settings, conference rooms, offices, smooth textured walls, like level 5 wall finishes provide. Again, like flat, these sheens do not bring attention to the painted surfaces, but leave the eyes to focus on other items in the room. Matte or pearl sheens are very similar as well, with pearl sheen having the slightest bit more shine to it than matte.

Eggshell sheen

The middle of the road, most widely used in the painting industry today is you guessed it, eggshell. Eggshell is not a color, but a paint sheen, laying in between flat and satin. What makes this paint sheen so popular is it's cleanable, yet flatter finish.

If you have kids, eggshell paint sheen is the way to go. Being able to wipe with a damp or wet sponge, knowing the paint will not come off in your rag. Very durable, resists scratches, and feel slick, but looks flat.

Reason for this middle of the road sheen came available back in the late 80's, early 90's, as new home builders were still putting popcorn ceiling textures in a home, but knockdown texture for kitchen ceilings. Not wanting to have two different ceiling paint sheens in the same room made since.

Paint manufactures coming to the rescue, developing this sheen aiding home builders, thereby most consumers were enjoying the new sheen as well.  Now, most interiors throughout have eggshell on the walls, in millions of different color choices.

Satin sheen

One step up from eggshell is satin. Satin sheen has just a hint more gloss than eggshell, but less than semi-gloss. Satin paint sheen being similar to eggshell, not too shinny, has the benefits of eggshell's clean-ability as well. Half of the homes who decide something other than eggshell, picks satin. Ideal for walls, in high traffic areas, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Semi-gloss sheen

Another very popular paint sheen is semi-gloss. Semi-gloss has a shine to it, on a more dull side than gloss. This sheen is widely used on most wood trim surfaces in the home. Trim surfaces include baseboards, doors, window ledges, handrails, cabinets, and the like. Coming in almost an infinite color selection, this semi-gloss makes it superb cleaning on a weekly or monthly basis. Generally not used on walls, unless in an industrial setting.

I've seen semi-gloss on walls in hotels, restaurants, high traffic areas. Not recommended in a home, as this sheen gives the appearance of a hotel, bringing attention to that wall surface.

Gloss paint sheen

If you are wanting to bring attention to it, paint it with gloss. Making baseboard really pop, doors shine, and kitchen cabinets come alive. Harder to use, as every spec becomes visible. We generally spay gloss or high gloss paints, just for this very reason.

Also coming an infinite color selection, gloss paint sheen is used in the majority of different types of paint formulations, including Acrylic Latex enamels.

Painter's Tools and Materials for Painting Interiors

Here's everything you'll need to get it painted correctly the first time.

Paint roller pans and liners Roller frames and covers
Latex brushes for Acrylic, Natural for Alkyd 2-3" Brushes for Cutting In
4-5" Brushes for Walls Ladders / Scaffolding
Rollers and Roller Covers Razor knives
Extension Poles Drop Cloths
Painter's Tape (narrow and wide) Plastic Sheeting
5 gallon Buckets and Roller Grids
Paint and Stain Rags Masker and paper
Dripless Latex Caulking Gun and Caulk 5-Way Painter's Tool

 Different Rooms in the Home, Paint Sheen

Trim and Cabinetry Paint Sheen

Trim and cabinetry normally are painted with semi-gloss or high gloss paint for detailed woodwork, banisters, door casing, base boards, and the like. Semi-gloss and Gloss paint sheen highlights wood trim for a pleasing contrast against matte or satin painted walls.

Semi-gloss and Gloss paint is also a good choice for kitchen cabinets-airborne grease cleans right off. Just be sure to prep surfaces meticulously, as glossy surfaces are unforgiving, as they show every wood imperfection. Filling in dents, dings, sanding smooth is always recommended before applying final paint coat.

Highly-trafficked Area Paint Sheen

Highly-trafficked areas preform very well using Satin, Low Sheen, Pearl, and Eggshell paint sheen. Having a much lower gloss finish, attractive, long-lasting, and practical, a satin finish is easiest to maintain.

Giving the ability to wipe off those little dirty fingerprints with a damp sponge or cloth with mild soap and warm water on a regular basis. All of these paint finishes are very similar, depending upon the paint manufacture and terminology.

Ceilings, Master Bedrooms, Dining Rooms, and Closet Paint Sheen

Ceilings, Master bedrooms, Dining Rooms, and Closets, Flat, Matte paint finishes should be kept for interior paint surfaces unlikely to require frequent cleaning. These gentle, soothing paint finishes conceal flaws making them an excellent choice to touch up at any time.

Baths and Laundry Utility Room Paint Sheen

Semi-gloss paint is also a first choice for high-moisture areas because of the ease of cleanup, although currently Satin, Low sheen, and eggshell paint finishes are being introduced, working well. Be sure to select a mildew resistant paint formulation. Using the same paint sheen throughout the home makes for a more professional paint finish, going from one room to another.

Semi-gloss paints for walls and ceilings in bathrooms, kitchens, also utility rooms are being faded out since the early 1990's, replacing with you guessed it, eggshell paint sheen finish. While these areas have higher moisture and humidity, unless you are needing to paint inside your shower above the tile, eggshell is the way to go.

Interior Painting

Interior painting can be a daunting task, and hope this helps you choosing the correct interior paint sheen of choice, knowing choosing the right paint colors is another subject all together. Hiring a professional house painting contractor in your area can save you time and money, many assist with Free in Home Paint Color Consultation.

Saving you time and money with professional house painters, adding value and sense of personal paint decorating while getting the job done right the first time. Hiring a professional interior painting contractor provides the least amount of inconvenience while updating your home's walls, ceiling, and trim is always a plus.

In Denver Colorado, Eco Paint, Inc., provides some of the best Denver painters, Colorado has to offer, along with these above attributes mentioned.

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