Choose the Right Paint Sheen

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Paint sheen crestwood interior Sheen describes the amount of light reflected.

Everybody knows about color; not many know about sheen. But it is just as  important when choosing paints. So here we go!

Sheen is another way to say "light reflectance". Kitchen cabinets are usually higher-gloss surfaces and so reflect more light that most ceilings (flat sheen).

One is not better than the other - but there are trade-offs and considerations in choosing which sheen is best for a particular application.

Flat paints

  • Hide surface imperfections because they reflect very little light
  • Paint is more porous and so can be more difficult to clean
  • High quality flat paint always outperforms lower quality

paint sheens interior kansas city Egg-Shell, Satin, Semi-Gloss, Gloss, High Gloss

  • Enhance surface imperfections through reflection
  • Somewhat easier to clean because the surface is less porous

You can see that it's not just a choice of Flat or Gloss. Each manufacturer has a range of sheens and that range often varies between product lines. Examples in Sherwin Williams' line:

  •  Cashmere (a premium wall paint) comes in Flat, Low Lustre and Medium Listre
  • SuperPaint (standard wall paint) comes in Flat, Satin & Semi-Gloss
  • ProMar 200 (commercial grade paint) comes in Flat, Eg-Shel, Low Sheen, Semi-Gloss, Gloss - yes, 5 different sheens_._

It's important to know that sheens are not consistent between product lines: Cashmere Flat has a very different look that SuperPaint Flat.

There are rules of thumb for sheen, but they are only a very rough guide. For example, I like a bit of sheen on the exterior, but my wife does not. Therefore our house is, of course, flat sheen.

  • Flat - ideal for ceilings, master bedrooms and formal living rooms. The minimal light reflectance creates a soothing, comforting environment.
  • Eggshell - slightly more light reflectance than Flat and is ideal for living spaces and bedrooms.
  • Satin - the middle sheen that's suitable for almost all applications. This finish is excellent for family rooms, kids' rooms and hallways.
  • Semi-Gloss - can reflect 35 to 50% of the light that enters a room. Good for areas with more use that may require frequent cleaning such as bathrooms, kitchens and trim.
  • High Gloss - a more decorative, eye-catching enamel finish that is ideal for applications such as front doors or other select trim elements.

If you'd like some suggestions on paint sheen for your home or office, call Crestwood Painting today.

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