Guide for Interior Paint


Paint comes in a variety of gloss levels – commonly referred to as sheens – that correspond to different levels of specular reflection. Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface. The more porous the paint finish, the more diffuse reflection of light. Flat paint is almost entirely reflecting diffused light, while gloss paint has both specular and diffuse reflection of light.


Sheen can also affect a paint’s color. The higher the gloss level, the brighter and more saturated the color will appear. Gloss levels for each sheen is listed below.


Below you will find a quick guide to help you select the right sheen for your next painting project. Whether you are getting ready to sell your house or just bought a new one, painting is a great way to add value to your property.


Gloss


A gloss sheen has a very shiny appearance and a glass-like finish that makes it easy to clean.


Where to use: kitchen, doors, door frames, base boards, trim, cabinets

Aesthetics: draws the eye; causes feature to “pop”, can provide a feeling of depth when next to a contrasting sheen

Maintenance: the lowest maintenance sheen that can be easily wiped clean, but is the most difficult to touch up

Gloss level: 70-80%


Semi-Gloss


A semi-gloss sheen appears sleek and radiant, while resisting mildew, moisture and wear.


Where to use: kitchen, bathroom, hallway, molding

Aesthetics: draws the eye; causes feature to “pop”, can provide a feeling of depth when next to a contrasting sheen

Maintenance: wipe clean with ease, but difficult to touch up

Gloss level: 40-50%


Satin / Low Sheen


A satin sheen has a pearl-like finish, but reveals roller and brush strokes. Take care when applying paint with this sheen.


Where to use: family room, laundry room, hallway, foyer, child’s bedroom, bathroom

Aesthetics: warmer feel and provides a greater appearance of depth than flat or matte paints

Maintenance: easy to clean, but difficult to touch up

Gloss level: 20-25%


Eggshell


An eggshell sheen has a soft, velvety appearance that resists dirt as well as mildew.


Where to use: bedroom, dining room, living room

Aesthetics: warmer feel and provides a greater appearance of depth than flat or matte paints

Maintenance: this sheen is slightly easier to maintain than flat paint

Gloss level: 10-15%


Flat / Matte


A flat sheen has a matte, non-reflective finish that touches up well and will also hide minor surface imperfections.


Where to use: adult’s bedroom, dining room, living room, ceilings

Aesthetics: conceals surface imperfections, increases visual smoothness

Maintenance: easy to touch up, but due to its porosity, it’s the easiest to get dirty and requires care to clean

Gloss level: < 5%


Selecting the Right Painter


If you are looking to paint your home and you aren’t going to do it yourself, it’s worth paying a little more to get the job done right – the first time. How many times have you visited someone’s home and seen sloppy painting ruin an otherwise great space?


However, if you are willing to pay a slight premium for peace of mind and quality workmanship, then try hire a good and right painter on your next painting project.

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