What Is Paint Sheen?

Paint Sheen OptionsIt’s no secret that painting is one of the easiest ways of transforming the look of your home, both inside and out. Not only does it offer protection for your trims, floors, ceilings, and walls, but it also enhances the appearance of the entire home. However, to have a successful painting project, you want to make sure you choose the right paint sheen for your home decorating project. Choosing the right paint sheen is vital because they offer varying amounts of durability making some better than others for the different rooms in your home.

What Is Paint Sheen?

Paint sheen refers to the level of shine or the amount of light that is reflected on the surface. It also can help you determine the durability of the painted surface. This is because the more sheen there is in the paint, the more durable it will be. There are several types of sheens depending on the finish you desire for the surface. When you select a paint product for your project, you will want to pay attention to the type of sheen or finish noted on the label.

Different Types of Paint Sheen


Matte or flat has very little to no sheen and can be used for a variety of interior painting projects. Its non-reflective, dull finish provides a calm, cool feel to the space. It’s an excellent choice for low traffic areas such as ceilings, dining room and bedroom walls. And since it doesn’t reflect light, it’s best for hiding wall imperfections and blemishes. It is also easy to touch up without having to repaint an entire wall. However, the absence of sheen makes it the least durable than other types of finishes.

Paint FinishEggshell

Eggshell has a slight sheen, so it is a bit more durable than a flat or matte finish. It has a low luster appearance with an eggshell-like texture that adds warmth and depth to a room. Just like a flat or matte, an eggshell finish is great for hiding imperfections in the surface. Also, its sheen is more resistant to dirt and moisture making it an excellent choice for most interior walls like the bedroom, den or living room.


Satin is a low-luster finish that has enough sheen to make it durable for high traffic areas without being too shiny. It’s easy to clean and maintain making it a great choice for children’s bedrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.


Semi-gloss paint has a high sheen level providing a shinier surface than most other types of finishes. It is highly resistant to moisture and mildew so it’s very durable and easy to clean. It is an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, playrooms and bedrooms. Since higher sheen finishes can show blemishes or other surface imperfections, it is best to start with a clean, flat surface.


High-gloss has a very shiny finish, reflecting the most amount of light. It creates a durable, easy to clean surface that resists scratches, light and moisture. High gloss is an excellent choice for exterior surfaces or high traffic interior spaces where you want to create a washable surface.

Need help in choosing the right sheen for your painting project? Give the professionals at Lakeland Painting a call and we’ll be glad to help you pick the best paint colors and finishes for any interior or exterior painting project.