It doesn’t matter how cosy your house is; a perfect paint to your walls can make a huge difference. So, this could be the perfect weekend DIY if you can work for 2 -3 hours. These 2 -3 hours of work can transform the look of your home.

There’s a basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing paint sheens: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine — and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be.

How To Choose The Right Sheen For Your Home?

Before you get into choosing the right sheen for your home, it is better to understand what paint sheen is!

So, what is a paint sheen? Paint sheen is used to measure the amount of light that gets reflected from various types of paints. Higher sheen paints are more resistant to scratching and easier to clear, whereas lower sheen paints are suitable for eyes and are less reflective.

The amount of sheen used in a paint can significantly impact the color and look of the walls and rooms. So, You must understand the different sheens performance and uses to save your time and create a beautiful house interior that you have always dreamt of!

Types of Paint Sheen

You can find several paint sheens that provide different levels of shine. But all of them are different in features, look and durability.

Let’s go through them to understand what fits best for different areas of our home.

High Gloss

The High gloss paint sheens are most durable and reflective (best for highlighting an area). They are easy to clean and are hard.

You should use a high gloss paint sheen for cabinets, doors and trims. These are the areas where we touch most, causing stains. Since high gloss is easy to clean, it is perfect for areas that need protection from scuffs and gets stained generally.

Best for – Kitchen, window trims and doors.

Durability – Very high


Semi-Gloss has a higher shine than satin and Eggshell and is better for places where protecting walls from moisture, drips and wall stains becomes a challenge.

Semi-gloss is also great for areas with high traffic and activities like children’s rooms and bathrooms.

Since higher sheens highlight the walls’ imperfection, it is better to use semi-gloss as texture to interior walls.

Best for – Children’s room, bathrooms, trims and kitchen

Durability – High


Satin is generally described as velvety and has a bit of shine. It is easy to clean and therefore is perfect for medium traffic areas.

However, satin is perfect for bedroom walls, application flaws are visible like brush strokes and roller strokes.

Best for – bedroom, hallways and foyers

Durability – High


Pearl contains medium gloss and has high durability. It is good for walls having high traffic areas and beautiful and easy to clean.

Pearl finish can be used almost everywhere, including wainscoting to doors and places with high humidity.

However, painting flaws can be easily seen in pearl sheen.

Best for – bathroom and high humidity areas.

Durability – High


Eggshell is flat, having a little lustre, just like a chicken egg, and hence it got named Eggshell. This sheen covers the wall imperfections well and is best suited for places having gatherings.

It is excellent for bedroom walls and living spaces. Not suited for pet areas.

Best for – dining and living rooms

Durability – Medium.

Flat or Matte

If you have imperfect walls like scratches, holes and bumps, flat and matte paint is best to hide these imperfections.

Flat or Matte paint has no shine in them, and therefore the colors are displayed beautifully on walls. It also saves a lot of time and money as it contains most pigments.

However, you cannot clean wall-stains without taking the paint off the walls.

Best for – rooms that can’t get roughed up by kids and pets.

Durability – Medium-low.

Ceiling Flats

As the name says, ceiling flats are basically designed for ceilings. These are splatter resistant to make the paint application perfect.

Tips for Choosing Right Sheen

The sheen also depends on how darker or lighter the paint you are using. Darker paints have more colorant that boosts sheen. (Here are some tips to choose the right paint for your exterior house painting.)

If you use a dark paint color and don’t need extra shine on your walls, go down on the sheen level.

The more sheen you add, the more wall imperfections will be visible.

Remember, adding sheen also adds up the cost to your paint, usually $1 – $2 per gallon.

How is Sheen Measured?

Sheen is measured on a dry paint surface reflected at an angle of 85 degrees. The light gets deflected into a receptor that measures the percentage of light getting deflected for the sheen.

Different paint manufacturers use different angles to determine and categorize their paint sheen.

What are different sheens of paint?

Generally, there are 5 paint sheens that every paint manufacturer make– High Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin, Eggshell and Flat or Matte.

What is the best paint sheen?

The best sheen depends upon the area you want to paint. If you are looking for a paint sheen for your bathroom, High Gloss or Semi-Gloss would be the best.

Does paint sheen affect color?

The sheen of paint can change the color of your room. A paint color can be lighter or darker in flat or matte finish as compared to a high gloss or semi-gloss sheen of the same paint color.

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