Picking out a sheen may be the last thing you want to do after you’ve exhausted yourself with picking out *the* perfect color, but don’t leave this stone unturned. Sheen and make or break your project.
Different projects call for different sheens of paint. Depending on the traffic in the room, what kind of surface you’re painting, or how easily it might need to be cleaned would determine what choice is best. Sheen is also great for when you want to get really creative.
In a nutshell, paint sheen equals gloss level. The higher the gloss, the shinier the appearance and easier it is to wash. Here is a little breakdown of the different sheens available and how you might want to use them:
No shine. At all. Like none.
Great for hiding imperfections (those dents and scrapes you’re either too lazy to fix or your landlord is).
Better for low-traffic areas because it stains easily and is just straight up not easy to clean.
Great for ceilings (except use a glossier sheen on bathroom ceilings to repel water), it gives it a softer look and doesn’t call attention to the ceiling.
I love this name.
Just a hint of gloss.
Great for living and bed room walls.
Better for low traffic areas because it doesn’t take abuse well and like flat, is more difficult to clean.
Great for almost any room.
Repels moisture and is made to take abuse (perfect for kids’ bedrooms and kitchens).
Try it out on your cabinets or trim, it’s sturdy enough for it, but most prefer a semi-gloss on their woodwork.
Super great for trim and cabinets in both kitchen and bath.
Very durable and easy to clean.
Choose a mildew resistant paint for bathrooms.
Easiest to clean, but you need to do your prep work to get all the benefits.
Great for furniture when you want a lacquered look.
Perfect for outdoor use on furniture and doodads.
A couple of last things to consider when choosing sheen…all those rules I just gave you? You don’t have to follow them. For example, I love flat paint. I use it on all of my walls. I have to do touch ups quite a bit (or ignore the stains, that’s easier), but I like my walls to fade away and flat allows me to do that.
Happy sheen hunting!