Home Decor
Read about paint sheen, flat paint, satin paint, semi-gloss paint, gloss paint.

Paint Sheen

It is said that the home is where the heart is! The home is where we head to get away from the stress of work and traffic to get back to our loving families. It is an anchor that gives us the warmth, comfort and safety that we all find so cherishing. It is a towering witness to all the memorable and beautiful moments we share with our families and friends. As a house is a very special and an important investment with good resale value, it is important to make the home look beautiful. You must do your best to create the best ambiance and the most relaxing environment by working on the decor. Next to lighting, paint is the most influential design element to spruce up your home. It is important that you select suitable colors as colors can have a great influence on you and your moods. However, a factor that you can consider alongside paint color is the sheen of the paint. Sheen is the amount of light reflected off the painted surface indicating how much the paint shines once it is applied. To know more on paint sheens, read the information below.

Flat Paint
Flat paint is also known as 'matte' finish paint. As it has the lowest sheen available on drying, it appears completely non-reflective. Since flat paints help in concealing flaws on the walls, it is recommended most for painting drywall surfaces. It is also considered ideal for surfaces that are not sanded well. The wall surfaces look a lot smoother and uniform when painted with matte paints. Are you worried about your walls looking ugly if they get any scratches? If yes, then you need not worry as small scratches and nicks blend well in flat paint. However, this is also a disadvantage as its porous texture can make the paint hold on to dirt and stains. This in turn makes cleaning difficult. Matte paints are best avoided in areas such as kitchens where the paint can sop up grease, dust, and dirt and look very unsightly.

Eggshell or Satin Paint
The two terms are often used interchangeably to denote a slightly higher sheen than flat paint. However, satin paint is a tad shinier than eggshell finish. Both give a smooth, velvety shine when dried. These two paints are very commonly recommended by home decorators for any room, save the bath and the kitchen. Greater durability and easier cleaning make it ideal for high traffic rooms such as kids' rooms and bedrooms. As eggshell and satin paints are moderately shiny, they can add warmth and dimension to the rooms without being too shiny.

Semi-Gloss Paint
Semi-gloss paints can be cleaned easily and they give a pleasingly subtle shine without being too garish. They have a higher sheen than eggshell or satin finishes and are more resistant to dirt and scuff marks. Any area that requires regular or vigorous cleaning will benefit from a semi-gloss paint. Hence, the paint is very often used in kitchens and bathrooms and also as window or door trims. You must be careful with the pre-paint preparation work. Inadequately prepared surfaces can stick out like a sore thumb as semi-gloss paints highlight flaws due to higher reflectivity.

Gloss Paint
Gloss paint, the shiniest among the available paint finishes, is extremely durable and stain resistant. As cleaning it is incredibly easy, it is a good choice for making an impact on kitchens, bathrooms and utility room walls. Gloss paint can also be used to add contrast to the trim. The major drawback of gloss paint is that it is highly reflective, which clearly highlights flaws on the surfaces. This also requires more coats than other paints that are less reflective.

Enamel and Lacquer
Enamels and lacquers are solvent based and are more difficult to use than other finishes. They are incredibly shiny and durable and require special preparation as they evaporate quickly. Paint sheens such as enamel and lacquer are used primarily on furniture and other small accent pieces but never on walls.