Paint sheen is defined the measure of the reflected light from various types of paint. There are a few different types of sheen:

Typically used on broken up and smaller areas such as interior and exterior trim.
Pros – Easily cleaned and more durable
Cons – Flashes more easily especially on large areas, very difficult to touch up, roller, brush strokes, spray passes and flaws in the substrate are extremely visible.
Typically used on ceilings and walls/siding
Pro – Generally does not flash on large areas, touches up best. Roller, brush strokes, spray passes and flaws in the substrate are significantly less visible. Thus, it has the best appearance. This is best for older homes and homes requiring excessive drywall/plaster repair.
Cons – Does not clean easily and is less durable.
Mid Sheen:
Named differently depending on the paint brand and product line. One common mid sheen is “eggshell” or “Satin” for example.
Pros – More durable and washable than flat. Richer colors with a warm glow.
Cons – Substrate imperfections, roller to bush lines and spray passes are more visible.
Low Sheen:
These are typically called “flat enamel”,”low sheen” or “Matte”. This is our favorite sheen for walls as they are still washable, provide a mild glow and hide imperfections more than mid sheens. We find this sheen to be the best balance between looks and durability for walls.

Basically, sheen selection is always a balance of looks versus durability. You want more durability in kitchens, bathrooms, and high traffic areas while in well lighted large areas such as a two-story family room you may want to opt for a flat sheen. Items heavily handled that require frequent cleaning such as a door would suggest a gloss finish.


To find out more, schedule a free painting estimate with one of our sales technicians here.