A Simple Guide To Select the Right Paint Sheen For Your Home

House Paint is the most commonly used cheap surface finish. It offers infinite varieties of colours and textures and also gives protection to the surface. Paint is available in different sheens to suit your requirements. Paint sheen is the glossiness of a paint finish. Paint sheen is about how much light is reflected from the surface of the paint when it dries. The level of paint sheen you choose has a significant impact on both appearance and serviceability. It also affects the colour perception of the occupants.
Different paint sheen will give you a different appearance of the surface for the same colour. The colour with higher sheen appears brighter and richer than the same colour with a lower sheen of paint. The paint sheen you choose for the different areas of your home will help you in following ways:

  • The sheen you select for a particular area can help to extend the durability of paint.
  • How easy it is to clean the surface? (i.e. scrub, stain and moisture resistant)
  • Aesthetical looks and feelings.
  • To hide defects and imperfections of a surface.

There are various sheen scales available and each has their own characteristics. Different sheens are used for specific rooms due to their performance, features, and aesthetic qualities. Higher the sheen, higher the durability of paint. Here we have given information on different types of paint sheens and their pros and cons, which will help you to select the right paint sheen for your home.

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Different Types of Paint Sheen and their Pros and Cons

01. Flat or Matte Finish

Flat or matte finish paint absorbs light rather than reflecting it. It has the least amount of shine because it is no-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish. Flat type of paint sheen is most commonly used for interior wall paints. Flat sheen is not recommended in children room as they can easily deteriorate it while playing.


  • It can quickly touch up and hide minor surface imperfections like undulations or cracks.
  • A matte finish is ideal paint sheen for low traffic areas.
  • It gives a calm and serene feeling, because of its textural element.
  • Excellent choice for older walls because it conceals flaws.
  • It is less expensive as compared to other paint sheens.


  • It gives poor light and gloomy look.
  • Matte finish paint holds the dirt and shows dirt marks and fingerprints very easily.
  • It is difficult to clean walls with matte finish paint as it can easily peel off.
  • Walls which have flat sheen need regular retouching.
  • It is more porous.

Recommended Areas:

Flat or matte finish is perfect choice for living room, dining room, bedrooms, ceilings of all rooms etc., where traffic is low.

02. Eggshell Finish

The eggshell sheen or finish is similar in appearance to the surface of an egg. It has a little more luster as compared to flat sheen but less than satin. Eggshell finish has a soft and velvety appearance.

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  • It has some reflectivity, more than flat paint.
  • It offers washability and resists stains and scuffs.
  • The eggshell finish does not highlight imperfections quite as much.
  • It offers more depth and warmth.
  • It is easy to apply and can cover well with a single coat.


  • The eggshell finish has less durability as compared to the satin finish. Refinishing is required periodically to increase its durability.
  • The paint can peel off if it is scrubbed hard to remove stains.

Recommended Areas:

Eggshell finish is perfect for dining room, gathering room, children’s room, etc. It will look elegant in rooms which receive natural sunlight as it will reduce the glare of the light.

03. Satin Finish

The satin finish gives the appearance like a pearl when dry. It is smooth and silky paint finish. Satin finish reflects more light than the eggshell finish. A satin finish is perfect for people who do not like glossy surfaces but want walls to be easily cleaned.


  • Satin finish offers good stain resistance and traps less dirt as compared to a matte finish.
  • The walls with satin finish are washable and scrubbable. They can be easily cleaned by washing or rubbing cloth to remove the dirt.
  • It has more durability as compared to matte and eggshell finish.


  • This type of paint sheen does not hide imperfections of the surface. Hence, it needs very well rendered wall surface.

Recommended Areas:

A satin finish is mostly used in family room, playroom, laundry room, dining room, children bedroom, trim and doors. The satin finish is the most commonly used paint sheen in interior walls.

Also Read: 7 Kid Friendly Flooring Options: A Guide For Parents!

04. Semi Gloss Finish

Semi gloss finish reflects the most of the light when dry and provides bright sheen. It has a slightly glossy appearance and but less reflective than glossy paints. It has excellent durability and washability.


  • Semi gloss finish offers excellent stain resistance, are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Stains can be easily cleaned by scrubbing, without peeling the paint.
  • It is most suitable for moderate to high traffic area.
  • Semi gloss finish can be used both for indoor as well as outdoor.


  • It brings out imperfection and hence needs very well finished wall surface.
  • The cost of semi gloss finish paint is more as compared to a satin finish and eggshell finish.

Recommended Areas:

Semi gloss finish is best paint sheen for doors, windows, trims, moldings, hallways, cabinets, kitchens and bathrooms, walls or ceilings with little to no blemishes.

05. Gloss Finish

Gloss finish is the highest level of paint sheen and highly reflective appearance imparting a slick and contemporary look. It has a glass like finish, reflecting most of the light from its surface.

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  • A gloss finish is the most reflective paint sheen.
  • It is sturdy, highly durable and stands up to multiple cleanings.
  • It is ideal for a surface that requires frequent washing.
  • Gloss finish adds energy and excitement in the house.
  • Due to its shiny nature, it tends to highlight characteristics of any surface.
  • It is an excellent choice for trim and cabinets.
  • Gloss finish can perform very well in high traffic areas.
  • Paint sheens with higher gloss brighten up the rooms. Hence, for rooms where natural daylight is restricted, gloss finish paint can help in the lightening of the room.
  • Glossy sheens provide a look similar to the plastic or enamel.


  • It can highlight surface imperfections and hence needs very well finished wall surface.
  • Gloss finish paints usually take longer time for drying.
  • It is costliest among all the paint sheens.

 Recommended Areas:

A gloss finish is usually used for painting trims, woodwork, moldings, doors, cabinets, kitchen, and bathrooms.
The above information will help you to select the right paint sheen for your home. Choosing the right paint sheen for your home depends on the look, durability, and ambience you want. It is recommended to select the paint sheen based on how much traffic the area will receive and the durability of the paint. For new homes, the selection of right paint sheen for the first time will help you to avoid the hassle of repainting frequently.

Also Read: 
20 Different Types of Paints for Interior & Exterior Surfaces
Various Linseed Oil Used in Paints and Varnishes
7 Reasons for Paint Failure on Interior Surfaces
Tips to Ensure Consistency of Paint in the Home

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