What Are The Numerous Paint Sheens? (Stunning)

various paint sheen samples

As a paint skilled, purchasers usually ask, “What are the assorted paint sheens?” The reply is as follows:

  • Flat
  • Matte
  • Eggshell
  • Satin 
  • Semi-gloss
  • Gloss

I’ll study every sheen in additional element and listing the professionals and cons, so you may select the perfect sheen on your subsequent portray venture.

I’ll be specializing in inside paint tasks, though the fundamentals of every end apply to exterior work, too.

What Is Paint Sheen, And Why Does It Matter?

Paint sheen is the quantity of mirrored mild from a paint end. In different phrases, the sheen is how we describe a painted floor’s shininess.

Years in the past, paint contractors and householders chosen sheens primarily based on sturdiness.

The overall precept was the glossier the sheen, the extra sturdy the end. You’ll see shiny finishes in older bogs, faculty hallways, and gymnasiums. 

Whereas this precept remains to be legitimate as we speak, paint producers have come a good distance since these days. Right this moment, contractors and householders have extra choices.

For excellent water resistance in bogs however in a matte end, take into account Aura Bathtub & Spa.

Scuff-resistant paints by Benjamin Moore and House Depot supply superior wall protections and are available flat, matte, and eggshell.

Not All Paint Sheens Are Created Equal

Sadly, there isn’t an trade normal for figuring out sheens. So, sheens will range from producer to producer.

Probably the most important discrepancies are the mid-sheens like matte, eggshell, and satin. Study the paint retailer’s sheen card for reference or ask the supervisor for which end is greatest on your venture. 

Let’s have a look at every sheen in additional element…

Flat Sheen

A flat end displays little to no mild and seems uninteresting. Flat paint is among the hottest paints due to these properties. Because it isn’t shiny, it hides drywall imperfections and may be touched up simpler than the opposite sheens. 

It’s subsequent to inconceivable for drywall installers to make ceilings completely easy. For these causes, flat paint is right for ceilings.

House builders use flat paint for partitions to cover imperfections, seams, bowed partitions, and many others. Contractors additionally use flats sometimes in lighter colours for a similar causes.

I’m not implying builders are shady characters, however they’re within the enterprise of developing houses as shortly as doable. Utilizing a flat end quickens their work.

Whereas we’re on the subject of recent houses, most contractors supply new residence consumers the choice of upgrading to a matte or eggshell end. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that their markup is extravagant.

I all the time advise new householders by no means to go this route. Let your builder paint the house flat as a result of the house will settle after a yr, and often the contractor will repair nail pops and settling points.

As soon as that part is finished, you may repaint with a greater high quality paints. And it’ll be cheaper than what the builder quoted!

One more reason flats are contractors’ favorites is that they’re inexpensive. You should purchase good-quality flat paint from any main retailer for round $20 a gallon.  


  • Least costly
  • Hides defects and wall imperfections
  • Straightforward touch-up
  • Excellent for ceilings


  • Not washer-friendly (exhibits hand prints and scuffs)

Matte End

matte finish purple dining room

A matte end has a refined sheen however isn’t as shiny as an eggshell end. This end could be very versatile, and if you happen to splurge on top-end paint, it’s washer-friendly and provides rooms a lush look. 

I like to recommend matte finishes when purchasers paint rooms in a deep base coloration in eating rooms or places of work.

My go-to favourite is Benjamin Moore’s Regal in a matte end. The colour blends evenly, the paint is a dream to work with, and the end appears velvety. 

Mattes are additionally appropriate for tall partitions as a result of the decrease sheen hides drywall seams and different imperfections. 

The fee for matte paint jumps significantly from flat paints. Count on to pay $30-40 a gallon for high quality matte paint, whereas these like Regal bounce to $50-60 a gallon.


  • Good for taller rooms
  • Glorious for lush, regal colours
  • Washer-friendly


  • Costlier
  • Not perfect for high-traffic areas

Eggshell Sheen

Once I began as a painter, I made a standard rookie mistake.

I went to the paint retailer and ordered a gallon of eggshell. The clerk requested me what coloration. I rolled my eyes and replied, “Umm, eggshell.” He politely knowledgeable me that it was the sheen, not a coloration.

Possibly you’ve made this similar mistake! Most professionals affiliate eggshell with the end, though they’ll advocate eggshell colours due to this misunderstanding.

Eggshell sheen could be very in style with paint contractors and householders as a result of it’s washer-friendly and sturdy.

Designers and householders desire it for partitions as a result of it presents a wonderful distinction to the flat ceiling and glossy trim. 

Eggshell is probably the most versatile sheen, so it may be utilized in any room in the home, though I’d keep away from utilizing it for ceilings. 

The standard of paint you select may also have an effect on your price. Like matte finishes, eggshell paints are pricier than flats. And you’ll want to verify the sheen chart on the retailer.

I’ve seen some eggshells look extra like a satin end, which exhibits wall imperfections.  


  • Widespread sheen for partitions
  • Versatile; appropriate for any room
  • Washer-friendly


  • Can’t contact up; sheens will flash

Satin Sheen

Subsequent on our listing is a satin end. Because the title implies, satin offers a sublime end and appears like, you guessed it, satin. Whereas some individuals have used satin for partitions, most contractors and householders apply it to trim. 

Years in the past, satin would have been used on lavatory partitions or high-traffic areas as a result of it resists moisture and is extra sturdy than eggshell.

The disadvantage is a satin wall will accent each blemish, curler nap, brushstroke, and nail pop.

Let’s discuss particularly about satin for trim. As a result of as we speak’s paints are superior to these years in the past, a satin end will likely be as sturdy as a semi-gloss or gloss end.

It comes all the way down to what sheen you like; there isn’t a proper or fallacious reply. 

When you could also be tempted to make use of a less expensive paint on your trim, I all the time advocate utilizing the absolute best. Sherwin Williams Professional Basic and Benjamin Moore’s Advance are the perfect available on the market.

The settling agent in each implies that when brushed, the end will “settle” and look virtually such as you sprayed it.

These merchandise aren’t low-cost and vary within the $60-70 a gallon vary. Nevertheless, paint for trim goes a good distance, so that you gained’t want many gallons. 


  • Beautiful end on trim
  • Extra sturdy than eggshell, matte, and flat


  • Not suited to partitions
  • Costly when contemplating top-tier paint for trim

Semi-Gloss Sheen

semi floss yellow painted eggs

Semi-gloss is the “go-to” end on the trim in most houses. I’m positive some have used this end on partitions however hopefully just for impact or maybe a themed room.

Bear in mind, the shinier a paint, the extra it accents wall imperfections. 

When utilized to crown molding, the wooden pops within the mild and contrasts between a flat ceiling and a matte or eggshell wall. On doorways and thresholds, the sheen is sturdy and simple to wash. 

Concerning semi-gloss for trim, this comes down to non-public style. It might even be what’s presently in your house, so it’s greatest to stick with semi-gloss except you’re ready to repaint all your trim.

The one time I’ve used semi-gloss on a wall was for a fake venture. I used to be to color a boy’s room with Captain America colours. The proprietor needed the crimson stripes to be shiny, so I used semi-gloss.

However earlier than ordering paint, I defined that the sheen would spotlight nicks, dips, and seams. They insisted, and I complied. Whereas that’s a small instance, I by no means use semi-gloss on partitions. 

Count on to pay the identical quantity for an incredible semi-gloss paint as you’ll for satin. 


  • Widespread sheen for trim
  • Sturdy and washer-friendly


  • Not suited to partitions
  • Costly when contemplating top-tier paint for trim

Gloss Sheen

Final on our listing is gloss. You’ll additionally discover ultra-shiny finishes like high-gloss and people referred to as “moist look” for a extremely shiny end.

I’ll be specializing in the traits of gloss, however these attributes apply to those shinier finishes.

Because the title implies, gloss end is the shiniest sheen on our listing. It displays probably the most mild and presents a surprising look in sure conditions. Predominantly, gloss sheen is reserved just for trim.

As you may think about, if you happen to painted a wall with a gloss end, the dings, patches, seams, and different oddities would seem to leap off the wall. 

Like satin and semi-gloss, there isn’t a proper or fallacious when deciding on a sheen on your trim. Nevertheless, concentrate on the developments in your space, particularly if you happen to plan on promoting your own home. 

Utilizing a gloss end could deter future homebuyers.

The exception could also be when a entrance door is painted a shiny end. Gloss black on a entrance door can provide your own home a European look. However understand that darkish colours and excessive gloss present every little thing, even brush strokes. 

And if you wish to get that door to be as easy and glossy black as a Steinway piano, take a look at Wonderful Paints of Europe.

Whereas I’ve by no means used these merchandise, I’ll advise that that is for skilled painters solely and can price some huge cash and time!

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