Interior Home Painting San Diego: Which Paint Sheen Should I Use?

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When planning for an interior repainting project in San Diego, one of the biggest tasks you have to complete is choosing the paint. When selecting interior paint, most homeowners primarily focus on paint color as the only element of concern. They almost always never consider the paint sheen.

Paint sheen is the shininess a surface gives off after it has been painted. It can be equated to the ability of the paint to reflect light. Sheen, as a paint property, can impact how the paint colors appear, and the ease of paint maintenance. In this article, we want to share some of the most commonly available paint sheens and their suitability to interior painting.

Types of Paint Sheen Finishes

1. Flat Paint Finish

This type of paint has no shine at all, and it’s commonly used on interior walls and ceilings. Flat paint finishes are excellent at hiding small bumps, cracks, and other surface imperfections. Once applied, the surface may have a slightly chalky feel to it. The downside of flat paints is they don’t stand up to regular washing and are generally difficult to maintain. For these reasons, they’re not the best option for the kitchen, bathroom, or high traffic areas.

2. Eggshell Paint Finish

As the name suggests, eggshell paint has a slight sheen that resembles an eggshell. It only gives off a slight hint of light reflection and stands up to regular washing much better than flat paint. Eggshell paints are popular in family homes because they’re relatively easy to maintain, and they hide surface flaws better than flat paint finishes. They’re still not popular finishes in kitchens and bathrooms.

3. Satin Paint Finish

The satin paint finish is shinier and offers more luster than both flat and eggshell paint. It’s significantly easy to maintain and can resist abrasion quite well. Satin paint is most often used for windows, doors, trim, or ceilings, but it can also be used as wall paint. It’s an excellent choice for the bathrooms, kitchens, kid’s rooms, and areas that receive a lot of traffic.

4. Semi-gloss Paint Finish

Semi-gloss paint gives your room a subtle shine and luster that is a step above satin paint. It’s very resistant to scrubbing and abrasion, good for doors, windows, kitchens, baths, and moldings. On the down-side, semi-gloss paint can highlight dirt and surface imperfections and may require frequent wiping. You also don’t want to use it on the walls that receive plenty of natural light.

5. Glossy (High-gloss)

Gloss paints have the highest sheen with an almost reflective quality. Their shininess mimics the look of plastic or enamel and can be a little overwhelming when used in large doses. Gloss paints tend to highlight surface dirt and imperfections, but they’re incredibly scrubbable. This is not a widely used sheen, but it can come in handy when you want to create a dramatic finish on the cabinets, furniture or trim.

Tip: When choosing the type of sheen to use, always use darker and more intense colors for higher sheens. If you’re going to use high sheen paints, be sure to prepare the surface thoroughly because they tend to highlight surface imperfections.

Bottom Line

The Paint sheen is not a major consideration when choosing interior paint. But as you can see, it has a significant impact on the final appearance of your paint job and the ease of maintenance. If you’re hiring a professional painting contractor, they can help you choose the best sheen for your project.

If you haven’t identified a professional painter yet, Ron Rice Painting would love an opportunity to be your favorite residential painter in San Diego. We offer color consultation along with residential and commercial painting services in San Diego.

To give us a try, call us on 619-208-448.

Ron Rice