Skip to content

Paint sheen – what is it?

We're all about finding the right color for your home's exterior, and our Professional Color Consultant is ready to help.

Paint Sheen

If you’re painting your home, you’ve probably heard of paint sheen. But what is it? Paint sheen is the degree of gloss in a paint; it’s how shiny or dull the paint appears. Sheen is determined by the ratio of pigment to binder (the binding agent that holds the pigment together). The more binders present, the less shine; conversely, the more pigment, the higher the shine. Most paints have some degree of gloss; flat or matte finishes have very little gloss while high-gloss finishes are very shiny. Choosing the right degree of gloss for your project depends on both personal preference and where the painted surface will be located. High-gloss paints are often used on trim and cabinets because they’re easy to clean; semi-gloss or satin paints are good choices for walls because they resist stains and aren’t as glossy as high-gloss paints. No matter what kind of paint you choose, be sure to read the label carefully so you know what you’re getting.

Gloss Paint

Gloss paint is great for making surfaces look more expensive and luxurious. You can use high gloss paint on your front door, mailbox, or any other areas of your house that you want to stand out. Gloss paint is easy to clean and maintain but it does show fingerprints and dust quickly. It also needs a properly prepared surface prior to application or it will highlight every surface imperfection.

Semi-gloss paint

Semi-gloss paint is a bit more forgiving in its application and its tendency to show fingerprints and dirt but should only be used for accenting a room or space. It works well for trim and doors as it is easy to clean.

Satin Paint

Its unique combination of flat and glossy finishes makes it a great choice for both aesthetic and practical purposes. Unlike other paints, satin’s low luster makes it perfect for rooms that may get a lot of wear and tear, like those with high traffic or busy households with children and pets. Additionally, its sleek look creates an attractive finish which won’t glare in bright light or fade into the background on dark walls. With just a few coats of satin paint, you can transform any room into something stunningly modern and up-to-date.


Eggshell paint sheen offers a slightly glossy finish, providing great durability while still maintaining the classic flat look. An eggshell finish will help to protect your walls from dirt due to its wipeable nature and resistance to scuffs. With proper application, an eggshell paint sheen can give any room a finished, polished look without compromising its design integrity.

Matte Paint

Matte paint sheen is one of the most popular choices for a variety of surfaces and projects. Matte paint sheen can lend an elegant, muted look to any project, along with its lack of shine. It adds texture in a very subtle way and can work wonders for many projects. Plus, it’s an ideal choice if you want to hide imperfections or scratches on the surface, as it doesn’t reflect light like glossy paint does. All in all, matte paint sheen is often chosen for its unique characteristics that add softness and subtle elegance to many interior designs and exterior projects.

Flat paint

Flat paint is a popular choice for many homeowners because of its matte finish and an improved ability to hide imperfections. Unlike other finishes, it also resists staining and dirt accumulation over time so that regular maintenance is much easier. Its low reflective qualities allow any color chosen to show up more vibrantly on walls while still providing great coverage. With the right color and application, flat paint can make homes look warm and inviting while still being able to resist wear and tear with ease.

Exterior paint and sheen

The type of paint and sheen selected will depend on the location of the home and weather conditions in that particular area. For example, a flat sheen is best for areas prone to heavy sun exposure, as it offers less reflective surface than other finishes. A semi-gloss finish may be more suitable for doors and trim.

It’s important to choose quality paints that contain waterproofing agents and added UV blockers to help protect against fading due to sunlight exposure. Additionally, using high-grade tools like paint sprayers can make all the difference when it comes to getting an even coverage across all surfaces.

Tips for selecting a sheen

All in all, there is no “perfect” sheen for everyone or every space. The best way to choose a paint finish is to test the sample on your wall first and observe it at different times of day and lighting conditions.

Crash of Rhinos can help

Crash of Rhinos can help you select the perfect sheen for your Phoenix home’s exterior paint. With a wide variety of options and finishes, knowing which one to choose can be challenging. No matter what you are looking for, Crash of Rhinos has the knowledge and experience to make sure you get the paint job that will look great, last long and provide protection from the elements.