Choosing Your Sheen: A Matter of Texture

Choosing Your Sheen

spanishcolor2Thinking about ways to add depth to your residential painting  project? Many paint products are available in a wide variety of “sheens” or textures. Paints with a higher sheen will appear more lustrous and will boast greater levels of durability as well. On the other hand, higher sheens will also cost you more and are more prone to exposing the little imperfections your wall might possess. Here are the most notable kinds of sheen and descriptions of how they can be best utilized in your home. Take care to note the strengths of each one.

Flat and Matte

These are low-lustre sheens that lack durability and are not ideal to clean, but they are also fantastic for concealing wall imperfections. They tend cover a greater surface area as well, and as such, are typically less expensive. These sheens are best used to save money in bedrooms since these are low-traffic rooms where less stains will occur. Having no shine is also perfect for a bedroom because more reflective surfaces can be distracting when it is time to sleep.


A slightly more lustrous sheen that offers a bit more durability, the eggshell finish is still adequate for imperfection concealment. It is best used in a place that will receive minimal bumps and scuffs such as a dining room or a living room. In a dining room especially, an eggshell finish can illuminate an otherwise dark room without being overbearing.  Despite its closeness to a flat or matte finish, eggshell provides less porous walls that are more washable.


This sheen has a noticeable lustre that can often appear velvety. Since it is quite durable and easy to clean, satin is optimal for a high-traffic area such as hallways, foyers, or even a living room that sees regular use. On the downside, this sheen does not cover imperfections nearly as well.

Semi-Gloss and High Gloss

Choosing the right colors for your home renovationThe most lustrous of the sheens, glosses offer gratuitous amounts of protection and are certainly the easiest to clean. An obvious spot for semi-gloss would be in both kitchens and bathrooms due to its ability to combat both moisture and grease. High gloss, in particular, emits a shine that is too intense for interior walls and is best left for smaller details like doors and trim. While these are the sturdiest of the sheens, one should make sure to prep accordingly since they will likely expose even the smallest wall imperfections.

As you can see, each sheen has a particular strength and you will want to resort to using most if not all of the types to make your home more versatile. In essence, a higher sheen or lustre belongs in a high-traffic area that will see a lot of abuse while the lower sheens are best placed in areas that you are confident will stay safe and relatively immaculate. Now consider using this knowledge to improve the look of your home next time you have some residential painting to do, protect its various surfaces, and possibly save some money in the process!