4 Tips For Picking The Perfect Paint Sheen

Choosing the perfect paint color can be challenging in itself but then you have to consider what finish/sheen you want your color in– where to start?! The painting experts at Brown’s Family Painting can make recommendations on how to choose a paint finish that will fit the design and function of your space. Budget, aesthetic and cleanliness are some of the main considerations when selecting the perfect paint finish.


The Process Begins

Making the decision to finally have your space professionally painted is so exciting! You’re scrolling through Pinterest and pinning these stunning pictures as inspiration for your project. But now, it gets real and you have to choose the colors you’ll be seeing everyday. You decided that you love green but what type of green? Dark forest green? Sage green? Once you have decided the exact color, there’s one more decision to make: paint sheen.


Don’t fret, there are a lot fewer options of paint sheens than there are paint colors. While the finish you choose will partly be a decorative choice that will change how shiny your paint appears, there are also other factors at play when choosing the right paint sheen for your space.

The professionals at Brown’s Family Painting can help you with deciding on the perfect finish for your painting project.

In the meantime, here are some important questions to consider when it comes to selecting painting sheens:

#1 What Is Your Desired Aesthetic?



Let’s start with the basics: sheen refers to the amount of gloss or shine a paint film contains or how much light it reflects.

  • Flat/matte paint finishes have very little sheen and create a non-reflective appearance. These finishes will create a smooth and subtle look.

  • Eggshell paint and satin finishes provide a softer sheen, which appropriately mirrors the appearance of their namesakes.

  • Satin paint finishes have a higher sheen than eggshell but lower than semi-gloss.

  • Semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes (sometimes called pearl) are the most reflective and provide a bright sheen to create a glamorous aesthetic.

#2 How Much Traffic Does The Area Get?

Wearability and durability are the biggest considerations you should consider when selecting a paint finish. For example, walls (or trim) in high-traffic spaces need to be cleaned so the paint should withstand constant scrubbing with cleaning products.


  • Flat: Best used in low-traffic areas like master bedrooms, closets, formal dining rooms or as an accent wall

  • Eggshell: Best used in moderately used areas like guest bedrooms, living rooms or family rooms

  • Satin: Best used in high-traffic areas like kids bedrooms, entryways or kitchens

  • Semi-gloss: Best used in high-traffic and high-moisture areas like kids bedrooms, playrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms or kitchens

  • High-gloss (sometimes called pearl): Best used for fireplaces, doors kitchen cabinets or trim

#3 Are There Imperfections On The Surface?

If the surfaces you’re interested in painting are older or blemished, you’re going to want to select a matte or flat paint finish that is better at hiding these imperfections. Paints in a flat sheen are less reflective, so they do a good job masking minor nicks or scuffs, or uneven lumps and bumps.


They’ll provide a smoother appearance, even if that’s not the reality of what’s underneath.

#4 What Is Your Budget?


At Brown’s Family Painting, we work with Sherwin Williams Paints which can be exactly color matched to any color from any brand you choose. Higher costs are associated with higher sheens. Because high-gloss is the most durable of all the paint sheens, you’ll likely be saving on touch up costs in the long run. With a free estimate by Brown’s Family Painting you’ll be able to know what kind of finish will work for your project and you’ll get an idea of costs associated with each selection available in the proposal.

Let’s Start Painting!


Our team at Brown’s Family Painting is trained to help walk you through the process, from color to finish. Schedule your estimate online or by calling us at (916) 234-6842. Speak with a member of our staff about how to choose a paint finish that fits the goals of your space and your budget.

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