When picking a paint, the hue certainly stands out as the main consideration. But once you’ve got a color, there’s still that pesky question of sheen. The difference between a flat paint and a high-gloss paint is probably clear, but what about the difference between eggshell and satin? And which works better for your needs?
Walls don’t stay perfect, but the paint sheen you choose can either hide your walls imperfections or amplify them. “Sheen” refers to the amount of gloss in the paint. It might not sound like much, but it can drastically affect the texture of your wall and the overall effect on your space. We can help you pick the paint sheen that will best cover whatever your home struggle is, from kids coloring on the walls to bumps and scrapes along the way. The higher the sheen, the easier to clean.
Here are some general rules of thumb.
Though it’s always preferable to get an opinion that’s specifically for your space, there’s always a couple of general tips to live by.
During your preliminary planning, keep these tips in mind:
– The lighter the color and the more flat a paint sheen you choose, the more it will hide most imperfections. This works great if you are looking to cover up some dents along the way.
– The darker a color is and the the more sheen or glossy paint you choose, the easier it is to wash. We recommend a darker and glossier color for those spaces that get dirty more often — or for where little hands and crayons can reach.
Some people are afraid to choose a flat paint sheen because of past experience — a low quality, apartment grade flat can have a chalky feel that people tend to avoid. High quality flats isn’t chalky at all, and can prove to be a great asset for certain projects. For example, tall great room walls with direct light shining on them look better in a flat finish that won’t throw too much light around.
Flat: (0 to 10% gloss) Primarily used for wall or ceiling paint, flat finishes don’t reflect light, so they’re perfect for masking wall imperfections. Flat paints are also more difficult to clean than other finishes, so it’s best to use them in places less subject to mess (bedrooms, dining rooms, etc.). Kids and pets don’t always mix well with flat finishes.
Eggshell: (10 to 25% gloss) Eggshell paints have a slight sheen and reflect a bit more light than a flat finish, but are not highly reflective. They’re easier to clean than most flat paints, and slightly more durable, but not as durable as a satin finish or semi-gloss. This is a good choice for walls.
Satin: (25 to 35% gloss) Satins are sometimes lumped in with eggshells, since they also have a light sheen, but they are slightly glossier than an eggshell finish. The subtle reflective qualities give walls a silky finish, adding just enough light to add a slight glow. Since they are durable enough to withstand most dirt and cleaning, they work well in high-traffic rooms (kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ rooms, etc.), and can also be used for trim.
Semi-gloss: (35 to 70% gloss) Semi-gloss paints go on smoothly and have a nice gleam without being incredibly shiny. These paints are great for window casings, molding, baseboards, doors, and other trim. They’re very easy to clean, and rather durable.
High-Gloss: (70% gloss and higher) High-gloss paints will give your walls a shiny, lacquer-like finish. While these paints can have quite a striking visual effect, they will betray your wall’s every imperfection, so properly preparing the walls for a high-gloss job can be arduous. That said, these finishes are very durable, easily cleaned, and make quite a statement.
This blog post was inspired by theapartmenttherapy.com and buckeyepaint.com
Sometimes a high gloss isn’t what you want. Sometimes the idea of a flat isn’t working for you.
Thankfully, there’s always a happy medium.
Eggshell is probably one of the most popular sheens out there (and no, it’s not a color like some people think — you can get any color in an eggshell sheen!) It’s got a healthy, muted gloss that is easier to clean than a flat, but not so much that it’s overly shiny. Because of it’s versatility, it’s a favorite for those spaces where you really need a little bit of the best of both worlds.
Palette Pro. Beautifully done.