What is a sheen finish?
In paint technology, it describes the level of the glossiness/shininess of a paint product. Paint is chemistry in a can and the quality is reflected in the price. Resin is added to the paint to give it sheen and strength. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for, so don’t settle for cheap.
When doing a paint color consultation, a Professional Color Consultant will know which sheen to specify for a certain area, so it is good to be informed and query something if you notice a discrepancy.
Trends have changed over the years and I found that some of my clients have definite likes or dislikes when it comes to certain sheens
The last few years, whenever I visited a home tour in our local area, I noticed that the walls in many of the modern homes were painted with a flat paint, not even a matte finish. Personally, I am not fan of flat walls, I would much rather specify a Matte or Low Luster sheen if someone dislikes “shiny” walls
Let’s look at the applications, pros and cons of the most popular sheens
· Least reflective finish, not good to use in a dark room
· It has been described as rich and velvety and I totally disagree. There is nothing velvety about the chalky feeling when you rub your hand over a wall with a flat sheen to it.
· Difficult to clean. Not durable.
· Not ideal in high traffic areas with animals and energetic kids
· Flat paint is not resistant to moisture, not ideal for bathrooms or laundry rooms
· Easy to touch up, since there will be no shiny reflection that shows overlapping streaks
· Best to hide minor imperfections on drywall, but I would suggest having your walls or ceiling repaired before you have it painted
Where to use: Ceilings and low traffic areas
Matte/ Low Luster
As mentioned before, these sheens have been gaining popularity over the last few years, especially in super contemporary and modern homes.
· Slightly more reflective than flat
· Has a very smooth and subtle sheen when viewed at an angle
· Has added durability, meaning it would be easier to clean than Flat
· Could have the more velvety look if a good quality paint product is used
Where to use:
Master bedrooms, Media rooms, some accent walls.