How To Choose A Paint Sheen For Your Home

As a home decor enthusiast, I’m always looking out for new ways to give my flat a makeover. Recently I tried looking into a different look for my kitchen cabinets. I thought I’d start with paint. I had no idea there was something like a paint sheen, which, in fact, holds the key to the entire look of any room coming together beautifully!

But with all these options available, I was having a tough time deciding which to choose. When I tried researching this a bit and talked to professionals, I found out paint sheen is the most overlooked part of painting in DIY projects.

People just go ahead without doing much homework (I admit, I was going to do the same) and end up unsatisfied with the result. So I thought, why not help you guys know how to decide which is best for your makeover projects?

The different types of sheens.

A paint sheen is how shiny or reflective your paint is. As I mentioned, there are different options in paint sheens, like flat, satin, eggshell, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

The key to choosing one is to consider the room you’re painting and your personal taste when deciding.

1. High Gloss: The Glamorous Choice

High gloss finishes are durable in the long run. Kitchen cabinets, front doors, trim, and molding are all high-traffic areas where this paint sheen will do well. They work both inside and outside your home and are easy to clean. the glossier the finish, the more visible those pesky imperfections will be.

2. Semi-Gloss: The Happy Medium

A step down in luster, semi-gloss finishes are great for spaces that need some extra TLC. Think bathrooms, kitchens, garage doors, and metal gutters. Semi-gloss is easy to clean, but like high gloss, it will show off any imperfections in the paint and wall.

3. Satin: The Velvety Versatile

Satin finishes are super versatile and have a lovely, velvety texture. They’re durable and cleanable, making them perfect for busy spaces like family rooms, kids’ bedrooms, playrooms, window frames, and laundry rooms. Pro tip: choose a high-quality paint for even better performance. Satin is a popular choice for trim, baseboards, doors, and cabinets.

4. Eggshell or Matte: The Subtle Star

Eggshell (or matte) finishes have a subtle shine and are great at hiding imperfections. Ideal for low-traffic areas such as dining rooms, low-traffic hallways, and adult bedrooms, eggshell finishes aren’t as easy to clean as glossier options. However, they’re the top choice for walls among painting pros.

5. Flat: The Soft Sophisticate

Flat finishes are all about that no-shine, soft look. They’re amazing at camouflaging imperfections and work well in master bedrooms, offices, formal sitting rooms, or on ceilings. Keep in mind, though, that cleaning a flat finish can be tricky – you might even damage the paint.

If you’re still having some doubts about which is the best for your project, read on.

How to Test Paint Sheens Before Diving In

Taking the time to test paint sheens before diving into a large project is crucial for achieving the desired look and finish.

One approach is to grab small paint samples and apply them to a tiny section of the wall or surface you’re painting. Just be patient and let the samples dry for at least 24 hours – the sheen and color can change as the paint dries.

Another option is to DIY your paint samples. Paint a piece of cardboard or foam board with your chosen color, let it dry, and then hold it up against the wall or surface. Remember to test the paint colors and sheens in the actual room or space, as lighting and other factors can impact the paint’s appearance.

Finally, think about the intended use of the painted surface and the durability you need when testing paint sheens. This extra step will ensure your space looks fabulous and stands the test of time.

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