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Knowing which paint gloss level to choose for your painting project is extremely important. Although challenging at first, selecting the right gloss will help you with your painting project and will make your home visually appealing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘gloss’, it’s all about shine. The shine comes from how much light hits the surface of the paint. For the surface to become shiny or ‘glossy’, it has to be very smooth and glass-like. For example, a flat or low-sheen paint has a rough surface after it dries. When the light reflects on that surface in different directions, it will appear flat to the eye. In other words, gloss level is important, as it will have a big impact on the visual appeal of your home.

Gloss Level Importance

As mentioned previously, knowing which gloss level to choose for your painting project will always come in handy for your painting projects. Not only will gloss improve appearance, but it is also very serviceable. This means that increasing gloss improves the paint’s durability, including stain, scrub, and moisture-resistance paints. Although gloss creates all these good features, there are some cons. The biggest con is that the higher the gloss level, the more defects and imperfections are highlighted. Another detail about gloss level is colour perception. The same colour that has a different gloss will look like a different colour. The colour that uses a higher gloss paint will most likely appear brighter and richer than the same colour in a lower gloss paint. I think this should tell you how important knowing the gloss level is.

Gloss Paint Finishes

There are many paint finishes to know about and sheens. Sheen levels of paint refer to the glossiness of a paint finish. Let’s dive deeper! 

  1. Glossy paint: For painting walls, glossy paint is not ideal because it will highlight imperfections. It is great, however, to use for cabinets, doors, and any trim work.
  2. Semi Gloss paint: This type of sheen is highly suggested for interior painting. This is because it is slicker, durable, and stain-resistant. It is great to use for children’s play areas and kitchen and bathroom walls.
  3. Satin Finish paint: This type of paint finish is velvety for wall painting. It is less lustrous than semi-gloss paint, so it will appear to be flat and glossy. In reality, though, it does depend on the lighting in the room. In addition, you should use satin finish paint in your kitchen or bathroom because it is highly durable.
  4. Eggshell or Flat paint: Both these types of paints have the least amount of sheen and glossiness. They are a good choice if you are hiding any wall imperfections. Eggshell or Flat paint are best for walls or ceilings. Ideally, you should not use them for kitchens or bathrooms, like the other types of paint finishes.
Eggshell or Flat Paint
Semi Gloss Paint
Satin Finish Paint

Compare and Contrast Sheens

  • Satin vs Flat paint: Satin paint has a slightly higher sheen than eggshell paint finishes. They are warmer and provide more depth in their appearance, unlike flat paints. Satin paint is also more stain-resistant than flat paint. While flat paints are used on walls or ceilings, satin paint is meant for kitchens and bedrooms.
  • Satin vs Semi-Gloss paint: Satin and semi-gloss paint are the most compared paint finishes, but semi-gloss has much more sheen than satin. This basically means that light from windows will bounce off semi-gloss paint more easily than satin and eggshell paint.
  • Semi Gloss vs Gloss paint: Semi-gloss paints are a little more glossy in appearance, compared to gloss paint. Also, semi-gloss is less reflective than gloss paints. Semi-gloss and gloss paints are easier to clean and are used on cabinets and doors. So, they are exposed to dirt and oil. Gloss paint emphasizes surface imperfections and semi-gloss paint is easy to clean.
  • Flat vs Matte: Flat paint consists of more pigment than any other paint finish. It is known as a concealer paint or matte paint. It is non-reflective, meaning the paint will soak up any light directed at it. Flat paint is easier to apply than other finishes and based on budget, it is a less expensive option than the rest.
Glossy Paint by Home Painters

Transforming Spaces with Different Paint Gloss Levels

The paint gloss level can have considerable influence on how a room ultimately looks and feels. Based on a room’s function and desired aesthetic, the application of different gloss levels can work wonders in transforming interiors. In this section, let’s have a close look at how varying gloss levels can leverage the visual aspects of different spaces.

Matte Finish: Elegance in Simplicity

  • Living Room: The living room is generally a space to convey a calming, warm, and welcoming atmosphere. Matte or flat finish is an excellent choice for living rooms, as the non-reflective properties give a sophisticated and intimate appeal.
  • Bedrooms: Maintaining tranquillity and comfort, a matte finish for bedroom spaces promotes relaxation while hiding minor wall imperfections.

Eggshell and Satin: The Best of Both Worlds

  • Dining Room: The balance between a slight sheen and good washability makes eggshell or satin finishes suitable for dining rooms. It gives a soft glow to the space and handles occasional cleaning without losing its charm.
  • Children’s Room: Satin finish can stand up to wear and tear and also allows for easy cleaning of common messes, making it a perfect fit for children’s rooms.

Semi-Gloss and High-Gloss: Reflecting Style and Durability

  • Kitchens: The high durability and ease of cleaning of semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes suit the needs of a kitchen, where walls may face frequent splashes and spills.
  • Bathrooms: Given the high humidity and need for occasional deep cleaning, bathrooms benefit significantly from semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes. The light reflection adds depth to smaller bathrooms, making them appear larger.

Staying Prepared

Before you start any painting project, you should always prep your walls. This means cleaning your walls with soap and water. A clean surface will always be easier to paint on than a dirty one. Also, fill any holes you notice with the right filler. To ensure a smooth surface, you should possibly sand your walls too! None of this would be possible without the right painting materials and tools. This includes paint brushes, paint rollers, trays, and many more.

The Takeaway

Choosing the perfect paint gloss may seem overwhelming, but with this understanding of gloss levels, you’re well on your way to making an informed decision for your next project. Remember, the choice of gloss level is a balance of aesthetics and practicality. You’ve got this!

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