How to Choose The Right Paint Sheen for Your Awesome DIY Painting Project?


We often hear the term “finish” when it comes to discussing the appearance of paint but don’t know exactly what it means. Understanding the various sheens of paints can help when you’re making a decision about which one is best for your project.

The finish of a paint or stain can make all the difference in the look and feel of a project. It is important to consider the sheen of the paint or stain before beginning a paint job, as the sheen can have a dramatic impact on the final result. From glossy to flat, there is a wide range of sheens available, and each has its own unique characteristics. To help you select the right sheen for your project, here is a helpful guide to the various paint sheens and their benefits.

nterior walls and ceiling

Glossy Paints

The highest level of sheen is glossy. Glossy paints reflect light and show off their vibrant colors and finishes, making them perfect for trim and projects where you want to make a bold statement. However, they are more difficult to apply and can highlight any imperfections, so it is important to ensure a careful and even application to get the best results.


Semigloss finish reflects light slightly less than a glossy finish, but is still quite shiny. It is easy to clean and wipe down, and is a great option for door frames, trim, and walls, as it adds a nice, subtle shine to the surface. Additionally, it helps to reveal the details of the surface, making it a great choice for areas where you want to highlight certain features.

Satin and Pearl

Satin and pearl finishes are created using a combination of glossy and low-gloss paints, giving them a subtle, low sheen. This makes them ideal for high-traffic areas and surfaces that need to be easily washable, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They also provide an attractive textured finish that adds character to these rooms.

Flat and Matte

Flat and matte paint finishes are the ideal choice for those looking to conceal any imperfections on their walls. They provide a subtle surface that absorbs light, making it difficult to detect any blemishes or unevenness. Not only are they great for hiding any unsightly marks, but they are also highly durable, making them ideal for areas with a lot of foot traffic, such as hallways. With a matte finish, you can enjoy a clean, smooth surface without any of the shine of a glossier paint job.


Eggshell is an ideal finish for both walls and trim, providing a perfect balance between matte and glossy finishes. It is a combination of flat and pearl finishes, giving walls and trim just the right amount of luster without looking too shiny. Its subtle shine adds a touch of elegance to any room.

matte sheen

Choosing the Right Sheen

When it comes to selecting the right sheen for your project, there are a few important factors to keep in mind.

First and foremost, consider the surface. Is it flat or does it have some texture to it? Are there any imperfections that you want to hide or do you want to showcase the surface? The sheen that you choose should reflect the aesthetic you are going for.

Next, consider the amount of light that the space gets. Glossy surfaces reflect light while matte ones absorb it. If the surface will be exposed to a lot of light and activity, such as a door or window trim, then a semi-gloss or satin finish can stand up better to wear and tear.

Finally, consider your budget. Glossy paints are typically more expensive than flat or matte finishes, so they’re better suited to areas where you want to make a statement. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a subtle look, then matte and flat paints are a more budget-friendly option.

Once you’ve taken all of these factors into consideration, it’s time to pick the right paint sheen for your project. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the best finish for your project will depend on the surface, the amount of light it will get, and the budget you have to work with. While the glossier the finish, the more expensive the paint, it is important to make the right decision for your particular project.

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