Paint Sheen Level
The right interior paint means everything, but the color is only one thing to consider. Paint sheen is the glossiness of a paint finish and there are three sheen levels– Flat, Gloss and Semi-Gloss, but Matte, Eggshell, and Satin sheens are in between those.
There are a variety of both functional and design-related reasons behind the sheen level you choose. The sheen will affect the perception of your paint color because paint sheen reflects light differently from the surface of the paint when it dries. The paint sheen choice you make also has a significant impact on appearance and function. Paint colors with a higher sheen level will appear brighter and richer than the same color with a lower sheen level of paint.
The paint sheen level you choose can help:
- Extend the durability of the paint
- Keep the surface clean and free of mold
- Modify or enhance the room’s design
- Hide imperfections or defects
For darker and richer paint colors, the lower the sheen level, the better. A high-gloss sheen on a darker color will create a super shiny effect, which will not look appealing. It’s not the same all around – for lighter paints, the higher the sheen level, the more imperfections will show.
Various sheen levels are available, but (like winter paint colors) some are used specifically for rooms because of their performance, features, and aesthetic qualities. The higher the sheen level, the higher the durability of the paint. Here are descriptions of the three main sheen levels:
A flat sheen is muted and is typically made with a lot of pigment. This sheen not only hides the primer really well, it will definitely conceal imperfections better than any other sheen level. Flat paints are usually used for walls and ceilings, as it’s easier to touch up should they get dinged or scratched. It’s also non-reflective, so when it’s applied it will help make uneven surfaces look smoother. This sheen is usually the best choice for rooms without threat of water or humidity.
Semi-gloss paint represents the best of both sheens. This sheen is not as highly reflective as gloss paint and won’t show imperfections as much; yet still offers good stain resistance and is easy to clean. A semi-gloss paint is best used on bathroom ceilings where there is high moisture, in kitchens where there is smoke and grease, and on trim and doors that catch dirt and grime. This type of sheen can also be used for windows and doors, trim, and even cabinets. It’s quite popular for various other spaces, like in children’s bedrooms and playrooms.
Paints with gloss or high gloss sheen are very reflective, and they tend to highlight imperfections in walls and woodwork. This type of paint is stain-resistant and is much easier to clean than paints with less gloss. Glossed finishes are perfect for windows and trim, children’s rooms, and playrooms. Because of their durability, they have better resistance to mold and mildew for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
The sheen level you choose for your painting project can have a great impact on the overall look and feel of your result. Light, color, and sheen all combine to create your room’s overall feeling. Remember that adding more sheen also adds to the cost of the paint – usually an extra dollar or two per gallon. When looking for paint for your next project, give sheen level some careful consideration.
It’s best to choose a paint sheen with an expert painting contractor. With the right level of expertise, they should be able to guide you on why one sheen is better than another. They can also provide options for the best color choices in your room(s).
The color experts at J. Canabe have years of expertise helping their customers choose the right sheen level. We are knowledgeable of the latest trends and we’re able to provide guidance for any painting project – contact us today to schedule a consultation.