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Choosing a Paint Sheen
The paint sheen has a dramatic effect on the overall look and feel of any interior room or exterior surface. Although you might want to choose a paint sheen based on the look alone, there are some general guidelines that can effect your Paint Sheen decision.
The amount of gloss can does have an enormous effect on both appearance and performance of the paint. The effects can go well beyond the general appearance. The sheen of the paint can change the overall look of a color as well. A paint color with a flat sheen can look lighter or darker than the same color with a satin of gloss sheen. While evaluating a colors appearance also judge the affect of your preferred paint sheen.
So What is a Sheen and How Do I Choose One
Sheen is a measurement of a finishes gloss or shininess. Paint sheens range from flat to high gloss. Names can very from manufacturer to manufacturer, but typically there are four categories.
Here is why you need to consider a sheen wisely.
First there is Flat or Matte Paint
Flat paint is primarily used on ceilings and walls in main living areas.
It may also called a "matte" finish. This is generally non-reflective and is the most forgiving. Many top quality flats still have a very slight sheen when two coats are applied. Flat paint do tend to hide minor surface imperfections, including scratches and small dents, plus has the greatest hiding capability allowing for fewer coats of paint.
Flat paint is best choice for most interior ceilings but not all flats are suitable for ceilings. Almost all ceilings have imperfections to a degree and using a dead flat paint is recommend.
While quality flat paint are very washable they may be susceptible to damage from constant exposure to high humidity and water.
Next is Eggshell or Satin or Low Luster
Both eggshell and satin ( Low Luster) paint have slightly more sheen than flat. This is often referred to as a moderate paint sheen level. Eggshell usually has a lower sheen than a satin paint. They can also convey warmth to trim without being excessively shiny. This is best choice on trim where it is not in perfect shape as not to show imperfections as bad.
While both satin and eggshell paint sheens can be excellent choices for some interior walls. Satin paints have better stain resistance than most eggshell and flat paints. They resists dirt more and can be scrubbed more vigorously. They are a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms or applied to trim and doors, an excellent choice for kid’s rooms or high traffic areas.
Satin is also a great choice for exterior work since it more readily sheds water and resists the affects of the sun when compared to flat.
This sheen is mostly used for woodwork
Has a higher sheen than eggshell or satin finishes. Semi-gloss paints are even more resistant to dirt and scuff marks, plus are easier to clean. Traditionally used in kitchens, bathrooms and on trim, windows or doors and any area that requires regular or vigorous cleaning will benefit from using a semi-gloss paint.
Gloss and High Gloss
These highly reflective finishes are tougher, more stain resistant and easier to clean than any lower paint sheen. Because of their highly reflective nature surface imperfections will be highly noticeable and will be exaggerated. Gloss paint can be applied to the same areas as semi-gloss paint. This type of paint will produce a "plastic" coated look on
smooth trim and doors. It requires a huge amount of prep work to