Paint Sheen

From flat to glossy, this determines how shiny (or dull) the surface can be

Do you want the sheen of your finish coat to be flat, kind of shiny, or really shiny?

Well, that's what your going to have to decide when you brush, or roll on a finish coat, either to woodwork, or walls.

The sheen of a paint determines what that will be.

The "Shine" Factor

a.) Flat

b.) Eggshell

c.) Satin

d.) Semi-Gloss

e.) (High) Gloss

Some good suggestions, though, when painting your interior, are to follow what traditionally painters have done for years. And that is:

  • Bathroom/kitchen walls - latex, or oil semi-gloss on the walls and trimwork. Satin, and eggshell finish also works fine on walls.


    Because of the high amount of traffic going through these areas on a daily basis. Lots of wear and tear on your paint, so you want something tough, durable, and WASHABLE.

  • Living room/ hallways/ family room/ closets - basically the walls in the rest of the house can be painted with a flat sheen (latex or oil).

    You also can't go wrong using an eggshell finish here, because it's still somewhat dull (but not quite as dull as a flat sheen), and can be washed. Ideal finish for kids rooms, and laundry closets.

    Why use flat?

    This sheen (or lack of it), can hide blemishes in drywall a little better than a shinier finish because they (blemishes) won't jump out at you, like, say a semi-gloss, for example.

    The drawback, however, is the fact that you can't wash anything off of walls painted with flat. It can actually make the situation worse. It's better just clean as best you can, and touch-up the area with the same paint.

  • Woodwork, trimwork - latex or oil is the preferred paint here.

    Again, using durable types of paint, will enable you to easily wash the surface of woodwork. If you want a real "warm" and bright look, use oil. Satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss are used primarily.

    When painting your exterior, keep in mind there are many quality paints that are mildew and moisture resistant. These are a must when painting outside such as siding, and trimwork, masonry, etc.

    TOP of Paint Sheen

    RETURN to Types of Paint

    HOME to HousePainting Guru