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What Are The Sherwin Williams Sheens? [Finishes]

Are you planning on repainting your home and want to know more about sheen terminology and the benefits and downfalls of the different sheens? Well, you've come to the right place. We've put together this guide to help you decide which sheens will best suit your home and the effect they have. 

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The sheens available from Sherwin Williams include flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. These sheens each offer different levels of reflectivity that impact the overall look of the paint color. 

So what do each of these sheen terms stand for, and how will they impact your decision? Keep reading to learn about each sheen and the impact they have.

Painting the room, empty apartment ready for renovation - What Are The Sherwin Williams Sheens [Finishes]

What Is A Paint Sheen?

The sheen, or finish, associated with a paint will determine how much light reflects off the painted surface once the paint is dry.

Flat paint will have very little light reflection capabilities while gloss paint will create a very shiny surface. The amount of light the paint reflects carries an impact on the color's appearance and the paint's durability.

How To Choose A Sheen

The sheen you choose will depend on the look you want to achieve and the amount of durability you desire in your paint. This can vary from room to room depending on the amount of traffic each area sees regularly. You will need to decide which sheens would be best suited to each room of your home.

Flat Paint

Moving House Concept with Cardboard Boxes and Wall Painting.

Flat paint is also commonly referred to as a "matte" finish. It reflects little or no light and is generally considered one of the least durable finish options available, although advances in its durability are being made. Flat paint is the best option to achieve the truest color without any dilution due to light reflection. 

Prestige Paints In Dover White

This flat white paint is comparable to Sherwin Williams's "Dover White" color. It's available in multiple finishes as well as interior and exterior varieties.

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Eggshell Paint

Painting the room, empty apartment ready for renovation

An eggshell finish is probably the most common option for interior wall paint. It has slightly more reflectivity than a flat paint, so the color remains true. But the addition of some gloss offers more durability than flat paint. While the gloss will be noticeable, it won't be overwhelming. 

Prestige Paints Egg White

This paint is comparable to Sherwin Williams's "Egg white" shade. It's a great neutral color for any room and the eggshell finish offers a low sheen and good protection.

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Satin Paint

Paint with a satin finish has a level of sheen that lies between eggshell and semi-gloss. If semi-gloss seems too shiny and eggshell isn't quite durable enough, then satin might be the perfect choice for you. It's a great option for home gyms since it's more durable than eggshell without a heavy gloss.

Prestige Paints In Pure White

This paint color is comparable to Sherwin Williams's "Pure White" shade. It's available in a satin finish for the perfect amount of durability versus sheen.

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Semi-Gloss Paint

Render Yellow color painting by the roller brush and wall texture background with space for advertising header or details

Paint with a semi-gloss finish is more glossy than flat or eggshell finishes. This is typically used when you need greater durability than flat or eggshell finishes can offer. It's also a good option for playrooms or homes with pets since it wipes clean easily.

Prestige Paints In Chamomile

This paint is comparable to Sherwin Williams's "Chamomile" shade. It's a lovely off-white color that comes in a semi-gloss finish for high durability.

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Gloss Paint 

Preparing to paint the wall. Painting tools on a metal ladder.

Use gloss paint when you need maximum durability or want a high-gloss finish with heavy reflectivity. This paint would be a great option if you want to protect the walls in a high-traffic area of your home.

Gloss paints are often used in kitchens and bathrooms since they're very easy to wipe clean and offer great stain resistance.

Rust-Oleum White Latex Paint

This high-gloss paint is perfect when you need the highest possible level of durability. It's a stark white shade that will offer a beautiful shine and good protection.

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Which Sheen Is Best For Interior Walls?

Flat, eggshell, and satin paints are recommended for interior walls. The best finish for you will depend on your light reflectivity preference and your need for durability. You will need to consider the levels of natural light and traffic the room will be exposed to to determine the best finish.

Which Sheen Is Best For Exterior Walls?

While an eggshell finish is most common on home exteriors, the higher the sheen the easier it will be to clean. Most people want to avoid a shiny home exterior and err on the side of appearance over ease of maintenance in this circumstance.

Using a high sheen paint outdoors will protect the finish well, but the amount of light reflectivity could be overwhelming during daylight hours.

Montage Signature Paint In Snow White

This paint is well-suited to both interior and exterior applications. It has a low sheen comparable to the eggshell sheen available from Sherwin Williams.

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What Paint Sheen Is Most Popular?

Semi-gloss and eggshell paint sheens are the two most popular options among homeowners. They offer durability and accurate color, and the sheen is present but still easy enough on the eyes. These finishes are suitable for interior and exterior applications as well as other projects like furniture and crafts. 

Can You Use Different Sheens In Different Rooms?

Yes, you can vary your paint's sheen level based on the best choice for each room. For instance, low sheen paints are the best for bedrooms, but high sheen paints are preferred for kitchens. You will typically have more messes in the kitchen, so durability will be the biggest concern in this decision.

Can You Use Different Sheens In The Same Room?

Yes, you can use different sheens in the same room to create a functional and beautiful space. For example, it's recommended to use a flat or eggshell finish on ceilings to create more depth, but it's best to paint trim with satin or semi-gloss paint since it's more susceptible to damage.

Don't be afraid to mix it up with sheens to create the most functional space for you and your family.

Do Professionals Use Flat Or Eggshell Paint?

Most professional painters and designers choose eggshell paint over flat paint for interior applications. While flat paint offers a truer color, it often becomes chalky over time and easily wipes off the walls.

The gentle sheen in paints with an eggshell finish is enough to offer extra protection without compromising the color.

Do Home Builders Use Flat Paint?

It is quite common for home builders and renovators to use flat paint when on a job. This is because the flat paint is truer to color in most circumstances, but it also has to do with ease of use.  So, if you want your builders to use a paint with sheen, make sure this is specified early on. 

Flat paint dries quicker than paints with sheen, and often when homes are in the process of construction, walls will be dinged up. Flat paint allows the contractors to quickly and easily paint over scuffs and scratches without having to wait as long for the first application to dry. 

What Paint Sheen For Front Door?

A bright yellow front entrance door in a renovated old Queensland home

A semi-gloss finish is highly recommended for front doors because of its stain resistance and durability. Exterior doors not only see a lot of wear and tear from use but they also get exposed to harsh weather and sometimes extreme temperatures.

You will also need to make sure you use exterior grade paint to ensure the longevity of the paint job.

In Conclusion

Now that you know all about the different paint sheens available from Sherwin Williams, you're ready to start planning your home's new paint. Don't forget to consider the durability required for each application and how dirty it gets. Have fun painting and enjoy your updated space. 

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For help figuring out the best color scheme for the rooms in your home, read this article: What Color To Paint Molding, Baseboards And Overall Trim? [3 Options]

If you need help deciding what color to paint your ceilings, read this article: What Color White To Paint Ceiling?