Paint Sheen Differences And The Rooms They Are Best For

Using The Best Sheen For Certain Areas Can Make Your Ann Arbor Home Look Better For Longer
Pouring paint into a bucket

Miss out on peeling paint, cleaning walls, and regret by knowing paint sheen differences. The following 5 work better in different areas for many reasons. The sheens covered here are flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.

You can find out the differences and where they’re best used in the post below.

You Gonna Learn Today!

“Almost, but there’s a better paint sheen choice for this room.”

Todd can’t help but smile at the frown on Timmy’s face. Todd also didn’t know anything about painting or sheens when he first started and he’s sure he had the same look on his own face many times.

Two painters discussing paint sheen differences

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to remember this,” Timmy sighs sadly. “Sure you will, it just takes practice. The owners only want to get a painting estimate right now so there’s no pressure. Let’s go over paint sheen differences and where to use them again,” Todd reassures him.

Here is what Todd tells Timmy about the differences in sheens.

5 Paint Sheens And Their Differences

  1. Flat paints are the least shiny, are easy to touch up, but are hard to clean
  2. Eggshell paints are slightly shiny, easier to clean, and more durable
  3. Satin paints are easy to clean and mildew resistant
  4. Semi-gloss paints are pretty shiny and water-resistant but show imperfections in the wall
  5. Glossy paints are the shiniest and most durable but show imperfections easily
Freshly painted living room

“Ok I think I got it but I feel like there’s more I need to know, like where they are best used. The differences in paint sheens mean they work better in different rooms, right?” Timmy asks.

“Right! Let’s take a look at where they are best used,” Todd says with a smile.

Where These Sheens Are Best Used

Each of these sheens work better in certain rooms of the house. Some stand up to heat and moisture better, others are easier to clean, and some just plain look better.

Flat Paint Sheens

Flat paints are best for low traffic areas like master bedrooms and fancy dining rooms. This is because they are hard to clean. The longer the stain or smudge stays on there the harder it will be to remove and if you scrub too hard you’ll hurt the paint.

Flat paint sheen on bedroom walls

“But flat sheens are great because they hide imperfections in the wall really well,” Timmy spouts excitedly. “That’s right! Now let’s look at eggshell paint sheen differences.”

Eggshell Paint Sheens

Eggshell paints are one of the most popular sheens for walls. It’s great for medium traffic areas like hallways, entrances, living rooms, and family rooms. It’s not quite shiny but not quite flat either, making it easier to clean and more durable. 

Eggshell paint sheen on basement walls

“Yeah, and they have a soft, kinda velvety look, right?” Timmy asks hesitantly. “Now you’re catching on. The third sheen we’re going over is satin.”

Satin Paint Sheens

Satin paints are most popular for trim and cabinet work. This makes it ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kid rooms. It’s easy to clean and mildew resistant.

Satin paint sheen used for gray kitchen cabinets

“So it works best in places that have a lot of moisture in the air.” Timmy notes. “Correct! Now, on to semi-gloss paint sheen differences.”

Semi-Gloss Paint Sheens

Semi-gloss paints are great for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. It’s very easy to clean and can stand up to moisture quite well. It’ll show imperfections on walls and ceilings more easily though.

Bathroom painted with semi-gloss paint

“Sounds like it works great for painting trim and maybe some other areas,” Timmy guesses. “True, it mostly comes down to the home owner’s preferences. And here we are at the last paint sheen.”

Glossy Paint Sheens

Glossy paints are ideal for cabinets, doors, and trim work. The shininess of it makes it a less popular choice for walls because of the glare. 

Glossy paint sheen for white kitchen cabinets

Get It? Got It. Good!

“Well, Timmy, how do you feel now about sheen differences and where to use them in a house?” Todd asks in a mentor-ly way. “Pretty good! Now I just need to remember the popular interior paint colors for Ann Arbor homes.”