How to Choose the Right Paint Sheen

Interior Painting | February 11, 2021

There are many decisions to be made when painting your home’s interior. Finding the right colours, deciding which surfaces to repaint, and choosing the right product can all be overwhelming, so choosing a paint sheen can often seem like an arbitrary decision; however, it is definitely worth putting a little bit of extra thought into what paint sheen you choose for the different surfaces in your home, as this can make a big difference in durability, cleanliness, and appearance. At Dunbar Painting, we are always happy to help our clients choose the right paint sheen when getting started on any interior painting project.

Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Sheen

Finding the right sheen for your home’s surfaces can be easy and stress free with the right pointers from a professional. Like colour, sheen comes down to preference in a lot of ways, but there are a few things you should know before picking the paint sheen for various rooms in your home. Some items to consider when picking paint sheen include:

Common Sheens for Different Surfaces

Different surfaces of a home often have different sheens associated with them. Ceilings are usually painted with flat or matte paint in order to prevent lights from reflecting too much. Walls are able to be painted using nearly any sheen, but eggshell is the most common one to use as it provides a warm glow while still being washable. If a flatter, warmer look is desired, a high-quality washable flat paint can be used. For trim, satin is usually a good choice, but some older buildings or heritage homes can benefit from the look of paint with a higher sheen, such as semi-gloss.

Higher Sheens for Better Protection

The higher a paint sheen is, the better it typically hardens and the easier it will be to clean. While flat paint looks great, most flat paints can be easy to damage and harder to clean when the time comes. If you are looking to get a low sheen in an area that requires more protection, it is best to go with high-quality paint. Some durable and easy to wash flat paint examples that a professional painter might recommend:

  • Benjamin Moore – Aura Bath and Spa
  • Benjamin Moore – Scuff X Matte
  • Sherwin Williams – Emerald Washable Flat

Where is the Surface?

Walls and trim in high-traffic areas will need better protection than surfaces in areas that are less likely to be touched or scuffed. Hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, entryways, and other main living areas should usually be painted using a higher sheen or one of the high-quality paints mentioned above, while low-traffic areas like bedrooms and basements can often be painted using a lower sheen. It is also important to note that homes with children and pets will typically require a paint that is more durable and easier to clean than homes without them.

If you would like to learn more about how to choose the right paint sheen, or to talk to a professional painter about what product to pick, please contact the team at Dunbar Painting so that we can answer your questions.