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Choosing the Best Sheen (Finish) for a Painting Project

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

The right paint can truly transform a dull room into a place you’re proud to show off. Choosing the best color is only half the battle; what sheen (finish) will be best?

When choosing sheen, consider the following questions:

Where in the room am I painting? What is the room used for? How much natural light does the room get? How often will this area need to be cleaned?

Although other hybrid sheens exist, I’ve composed an executive summary of the most popular finishes (sheens) below.

Flat: The matte finish of flat paint will typically absorb light, so it is best used in very bright rooms with a need to hide small imperfections such as nicks, dings or other wear and tear.

  • Pros: Hides imperfections

  • Cons: Hard to clean

Eggshell: Typically best used in rooms with a need for increased cleanability with lots of natural light

  • Pros: Provides some hidability with some cleanability

  • Cons: Scuffs easily, Can show painting lines (brush/roller strokes)

Satin: The Subtle shine of satin can help brighten up darker rooms and can withstand regular cleaning, but since a satin finish reflects light, it will show imperfections. We have seen great results with satin in bathrooms.

  • Pros: Increased durability/cleanability

  • Cons: Decreased hide

Semi-Gloss: This finish is best for areas frequently cleaned with lots of moisture; it is most commonly used on baseboards, trim, interior/exterior doors, it is rarely used on walls.

  • Pros: Increased durability/cleanability

  • Cons: Very little hide

High Gloss: Shinny! Usually used for accent furniture or special projects; when using this finish it is imperative the surface is perfect before painting.

  • Pros: The “Pop” Factor, most durable

  • Cons: Nearly zero hide

The next question you may have is “Who will do the painting?”If that is the case, give us a call for a free estimate or schedule online. We would love to help!

This is a summarized guide to help people choose the best paint finish by area
Paint Finish Guide

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Great painting tips!


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