Reflecting on Sheen

Reflecting on Sheen

Reflecting on Sheen

There you stand, surveying your home…your home that is starting to look a little dull and dingy! Hmmm, a little home improvement might be a good idea. Wonder what those walls would look like with a fresh coat of paint!

You’ve decided to use latex paint and you have decided on the colours that will be just right for your home. The next decision before you begin your painting project is what sheen of paint will enhance your home and give it the feel that is just right. There are a few things to consider before making this decision.

You may be asking, what exactly is SHEEN. Well, I’ve got the answer…the sheen level of paint is the degree to which the painted surface reflects light.

Before you jump in and buy your paint to begin your home makeover, read the below tips and descriptions about the different paints you have to choose from.


Sheen: Flat paint has the lowest sheen and is totally non-reflective due to the fact that it diffuses light.

Dried: After Flat paint has been applied to a wall, it dries with a smooth, matte chalky finish.Living Room Paint Sheen

Advantages: Great at hiding any imperfections that were on the wall before you began your home improvement painting job. It will also hide any brush or roller marks that may be left behind after you have finished painting. Once dry it is also very good at hiding scratches and marks due to wear and tear. Flat paint is easy to touch up.

Disadvantages: Not suggested for high traffic areas as it holds on to dirt and grease and is not intended for surfaces that need to be washable. Flat paint does not stand up well to humidity and splashes.

Best places to use: Ceilings (not in the kitchen or bathroom though), walls with many imperfections, dinning-room, bedroom and living-room.

Where not to use: Kitchen and bathroom or high traffic areas.


Sheen: Egg-Shell has a slight sheen which can be seen when looking at the painted wall from an angle or when the wall is lighted from the side.

Dried: Once Egg-Shell paint has dried the look and feel is much like an actual egg-shell.

Advantages: Eggshell is more durable than Flat paint due to its’ protective coating. If you are re-decorating higher traffic areas then Eggshell is better suited to this than Flat paint, due to its’ protective finish, it is more resistant to chipping and dirt. Eggshell is very easy to repair and touchup.

Disadvantages: It is more durable than Flat paint but hard to clean, it requires some elbow grease to get it clean.

Where to use: Living-room, family rooms and hallways.

Where not to use: Very high traffic areas.

Family Room Paint SheenSATIN PAINT

Sheen: Satin paint is a little shinier than Egg-Shell.

Dried: Satin paint dries with a nice, warm, silky finish. This paint is a welcoming touch to any wall.

Advantages: With Satin paint you won’t have to scrub as hard as with Egg-Shell as it is easier to clean.

Disadvantages: If you scrub too hard on a wall painted with Satin paint you will dull the sheen which will leave your wall looking uneven. Satin paint is not as easy to touch up as Egg-Shell because any difference in sheen will be noticeable.

Where to use: Satin Paint is an excellent choice for your renovation project; it is very versatile when it comes to choosing which rooms to use it in. It can be used to paint trim/woodwork as well as being used on walls in family-rooms, bedrooms, laundry-rooms, kitchen and bathrooms.

Where not to use: In very high traffic areas and in any area where you know you will have to scrub the wall to clean it.


Sheen: Very shiny, reflects light.

Dried: Shiny and may show some brush marks.

Advantages: Due to its’ sheen it is the most scrubable paint.

Disadvantages: Most difficult to touch-up because the difference in sheen will show up. When painting with Semi-Gloss paint it is not uncommon for brush marks to show once the area has dried.

Where to use: Great for trims and moldings. It is also a wonderful choice for bathrooms and kitchens because it withstands humidity and stands up to stains, chipping and scuffing. A great idea for your home makeover is to use Semi-Gloss paint on doors, as this differentiates the door from the wall. Excellent for rooms that require frequent tough cleaning such as bathrooms and kitchens. If your bathroom and kitchen area do not have ceramics on the walls around the sink and stove area, semi-gloss paint would be a perfect alternative.

Where not to use: On walls with imperfections, as the trouble areas will stand out and be noticed. In bedrooms, as the sheen may be hard on the eyes and not induce a very relaxed atmosphere.


Sheen: Shiniest finish of all paint.

Dried: When painted on smooth surfaces, tends to look like plastic

Advantages: Very durable, easy to clean and withstands stains.

Disadvantages: Something to keep in mind when choosing Glossy Paint for your home improvement project, out of all the sheens of paint Glossy Paint is the hardest to touch-up because it will show a difference in the sheen. It will reflect every flaw in the wall and may even magnify it.

Where to use: Great on trims, molding, woodwork as it creates a contrast to the wall.

Where not to use: Glossy paint is usually not used on walls because it really shows up the imperfections as well as being very hard on the eyes.

With all the right information in hand, you are now ready to take the next step in your home improvement project…buying the paint. I hope this has been helpful, if you still need more information about your paint choice the staff at Genesis Renovation would be more than pleased to answer any questions you may have!