How Do I Know What Sheen Of Paint To Use?

Sep 12, 2023

Choosing the Right Paint Sheens for Your Home

Choosing the right sheen of paint is an important decision when planning a painting project. The sheen of paint refers to its level of glossiness or shininess, and different sheens have different characteristics that make them suitable for specific areas of your home. Here’s our guide to help you choose the right sheen of paint for your next home improvement project in Columbus Ohio:

Types of Paint Sheens

Flat or Matte Sheen: Low-Key and Stylish

Flat or matte paints have an almost velvety texture, providing a smooth, non-reflective finish. They effortlessly mask wall imperfections, creating a serene backdrop for any room.

Choose flat or matte sheen in quieter areas like adult bedrooms, dining rooms, and ceilings. They’re great for creating a calming ambiance and covering up flaws on your walls, allowing your decor to take center stage.

Eggshell Sheen: Subtle Shine, Easy to Maintain

Eggshell sheen offers a delicate, slightly glossy appearance, similar to the texture of an eggshell. It’s more washable compared to flat paint, making it both elegant and practical.

Eggshell sheens are perfect for everyday living spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. If you want washability without too much gleam, eggshell is your go-to choice. Its subtle sheen adds a touch of warmth and versatility to these areas, making them feel welcoming and easy to maintain.

Satin Sheen: Balanced Shine and Durability

Satin paints have a mild shine that’s both washable and durable, surpassing flat or eggshell finishes in terms of resilience. They strike a balance between elegance and toughness.

Satin sheens are ideal for high-traffic areas of your home like kitchens, bathrooms, and children’s bedrooms. It’s also a solid choice for trim and doors, bringing both style and toughness to the mix. Satin’s balanced sheen keeps these areas looking fresh and welcoming even in the face of daily wear and tear.

Semi-Gloss Sheen: Noticeable Luster, Easy to Clean

Semi-gloss sheen boasts a noticeable shine, making it highly washable and durable. It’s your best friend when it comes to reflecting light effectively, infusing spaces with a bright, inviting atmosphere.

Semi-gloss sheens are ideal for moisture-prone spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. You’ll also find it used on trim, molding, and doors, enhancing their appearance while providing top-notch performance. Semi-gloss’s shine brightens spaces, making them feel open and airy.

Gloss Sheen: Maximum Shine and Durability

Gloss paints shine at the highest level, offering remarkable durability and effortless cleaning. They bring a bold and glamorous touch to any surface you use it on.

Gloss sheens are mostly reserved for specific applications, such as painting furniture, cabinets, or accent features. It’s less common on walls due to its high gloss, which can be overwhelming for larger surfaces. Gloss’s dazzling finish turns ordinary furniture and cabinetry into eye-catching statement pieces.

High-Gloss Sheen: Ultimate Brilliance

High-gloss sheen takes shine to the extreme, providing the greatest durability and ease of cleaning. It delivers a level of brilliance that leaves no surface unnoticed.

Save high-gloss for special applications like trim, doors, and cabinets where you want an exceptionally glossy finish to make a bold statement. High-gloss creates a luxurious and polished look, ensuring these features stand out.

Remember, the sheen you choose can transform the look and feel of your space, so consider both aesthetics and functionality when making your decision. And if you ever need expert guidance or professional painting services, our team is here to help!

More Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paint Finish

Colors, Shines, Glosses, and More

When it comes to choosing the perfect paint sheen for your home, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s not just about picking a color that you like; it’s about understanding how different sheens can impact your spaces. Here are some more factors to consider when choosing paint sheens:

Function: Matching Sheens to Your Space’s Purpose

Think of your space’s purpose as your guiding star. Are you decorating a high-traffic area where kids and pets roam freely? Maybe you’re tackling a moisture-prone zone like the bathroom? In these cases, durability and washability should be top priorities. Semi-gloss and satin sheens are great options, ensuring your walls can withstand the hustle and moisture.

On the flip side, if you’re curating a serene adult bedroom or a cozy dining room, consider the softer touch of flat or matte sheens. These create an understated elegance, making them perfect for spaces where you want to be more relaxed.

Aesthetics: Crafting the Look and Feel

The aesthetics of a room are like its personality, and paint sheen plays a pivotal role in crafting that character. Flat and matte paint sheens are the introverts, bestowing a gentle, subtle appearance that lets other elements shine. They’re like a canvas that allows your furniture and decor to take the spotlight.

On the other hand, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss sheens are the extroverts of the paint world. They bring drama and sophistication, catching the eye with their soft gleam. If you’re aiming to create a room that exudes glamour and elegance, these sheens will be your best friends.

Maintenance: Balancing Cleanability and Flaw-Hiding

Maintenance is a critical factor to consider. High-gloss paints are the neat freaks of the bunch. They’re easy to clean, making them perfect for spaces where spills and splatters are common. However, beware that their high shine can be like a magnifying glass, highlighting imperfections on your walls.

Matte paints, on the other hand, are more forgiving. They excel at hiding those minor bumps and blemishes but may not handle frequent scrubbing as well. So, strike a balance between a cleanable surface and one that’s forgiving when considering maintenance.

Lighting: Sheen’s Play with Light

Let’s not forget about the lighting! Sheen can impact how light bounces around your space. Higher sheens like satin, semi-gloss, and gloss can make a room appear brighter by reflecting light. So, if you’re working with a dimly lit space, they can be your secret weapons to add radiance.

On the other hand, flat and matte sheens absorb more light, creating a cozier, more intimate atmosphere. It’s all about the mood you want to set and how light contributes to it.

Personal Preference: Trust Your Instincts

Finally, trust your gut. If a certain sheen speaks to you and complements your vision for the space, don’t be afraid to embrace it. After all, your home should reflect your personality and style.

Before committing to a sheen, give it a test run. Grab a small sample of the paint and apply it to a portion of your intended space. Observe how it behaves in different lighting conditions and how it interacts with your decor. It’s like a dress rehearsal for your walls, ensuring they’re ready for opening night.

Choosing the right paint sheen is a blend of art and science. You should consider your space’s function, aesthetics, maintenance needs, lighting, and your unique taste. If you ever find yourself in need of expert advice or professional painting services, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Choosing the Right Sheen for Each Room

When it comes to selecting the right paint sheen for each room in your home, it’s essential to consider not only the aesthetics but also the functionality of your spaces. Different rooms serve different purposes, and the paint sheen you choose can significantly impact how well the room serves its intended function.


For adult bedrooms where tranquility and relaxation are important, flat or matte sheens are ideal. They create a soft, calming atmosphere that promotes restful sleep.

Living Room

The living room is often the heart of the home, a space where you want a touch of elegance without sacrificing durability. Eggshell sheen strikes the perfect balance, offering a subtle shine and ease of cleaning.


Kitchens can be bustling hubs of activity, where spills and splatters are common. Satin sheen is an excellent choice here, as it combines a gentle shine with washability, making it easy to maintain.


Bathrooms are high-moisture areas that require paints capable of withstanding humidity and frequent cleaning. Semi-gloss sheens excel in these environments, providing a noticeable shine and excellent resistance to moisture.

Dining Room

The dining room is a space for gatherings and special occasions. A soft satin sheen lends an inviting atmosphere, allowing you to create a dining area that’s both stylish and practical.


Hallways often endure heavy foot traffic and occasional scuffs. Satin or semi-gloss sheens are up to the challenge, offering both durability and an appealing shine.


When it comes to ceilings, flat or matte sheens are the go-to choice. They provide an unobtrusive, non-reflective finish that complements the overall look of the room without drawing attention to the ceiling.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint Sheen

While the above guidelines cover most rooms in your home, there are specific situations where you may need to deviate from the norm and consider special applications:

Painting Furniture

When painting furniture pieces, such as tables, chairs, or dressers, gloss or high-gloss sheen can achieve a polished, eye-catching look. This high shine adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your furniture.

Accent Walls

If you’re looking to create a focal point in a room, consider using a sheen that contrasts with the rest of the walls. A semi-gloss or gloss sheen can make your accent wall stand out, drawing attention to the unique design or color.

Trim and Molding

Trim and molding are the finishing touches in a room. Semi-gloss or high-gloss paint sheens can be used here to add definition and highlight architectural details. Their reflective properties create a polished, upscale look.

Exterior Surfaces

When it comes to the exterior of your home, durability is important. Depending on the material and the level of exposure to the elements, you may opt for satin, semi-gloss, or even gloss sheens to improve the longevity of your exterior paint job.

Contact Classic for Interior Painting Services Today

Choosing the right paint finish is like picking the perfect brushstroke for your canvas. It’s a decision that not only impacts the look and feel of your space but also influences how well it serves its purpose. The right paint sheen can make all the difference, whether you’re trying to create a serene bedroom or a lively living room.

Remember, it’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about functionality too. Make sure you consider the room’s traffic, your lighting conditions, and of course, your personal preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with paint samples to make sure the sheen you’re considering is right for you.

At Classic Inc. we understand that choosing the right paint sheen is a fun but challenging process. We’re here to offer our expert advice and professional painting services to help you transform your home. Our team can help you make the right decision when it comes to painting colors, sheens, and more.

Ready to start your next home painting projects? Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate. Call us at (614) 221-0505 to get started!