How to Choose Paint Sheen Level

by Ali |

The type of sheen level you choose for both interior and exterior is relevant to the type of look and practicality you are after. From a practical point of view, a higher gloss level will help extend the life of the paint job, and for looks it makes it more intriguing. The sheen levels to choose from are high gloss or gloss, semi-gloss or satin, low sheen, matt or flat.

High gloss or gloss

Gloss paint is the shiniest type of sheen you can buy. The key to a smooth finish is meticulous preparation, as this type of sheen level will show any imperfections so ensure your sanding is up to scratch. This sheen level is highly recommended in high traffic areas such as trims, doors and windows. It is a harder wearing paint and helps with these type of areas which tend to attract the most dirt.

Semi gloss or satin

Semi gloss is commonly used also in high traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, hallways or play rooms. If you have young children satin enamel is a great choice due to its washability and stain resistance.

Low Sheen

Low sheen paint resists stains better than flat paints, but not as well as the semi gloss or high gloss paints. It tends to create a warmth and depth in a room, and is a popular choice for areas where some sheen is required along with cleaning properties.

Flat or matt

This type of sheen level does not reflect any light and is great for hiding imperfections. Areas of low traffic and little wear and tear is the best place for this sheen level. Walls which have been painted several times or repaired often are the best place for flat or matt paint. A flat finish is highly recommended for ceilings in most rooms.