“What is the appropriate sheen level to use inside of my home?”

Different Sheen Levels (Sherwin Williams Specs)

  • Flat Sheen – A non-reflective appearance that helps hide surface blemishes, making walls look smooth.
  • Matte Sheen – This flat finish is great for hiding surface imperfections, while its angular shine helps make walls smooth and washable.
  • Eggshell Sheen – Great to use for walls, eggshell finish has a slight hint of shine and holds up better to cleaning.
  • Satin Sheen – With its slight gloss, this finish offers the benefits of a richer look. It works best for high-traffic areas.
  • Pearl Sheen – A subtle shimmer midway between eggshell and semi-gloss offering a lustrous finishing touch.
  • Semi-Gloss – This lustrous, durable finish is perfect for areas that get cleaned frequently.
  • Gloss/High Gloss – This lustrous, durable finish is great for windows, doors, and trim or any area that you would like to highlight.

Which Sheen is best for you?

Wow, that is overwhelming. Seven different sheens, how do I choose which is best for my home’s interior and cabinets? Well, this will depend on a few factors.

  1. The better paint you use, the less sheen you need for superior washability. Whenever I am quoting an interior painting project, I ask the client how important it is for the walls to be washable. Most people tell me that is the most important thing to them. Once we get to the sheen discussion, I will then tell them that when using a premium product, like Emerald from Sherwin Williams, you can achieve an excellent wash rating without the need to have “shiny” walls.
  2. We use Emerald by Sherwin Williams almost exclusively inside of houses for several reasons, but mostly because it offers a beautiful matte finish that is washable (even scrubbable). We use Emerald matte finish about 90% of the time.
  3. For wood trim, it is really up to personal preference. I love high gloss trim, but not everyone likes the “wet” look. I just think that it is super elegant when you see a nice matte finish wall sitting next to a beautiful high gloss trim. However, there are drawbacks to using such a high sheen. If your wood trim is damaged or you would rather not see every single imperfection, high gloss is probably not for you. 90% of the time, we use semi-gloss on wood finishes because it is the most flexible.

If you have questions about sheen or feel that we can help you with your upcoming painting or cabinet refinishing project, please schedule an estimate today!