Gloss and Sheen-Bedroom with two shades of gray eggshell paint-Mt. Adams OH-365 Renovations-800x500

How To Choose The Right Paint Sheens

Choosing Paint Sheen or Gloss Level for Interior Painting

The fun part of interior painting is putting together your color palette. It's choosing the right paint sheens that can get confusing. Let's chat about why paint gloss levels are important for both durability and the final look of your design project.

Kitchen Paint Sheens - White Cabinet Painter in West Chester Ohio - 365 Renovations 600x400
The Right Paint Sheens for Interior Painting -Liberty Township OH - 365 Renovations

What You Should Know About Paint Sheens

Paint sheen refers to how the paint reflects light. Each finish-in a spectrum from high gloss to flat-has unique properties which affect both appearance, washability, and durability.

The gloss level you choose has a lot to do with how your painted walls will appear after months and years of wear, especially in high-traffic areas of your home. So choose a sheen that not only pairs well with the type of lighting in your space, but also how that space is used.

  • The higher the gloss/sheen index, the more washable the paint.
  • The lower the gloss/sheen index means the paint hides imperfections in the painted surface.

Which Paint Sheens are Best for Different Areas of Your Home

Gloss and Sheen choice should be based upon the type of room, what is being painted, lighting, position of windows, traffic in the space, performance expectations, and aesthetic preference. Here are some general guidelines.

  • Semi-gloss on doors and trim because of its washability
  • Eggshell for walls because it is washable and hides imperfections
  • Flat on ceilings to hide blemishes and reduce glare

Photo courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

What is semi-gloss paint?

Semi-gloss paints are higher paint sheens, yet still absorb some light, leaving the surface slightly reflective but not glossy.

What is semi-gloss paint used for?

Semi-gloss paint is best for trim and doors. This gives them a clean, shiny appearance, but also allows them to handle more wear and tear. Both your trim and your doors take a lot of punishment, so the greater durability of this finish is incredibly useful here.

We use urethane paint from Sherwin-Williams, which is much harder than regular semi-gloss paint. It does a fantastic job of standing up to daily traffic.

What is flat paint?

Flat paint, also known as matte finish, has the most pigment of all the paint sheens. It is the least light-reflective, which makes it a good choice for flawed surfaces.

The properties that help flat paint hide flaws, however, make it the least durable. This is because of its lower resin and binder content.

What is flat paint used for?

We routinely use flat paint for ceilings. Flat paint hides imperfections and makes the ceiling look smoother and more consistent.

Flat paint isn’t good for walls or high-traffic areas in your home because it scuffs easily and isn’t very washable.

We don't recommend flat paint in the bathroom or kitchen, for example, because of the potential for moisture damage. Semi-gloss and eggshell finishes are far better choices as they are superior at repelling moisture and are easy to clean, too.

How to clean walls with flat paint?

If you have flat paint on the walls, you can wipe it gently with a clean, damp sponge. For stubborn stains, add a little vinegar, or a dab of diluted detergent. Don’t scrub flat paint too much or you may actually wash off the paint.

What is eggshell paint?

Eggshell offers subtle, low-key paint sheens that provide gentle but vibrant color. This paint is far more washable than flat paint and will help hide imperfections.

What is eggshell paint used for?

Eggshell is the perfect paint to use on walls. The primary advantage of using eggshell is it is particularly good at covering irregularities, so you get a clean, uniform appearance.

Like semi-gloss, eggshell paint is durable and easy to wash. Plus, the surface doesn’t pick up much dirt, which means you don’t have to wash it as often.

Your Paint Color Specialist Helped Us!

We would highly recommend 365 Renovations for interior painting. We also used their color specialist who helped us with selecting the room colors. I originally found 365 when looking for a company to paint our kitchen cabinets, and they came highly recommended. We decided to have the open great room painted first to then see what the best color options for our cabinets and island would be. We are looking forward to working with them again! Thank you!
Bryan and Sandy - West Chester, OH

The Right Paint Sheens for Your Project

Using the right paint sheen for each area of your home is just one way that our professional interior painters ensures superior, high-quality results.

We invite you to learn about our interior painting process, browse frequently asked questions, view a gallery of projects, and check our customer reviews.

When it’s time to revive the walls or kitchen cabinets in your home, get in touch to schedule your free estimate. We’re ready to give you the best painting services experience you’ll ever have.

House Painters Near You

Service Area: Located in West Chester Township, our painters also serve homeowners and businesses in Amberley Village, Anderson, Avondale, Blue Ash, Cleves, Clifton, Colerain, Delhi, East Walnut Hills, Fairfield, Finneytown, Forest Park, Hamilton, Harrison, Hyde Park, Indian Hill, Kenwood, Lebanon, Liberty Twp, Loveland, Madeira, Maineville, Mariemont, Mason, Milford, Montgomery, Mt. Adams, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Lookout, North Avondale, Ross, Springboro, Springdale, Symmes Twp, West Chester Township, and Wyoming.