With warm, spring weather FINALLY upon us, it's that time of year when I really start getting serious about home improvement projects and repainting rooms that need updated. I thought it would be useful to give you all a little cheat sheet of terms used when buying paint. In the first post in this mini-series we'll talk about sheen.
Sheen: the measure of how much light a paint reflects.
1. Flat: paint absorbs light and so it hides a lot of imperfections. It's most often used on ceilings. This sheen shows dirt and doesn't hold up well to washing, so this is not the paint to use on walls
2. Eggshell: hides a lot of imperfections, but is smoother than flat paint and easier to wash. It's a popular choice for walls.
3. Satin: this paint is great for it's washability and silky appearance. It looks good on walls and can withstand repeated cleaning. Good for kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and hallways.
4. Semigloss: reflects 35-50% of light so this is probably too shiny for walls, but is a good choice for trim, cabinets, and doors because it's durable and easier to clean than satin.
5. Gloss: used for trim or areas that get a lot of abuse. It's durable and easy to wipe clean, but it reflects 50% or more light and the super shiny finish shows off any imperfections.
Whatever sheen you choose make sure to consider the amount of traffic and durability needed for that area. Personally, a satin finish is my favorite because It combines the best of both worlds in terms of appearance and toughness.