Nash Painting | How to Choose the Right Sheen for Your Interior Paint

How to Choose the Right Sheen for Your Interior Paint

calander May 10 , 2023 user-icon Nash Painting

Think your interior paint selection journey starts and ends with color? Nope! You have paint sheens to consider too, referring to the level of shininess your paint has. It used to be that glossier, higher-sheen paint was the most durable, best saved for doors, trim, and cabinets, and lower-gloss paint was better for areas like ceilings that didn't see much activity. Higher sheens are typically sturdier, but modern paint formulas are more durable than ever before, making the choice primarily an aesthetic one.

So, wondering how to choose the right sheen for your interior paint? Here's a quick recap of your options:

  • High-gloss paints: These offer ultra-shiny finishes with high durability, perfect for areas that require frequent cleaning.
  • Semi-gloss paints: With moderate shine, these provide a balance between aesthetics and durability.
  • Satin finishes: Offering a lustrous appearance without being too glossy, satin is ideal for rooms with varying levels of light exposure.

Choosing the Right Paint Sheens Based on Room Functionality

The functionality of a room plays a significant role in selecting the appropriate paint sheen. Here, we'll explore various rooms in your home and suggest suitable sheens based on factors such as moisture levels, traffic, and cleaning requirements.

  • Kitchens and bathrooms: These areas benefit from high-gloss or semi-gloss paints, which are more resistant to moisture and easier to clean.
  • Family rooms, foyers, and hallways: Opt for satin or eggshell finishes that can withstand moderate traffic while offering an elegant appearance.
  • Bedrooms: Flat/matte or eggshell options work best since they provide a cozy ambiance without reflecting too much light.

Choose the right paint sheen for each room in your home. High-gloss for kitchens/bathrooms, satin/eggshell for family rooms/hallways, and flat/matte for bedrooms. #paintingtips #homedecorClick to Tweet

how to choose interior paint sheen

Factors to Consider When Selecting Paint Sheens

As you work through how to choose the right sheen for your interior paint, there are several key factors to consider. In this section, we'll discuss aspects like color preferences (dark vs light), how well each finish type can hide surface imperfections, plus furniture style coordination to help you make an informed decision.

  • Darker colors work better with lower-sheen options: Dark shades tend to show more imperfections and require a smoother finish like matte or eggshell for optimal results.
  • Surface preparation is key for more glossy paint applications: A well-prepared surface will ensure your glossy paint looks its best while also concealing any blemishes on the wall.
  • Coordinating your chosen finish with existing decor elements: Ensure that your selected sheen complements other design components in the room, such as furniture and textiles, for a cohesive look.

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Optimal Applications for Different Types of Finishes

Each type of finish has its optimal application areas within your home's interiors. Let's dive into specific uses for various finishes:

  • Pearl finishes: Perfect for trim work and high-humidity rooms like bathrooms, pearl finishes offer a subtle shine that complements both traditional and modern styles.
  • Matte/flat options: Ideal for ceilings and low-traffic areas such as adult bedrooms, matte or flat paints absorb light effectively without showing grime accumulation.

Balancing Aesthetics, Durability, and Concealing Imperfections

Choosing the right paint sheen involves finding a balance between aesthetics, durability, and concealing imperfections. This section will discuss how to weigh these factors when selecting your preferred finish type while also considering the overall look you want to achieve in your space.

  • Eggshell as a versatile option with uniform coverage: The eggshell finish offers a subtle shine that works well for most home interiors. It provides excellent coverage of surface imperfections while still being durable enough for light scrubbing.
  • Semi-gloss for radiance in high traffic spaces: Opting for semi-gloss paints can add an attractive gleam to areas like kitchens or hallways where there's more foot traffic. These finishes are easy to clean and offer good resistance against stains.
  • High-gloss longevity on woodwork or architectural details: For maximum durability and shine, choose high-gloss paint options when painting trim work or intricate design elements within your home. This finish is resistant to chipping and peeling over time but requires careful surface preparation before application.

FAQs About How to Choose the Right Sheen for Your Interior Paint

How to Choose an Interior Paint Sheen

To choose the right paint sheen for your home interiors, you need to consider the functionality of the room, surface preparation, and light sources. High-gloss paint finishes are suitable for kitchens and trims, while semi-gloss works well in bathrooms. Satin finishes are ideal for family rooms and hallways, and eggshell suits dining rooms and living areas. Flat or matte paints work best in adult bedrooms.

What is the Most Common Sheen for Interior Walls?

Eggshell finish is the most common sheen for interior walls because it strikes a balance between durability and a subtle shine that hides imperfections. It provides a soft glow without being too glossy or matte, making it suitable for various spaces like dining rooms and living areas.

What is the Best Paint Sheen for Living Room Walls?

For living room walls, an eggshell finish is typically recommended as it offers a low-luster appearance with some washability while hiding minor wall imperfections. This versatile option creates a warm ambiance without drawing attention to flaws or reflecting excessive light.

Is Eggshell or Satin Better for Walls?

Both eggshell and satin finishes have their merits. Eggshell provides a subtle shine that hides imperfections well but is less durable than satin. Satin offers a slightly higher sheen, is more washable, and resistant to scuffs, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways or family rooms. Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.


Choosing the right sheen for your interior paint can make a significant difference in how your space looks and feels. High-gloss finishes are ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens, while eggshell or satin finishes work well in living spaces. It's essential to consider room functionality, surface preparation, lighting sources, and unique finishes when selecting the perfect sheen.

If you're seeking assistance in selecting the perfect paint for your home, Nash Painting is here to provide expert guidance. Our crew of specialists can aid you with everything from color selection to the last details, making sure your home's new look is exactly what you want. Contact us today for more information on our painting services!

Ready to transform your home with a new coat of paint? Contact Nash Painting today!