You might have chosen the right paint for your interiors and exteriors. But what if they still look dull or feature a hectic tone? Maybe, you are yet to decide on how shiny the paint needs to be. Whether you are looking to bring in some energy to your dull interiors or calm the hectic appearance, it is the right sheen that your paint still needs.
Definition of the paint sheen
For an aesthetically pleasing appearance of your house, your paint needs to come with exactly the level of shininess you want. This is what the paint sheen is all about.
Understanding the basic facts
Here are some fundamental matters that show how important it is to choose the right sheen for the decoration of your house.
- Sheen is the level of gloss present in your paint.
- The higher your paint sheen is, the shinier you can expect the appearance to be.
- Shiny appearance gives more scrubbable finish.
- The shinier the paint will be, the more beautiful and durable it can be.
So, it is understandable that your painting consideration should focus on choosing the sheen of your paint that comes at the outset of your decorating project.
Making the choice
Paints are nowadays available in different types of sheens. Flat paint will give you no shine while high-gloss will give you all shine. Semi-gloss, satin and eggshell will be anywhere in between these two.
Remember that each of these sheens comes with their own decorative and practical features.
Not all sheens are created to feature the same level of gloss. Here is a brief overview of the different sheens and their properties.
For a subtle and smooth finish, these sheens are ideal as they camouflage just about any imperfections with the surface. With no direct reflection of light, flat sheens diffuse light and work well on new constructions like drywall, ceilings, etc.
- Suitable for low-traffic surfaces that do not usually get soiled
- Difficult to clean
- Susceptibility to trap dirt
- The finish may get burnished if rubbed with cleanser
For a high-shine finish and rich aesthetics, gloss paints are suitable but with an extremely reflective appearance. However, glossy sheens cannot but show nearly every discrepancy or imperfection in a ceiling’s surface or wall. These sheens work best on unmarred surfaces or walls.
- Featuring a plastic or enamel look
- Durable with pleasant appearance
- Easy-to-clean with scrubs
- Ideal for areas that require washing too often
With slightly glossy appearance, semi-gloss sheens are not as reflective as gloss paints. They offer a bright and shiny look. They come with one obvious limitation; that is stickiness.
- Direct reflection of light for shiny appearance
- Superb resistance to moisture
- Easy-to-clean with scrubbing efforts
- Suitable for high-traffic surfaces
- Easily washable
Extremely popular and known as slight sheen, it resembles the appearance of an egg’s surface. For a soft, velvety touch, low-luster sheens are widely known.
- Smooth surface
- Elegant low-sheen finish with depth and warmth
- Ideal for low-traffic surfaces
- Easily washable
Exceptionally versatile and moderately stain resistant, satin sheens have earned popularity in recent years. They offer a little more reflective appearance with strong resistance to dirt, stains and mildew.
- Warm and inviting appearance
- Better suited for frequently used areas
- Moderately suitable for both indoors and outdoors
- Cleanable with little effort
Technicalities to remember
When compared with color, paint sheens may seem a less important consideration in the first place. However, choosing the right kind of sheen involves some functional and visual considerations.
If you are not interested in getting a super shiny appearance with your dark and rich paint color, you may step down one or two levels on the sheen scale because your paint color has already a good level of colorant that boosts the sheen.
Similarly, you should choose considerably lower sheen if you want to paint a sun-washed or imperfect surface. Remember that adding sheen unnecessarily will only add to your costs.
The sheen of your paint is typically an aesthetic attribute involving some technical implications. Here are some technical considerations to make.
If your intent lies in achieving uniform reduction of gloss, you need to ensure the appropriate disturbance of the film’s surface. Glossy paints are not as rough as flat paints, but the roughness of flat paints cannot significantly affect the mechanical strength and durability of the surface.
Flat sheens are not as durable as their glossier counterparts. However, low-gloss or flat sheens can help you achieve useful lives outside.
Uniformity of gloss
Gloss does not seem much uniform if looked through viewing angles. Sheen paints may look flat if you view when directly from a 90° angle. But, they may feature a high luster if you view them along the surface. Remember this point, especially if you need to paint long corridors or rooms with a light source.
Some tips showing which sheen can be used within which room
- Flat or matte sheens are suitable for bedrooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, hallways, ceiling rooms and family rooms. For ceilings, you may consider ceiling flats which are typically spatter-resistant.
- Gloss sheens are perfect for kitchens, cabinets, doors, bathrooms, woodworks, molding, trim, etc.
- Semi-gloss sheens are appropriate for children’s rooms, hallways, bathrooms and any high-moisture surfaces or areas.
- Eggshell paints are good for family rooms, living rooms, foyers, hallways, etc.
- Satin sheens can be ideal for playrooms, laundry rooms, guest bathrooms, doors, shutters, children’s bathroom, etc.
Low sheen and semi-gloss paints seem to outperform higher gloss products, particularly when they are used on uneven surfaces, stucco or exterior weatherboard. Low sheens have become popular when it comes to using them on broad wall areas, kitchen and ventilated bathrooms.
In addition, a popular trend involves the use of a mix of different gloss levels in a single area so that a delicate visual effect can be created or feature areas can be highlighted.
However, you can use about every sheen in any of your rooms, but you must not forget the trend of high and low traffic the surfaces receive every day. You can mix the sheens together to get a finish that easily matches your expectations.