Different Types of Paint Sheens

Room with green paint | Flowers Painting

A paints “sheen” simply refers to how glossy the paint is. This can be an important factor for interior painting projects. The glossier the paint, the shinier it is and the easier it will reflect the light. Any can of paint will clearly indicate which type of gloss the paint is – but how do you know which gloss to pick? Would a high gloss work in a particular area, or perhaps a satin gloss? This blog will help you decipher the different paint sheen types and provide a simple guide for what sheen should go where. 

If you are not worried about the gloss, that’s okay. You can get by with the same gloss throughout your entire home, as long as you find a paint sheen that you like. But for houses with pets and children and homes that are using a number of different paint colors, gloss can be a more important factor. Here’s what Flowers Painting suggests. 

High Gloss:

Flowers Painting recommends a high gloss sheen for kitchens, windows and doors. High gloss paints are more reflective and will help brighten a room. However, high gloss paints have additional advantages as well. A high gloss makes them particularly easy to clean when compared to other paint sheens, and stains will not seep into the paint as easily if an accident does occur. These advantages are what makes high gloss the perfect sheen for kitchens, since you may need to clean off spills or evaporated cooking oils from the walls. High gloss is also a good choice for windows and doors, where wiping off fingerprints becomes much easier. 


Semi-gloss paints have some of the same benefits of high gloss paints but aren’t quite as shiny. Semi-gloss is a very versatile paint that looks great in almost any shade and can also be cleaned easily when necessary. Flowers Painting suggests using it in your kitchen or bathroom. It’s also a good choice for trim work. 


Satin finish is the most popular interior paint choice and fits a wide variety of applications while looking great. While you can clean satin paint, you can’t scrub it as you can high gloss paints without risking damage. For this reason, Flowers Painting recommends utilizing satin sheen paint in areas that might need occasional cleaning but aren’t exactly high-traffic areas in your home. Satin is most suitable for family rooms, kid’s rooms and foyer. 


Eggshell paints are not reflective and have more of a subdued appearance. They are also more difficult to clean than glossier paints. That said, they are still a very popular choice for interior paint sheen. Flowers Painting suggests selecting an eggshell sheen for areas of the home that rarely need to be cleaned, such as the dining room and living room. Avoid areas where the walls get touched frequently or bumped up against on a regular basis. 

Flat or Matte:

The lowest gloss paints are either flat or matte. This class of paint is a latex paint that is very classy and quiet. The lack of any luster makes these paints good for quiet, private areas such as adult bedrooms. 

There are no steadfast rules when it comes to selecting a paint sheen for a particular area in your home. If you have questions about what would work best in a particular area simply schedule a free in-home painting consultation and discuss your painting project with one of our experts. Flower Painting is a full-service commercial and residential painting company that services the entire Charlotte, NC metro area, including Mooresville, Kannapolis, Concord, Denver, Davidson and more. Call today to schedule your free interior painting project (704) 445-7750. Hurry, our holiday promotion to take 10% off your entire project ends 12/31/19.