The Difference Between Paint Sheens

Victoria Bryant
July 12, 2022

When painting the walls and ceilings of your commercial property, you must first understand the best solution regarding sheens. To be able to define the difference between paint sheens, you will need to understand how they differ in terms of appearance, performance, and durability.

Sheen describes the amount of reflection that is produced when a light source, such as a lamp or sunlight, hits the surface. Paint has a sheen level that is measured in gloss units. The higher the gloss value, the more enamel is used in creating it. The lower the gloss value, the less enamel it contains and the more matte it will appear when dried. Enamel is what gives paint its glossy effect, and it also affects how easily it can be cleaned.

When you're looking for paint for your commercial property, it is an important step to consider what level sheen you want. The sheen of your paint can have a big impact on the look and durability of your finished product. Here’s a breakdown of the different sheen options to consider for your specific needs:

High gloss provides a more durable finish for higher traffic areas because it's easy to clean and is very durable. High gloss also offers more protection from liquids than other types of finishes. This means that if there is a spill or a mess, it will be less likely to stain your walls when you use high gloss paint on them.

Semi-gloss is a step down from high gloss but is incredibly useful for areas that take a lot of abuse, high moisture areas, or high traffic areas. This type of paint doesn't have as much shine as its high gloss counterpart, but it is still easily cleaned and offers good protection against stains and other messes. Semi-gloss paints are also good for trim work where you want some extra luster without being too shiny overall.

Satin finish is highly versatile and has been described as velvety. This type of paint works well in medium-high traffic areas because of its durability.  It is also relatively easy to clean.  It has a matte finish that still provides a subtle shine making it great for walls or even trim work and door frames.  Due to its slight sheen, this finish can make it more difficult to hide imperfections or blend touch ups in the future.  

Eggshell is a sheen that much better at hiding imperfections, even brush strokes. Eggshell is similar to satin in its washability but has little to no sheen making it ideal for mild traffic areas, such as hallways or conference rooms where you want a durable finish without too much glare.

Flat is a finish with no shine, which is perfect for low-traffic areas, as it isn't as easy to clean as some of the other finishes. A flat finish brings a soft look to walls and camouflages imperfections incredibly well.

In the end, multiple options exist when it comes to choosing a sheen. Some are better suited to high traffic areas while others are more useful for boosting the style of walls. It is important to be sure to consider the traffic level, setting, and durability needed for your project so you select the sheen that's right for you. This will ensure you receive a great finished product for your specific needs every time. We believe it is vital to your business to have a professional paint job that reflects well on your company...with the proper sheen, that is!    

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