Explanation of paint sheen
Are you confused about which paint sheen level to use in which room, or which will be the most durable for your project? This guide will show you the advantages and disadvantages of paint sheen along with what sheen to use in which room.
Flat -- A matte finish that provides a dead flat sheen.
Excellent touch-up ability
Provides a dull, soft look
Typically not washable, premium quality flat finishes may have washable characteristics
Eggshell (Velvet) -- A very dull finish with a slight angular sheen.
Low sheen, yet washable
Looks flat but has an angular sheen
Good touch-up qualities
Not as washable as paints with higher shine
Satin -- An enamel finish with a medium amount of shine.
Great for trim work and doors
Good for bathroom and utility rooms
Magnifies imperfections on walls
Semi-gloss -- A glossy finish used for high-traffic areas.
Magnifies imperfections more than satin on walls
Full Gloss -- The shiniest paint sheen available. Used on products that need superior protection.
Great for high-traffic areas
For use in schools, doctors offices
Can be used on floors and counter tops
Very shiny, not intended for walls
Sheen by room (walls)
Kitchen -- Satin or semi-gloss
Dining Room -- Flat or eggshell
Bathroom -- Satin or semi-gloss
Bedrooms -- Flat or eggshell
Hallway -- Flat
Basement -- Flat or waterproofing paint
Ceilings -- Flat
Trim work & doors -- Satin
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What Sheen Level of Paint Should I Use?
By Mike R Smith