Paint Sheen: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Posted on: September 21st, 2020

If you’re looking to spruce up the interior of your home, you likely have the question, “what is paint sheen.” In painting terms, paint sheen is the glossiness of a paint finish. Glossy paints are shiny and reflect more light, while on flat paints most of the light diffuses in a range of angles. 

What are the different paint sheens? 

  • Gloss 
  • Semigloss 
  • Satin 
  • Eggshell 
  • Flat or matte 

Most brands of paint come in several sheens. Gloss sheens have the highest light-reflective characteristics. Next would be semigloss sheens followed by satin and eggshell which are low luster sheens. Lastly, you have flat or matte finishes. 

What is Paint Sheen?

How do I know what paint sheen to use? 

There’s a rule of thumb to follow when picking paint sheens. The higher the sheen, the higher the shine. The higher the shine the more durable the paint. High gloss sheens are a good choice for areas that sticky fingers will touch such as cabinets, trim, and doors. But high gloss is too much shine for most interior walls. 

Satin finishes are the most commonly used paint for interior walls. They are easier to clean than flat and eggshell paints, which makes them a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, and playrooms.  

 While both eggshell and satin are a little less durable, they are both excellent choices for your living room areas. Spills and drips can be easily cleaned or wiped off with a rag.  

You should think about using flat or matte sheens on walls or areas that tend to have a lot of bumps, scratches, or holes because it can hide these blemishes and imperfections really well.  

Best Sheen for painting a brick fireplace 

When painting a brick fireplace, you will want to start by using an indoor acrylic-latex blend paint. The paint needs to be able to withstand high temperatures. As far as what sheen to go with, eggshell is a lower sheen and gives off a warm glow. It is easy to apply and is great at concealing imperfections. Also, purchase a paint roller designed for textured surfaces. This will help cover the likely rough and porous surface of the brick.  

Which paint sheen is best for painting bathrooms? 

Satin is the best go-to sheen for bathrooms. It is more durable and shinier than eggshell, which makes it easier for you to keep clean. Use it for walls, ceilings, and even the trim, because many satin finishes are tougher than they once were. Paints with shinier finishes are the best choice for bathroom spaces that are notorious for large amounts of moisture and potential mold and mildew. A common mistake then is choosing a flat finish for your bathroom walls. 

What paint sheen works best for kitchen cabinets? 

Most people find satin or semi-gloss paint works best for kitchen cabinets or any woodwork in your kitchen. This will give your cabinets a soft sheen that doesn’t look flat. It is also very resistant to scrubbing, making it the perfect choice. Easy maintenance is essential for high-touch areas like cabinets. 

Paint Sheen For Kitchen

The most used sheen of interior paint 

So which sheen is used most often when it comes to interior paint overall? Semi-gloss and eggshell are the most popular. They are a good choice for walls, woodwork, doors, and hallways and meet in the middle with a moderate sheen that isn’t too extreme. 


Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different paint sheen options that are available and know when best to use them. If you live in the Sacramento area and find yourself needing any help with painting projects, feel free to contact us at PaintRite Pros. We will give you a free quote and help in any way we can. Not only do we have employees who speak Spanish fluently but we also serve the entire area including Dixon, Roseville, Vineyard, Laguna, Woodland, and more!


 How to Clean Walls with Flat Paint 

Posted on: September 8th, 2020

Learning how to clean walls with flat paint is fairly simple and easy to do. You just need to have a few household cleaning supplies and a few simple tips to get you going. 

What are the Benefits of Flat Paint? 

Flat or matte paint delivers a smooth, subtle look and shows very little sheen when dry since it absorbs light. Because it covers so well, flat finishes cover up blemishes and imperfections sometimes caused by poor quality work done by contractors or framers. Using flat paint keeps these minor imperfections from being so noticeable and makes it an excellent choice for your walls. This is why it works great in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and ceilings.  

Do I Have To Prime Before Painting?

Things to Watch Out For 

The drawback to flat paint is that it’s very quick to smudge or scuff and isn’t very durable. The trick to cleaning your walls when this happens is to start by doing as little as possible. You should also take further measures as needed so you don’t damage the integrity of the finish. If you start by trying harsh treatments or chemicals, you will more than likely not get the results you were hoping for. In this instance, less is definitely better than more. 

What Supplies will you need? 

  • Warm water 
  • Clean rag or soft cloth 
  • Mild detergent 
  • Vinegar 
  • Cleaning pad or eraser 
  • Touch up paint and paintbrush 

How to Clean Walls With Flat Paint

Here are some simple yet highly effective methods to get rid of those ugly scuff marks or stains from your flat paint walls. These tips will help you do it without damaging your paint: 

  1. Cloth and Sponge: The first thing you should try is warm water and a clean cloth or sponge. Sometimes just water alone is enough to remove stains. Try gently rubbing the area and see what happens. Make sure you clean dirt and stains from flat paint walls as quickly as possible. The longer you ignore them, the harder they are for you to clean!
  2. Vinegar and Water: If warm water alone doesn’t do the trick, try adding a very small amount of vinegar to your water or even a few drops of mild detergent 
  3. Specialty Sponges: If the stain still persists you can try using one of the melamine-foam-based white sponges such as the “Magic Eraser” or the “Easy Eraser”. They are non-abrasive and are not likely to mar flat-painted surfaces. But be careful because as these sponges wear down, they have a tendency to leave a white residue on walls that are darker colors such as dark grey, navy, brown, or green.  
  4. Touch Up Paint: A can of touch-up paint may come in handy right about now if nothing else has fully removed the stain. Flat paints are much easier to touch up than semigloss or satin. You just want to make sure the paint on your wall isn’t faded or dirty so the spot you are touching up will match perfectly after the touch-up paint has dried. 
  5. The Last Resort: Last but not least, if all your previous methods have failed, and you have enough matching paint, you can always resort to repainting the entire wall. This will obviously take you more time and prep work but might be worth it in the long run to give you the desired look of a beautifully clean wall. 


There you have it! Now you know how to clean walls with flat paint. If you end up needing to repaint your walls and you live in the Sacramento area, contact us. We serve the entire Sacramento area with interior and exterior painting services. We’ll give you PaintRite Pros for a free quote and we’re always happy to be of service! 

Get Free Quote


Painting Services

Have questions about your residential or commercial painting needs? Contact us online or give us a call at 916-667-8050 to request a free estimate appointment.

Call Now