Paul's Corner Blog

Paint Sheens Explained


Paul the Painter

July 10, 2018

If you find yourself ready to paint your walls, the first and most exciting step in doing so is finding the perfect shade to use. Of course, when you find that perfect color, you will find that there are several different paint sheens to choose from. You might ask yourself if the paint sheen even matters. The truth is that choosing the right paint sheen is important. Here at My Arlington Painter, we want to make sure that you know why the sheen is important for your walls.

Sheen Paint Types

There are five main sheens of paint. They are gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, flat, and satin. These sheens will determine what your paint will look like once it has dried.


Satin sheens are a bit glossier than eggshell sheens. Many paint manufacturers will forgo satin for eggshell. In some cases, they may offer both. But the difference between satin and eggshell, is only a small amount of gloss, so it makes little difference in the end outcome.


Semi-gloss is more washable than other options. It is commonly used in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and the laundry room. It is also moisture resistant.


If you want your paint color to stand out, you should choose gloss. Gloss paint is the easiest of the sheens to clean. It is popular for doors, cabinets, and trim.


A paint with a flat sheen is going to have the least amount of gloss. It gives off little glare and can hide imperfections in the walls. A downside to flat sheens is that they are not the easiest option to clean. Flat sheens are typically seen on ceilings.


Eggshell is commonly seen in most interior walls. It has a bit of gloss so that it creates a great look, but it still holds the ability to minimize the look of imperfections. It is also easier to wash without pulling off the paint. Eggshell paint is typically used in living areas, including bedrooms.

Now that you know the differences between paint sheens, it will be easier for you to choose the best applications in your home. Remember you should always use a semi-gloss in areas like the bathroom and laundry room where moisture is a concern. If you find yourself needing to paint difficult areas, or you simply do not want to do it yourself, call My Arlington Painter today. We will​ make sure to advise you on the best sheens for each area and we guarantee to leave you with professional results.

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