April 13th, 2017

Choosing the Right Sheen for Your Home’s Paint Job

Looking to give your home’s paint a fresh start this spring? The sheen of your paint matters as much as the color you choose. Most do-it-yourself painters overlook the sheen when deciding how to paint a room, but according to Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute, paint sheen affects the long term performance of a paint job so painters should be mindful of the sheen.

Basically, the higher the sheen, the higher the shine and the higher the shine, the more durable the paint job will turn out to be. Flat paint typically is the least reflective with almost no shine, followed by increasingly glossy finishes like matte, eggshell, semi-gloss and the shiniest choice – high gloss. Glossier and shinier paint sheens are usually much easier to clean, which also is useful to know.

Here’s a helpful cheat sheet for when choosing the right paint sheen for your home improvement job.

  • Kitchen:

Kitchens are clear candidates for semi-gloss or even high gloss wall paint, since they are frequented by guests, children and pets. As one of the most visited rooms in the house, a kitchen’s paint job should be durable and easy to clean.

kitchen counter - hi res

  • Family Room:

A family room is another room in the house that usually experiences high traffic. When painting your home’s family room, it should be easily cleaned since it’s one of the more used rooms in a home. A satin finish is recommended in family rooms, according to House Logic and The National Association of Realtors®.

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  • Bedroom:

Low traffic areas like spare or guest bedrooms can get away with flat or matte finishes and low sheen paint, since they are not typically as busy as other main rooms in the house. High pigment wall coverage is a way to save money in bedrooms that aren’t used to as much traffic.

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  • Bathroom:

Bathrooms could be candidates for semi-gloss or high gloss wall paint because more people are in and out of bathrooms. Semi-gloss is also a good option for rooms where moisture drips and grease stains could possibly challenge walls which would come in handy when painting a bathroom.

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  • Dining Room:

Eggshell is a great finish for rooms that don’t typically get a lot of bumps and scuffs, with an example being a home’s dining room. Eggshell finishes will end up with a clean, smooth-looking wall.

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When choosing to start a home improvement project, paying attention to the paint sheen will pay off and the difference will be apparent. Guests will be impressed with the high quality paint job that do-it-yourself homeowners can easily achieve with a little bit of help and guidance.