What is a Paint Sheen or Finishes

painting of hallway corridor with eggshell paint finish

Would it bother you to see the paint colour on one wall  look a lighter or darker shade from the other wall in the same room?

These are issues that could arise.  It’s a decision any home owner, or DIY painter needs to make.  Picking out a paint finish or a.k.a. sheen is an important decision before buying.

Paint Sheen or Finishes

When starting a home painting project you will need to decide on which paint sheen or finish you prefer for painting the walls, the trim, baseboards and ceilings.

The reason for choosing the right paint finish is personal.   In other words how much shine do you want to see reflecting from your walls.

Will it bother you to see how the lighting bounces off one wall with a glare, making the paint colour seem lighter.

What is Paint Sheen

Paint Sheen means how shiny the paint will look once applied .  When picking your paint colours, remember to choose the proper sheen.  

Think about the conditions of the walls that will be painted. Also consider whether the room you are painting is a high or low traffic area.  

Hiring a painting company can prove helpful in guiding you when you schedule your appointment for an estimate and paint colour consultation .

What is Paint Finish 

Paint finish refers to how the paint will dry. It’s pretty much the same as sheen. You want to choose a flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, high-gloss or satin finish.

One thing to remember is when choosing that the higher the sheen such as semi-gloss or high-gloss then the higher the shine will be on your walls and the more visible imperfections after painting will show up.

Flat paint has little to no shine and high-gloss is the ultimate of shines.  When choosing somewhere in between those two there is the eggshell, satin or semi-gloss.  They are all good durable and easily maintained paint finishes.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right paint sheen for your house painting project.


cans of benjamin moore paints in different paint finishes
Paint Sheens or Finishes come in a variety. Choose the right one for painting your room or house

Flat Paint Finish   

Flat or matte paint is best used on surfaces requiring less frequent washing.  The FLAT finish paint conceals most flaws and makes the Flat finish a better choice for older walls.  FLAT/MATTE finish is ideal for dining, living, bedrooms and closets.

Semi-Gloss Paints

Semi-gloss is durable as well as washable.  With a slight visible shine it is ideal for trim, baseboards, woodwork or cabinetry.    Semi-gloss paint finish is recommended for high moisture areas because of the easy cleanup, just make sure to ask for a mildew resistant formula for these high moisture areas.  Best used in Kitchens and bathrooms.

Satin Paint Finish

Satin paint finish is very easy to keep clean again with just a damp cloth and can also handle soap if required.

Gloss Paint Finish   

A Gloss Paint gives you the highest level of shine and durability.  For the trim, baseboards, doors or other architectural elements you’d like highlighted this would be the finish choice.

Gloss paint is very durable and can take on more dirt and elbow grease to remove the dirt afterwards.  It is the strongest finish but also the shiniest.

In the end if you are trying to choose a paint finish and are not quite sure simply

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