Blog        Employment        Contact
Serving the Outer Banks since 1995

Paint Sheen

Paint Sheen

When it’s time to paint, color is often the first consideration of many homeowners, but selecting the right sheen has important aesthetic and functional ramifications.

What is Sheen?

Sheen refers to the smoothness and the amount of light reflected by a coating. Technically speaking, it is largely influenced by the ratio of paint-resin (binder) to pigment. The more binder a coating contains, the smoother the surface and the more light reflectance. Conversely, less binder leads to a rougher surface and less light reflectance. A high-gloss paint has relatively more binder than a flat paint.

From an aesthetic standpoint, paint sheen can either add or detract from the visual characteristics of the painted item. From a durability standpoint, selecting the right sheen for the job can extend the life of the paint job.


A flat sheen is more porous and reflects less light. Because it reflects less light it is better at hiding imperfections in drywall. On the other hand, less binder means less durability. It will scuff more easily than a higher gloss paint, though it touches up nicely. It is a popular choice for bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms.


Eggshell offers slightly less reflectance than satin, but is more durable than flat. It is an ideal choice for walls in high traffic areas.


Satin sheen has a slightly higher reflectance value than eggshell. It provides an elegant appeal with the right light/color combinations and is more durable than flat paint. Typically, it will be used on walls (or trim) in high traffic areas.


Semi-gloss offers good stain resistance and is easy to clean. Because of its light reflectance properties, it is popular for millwork and trim. Because of its durability it is often used in bathrooms and kitchens.


Gloss is the toughest and most reflective. It is ideal for cabinets, millwork, and trim. However, it tends to draw attention to imperfections.

Mixing Sheens

Most paint products offer three or four levels of sheen which will allow you or your painting contractor to create the perfect look for your room or for the exterior of your house. If a particular manufacturer’s sheen options don’t work perfectly for you, you can always mix two different sheens to get an in-between finish. When touching up a blemish, you can also reduce the sheen by thinning the paint.

Our Affiliations

Why Customers Choose Beach Painting

  • Expertise - we have the experience and versatility to take on the most demanding painting and residential construction projects.
  • Integrity - we only use the highest grade materials and take the time to do the job correctly.
  • Dependability - our employees are directly employed (not subcontractors) and covered under our liability and workers' compensation policies.
  • Professionalism - we carefully measure all components of the work and provide a detailed scope in our estimates and proposals.
  • Longevity - with over 20 years of steady growth, we have become the largest full-service painting contractor on the Outer Banks.
Facebook Houzz LinkedIn Twitter Pinterest RSS Feed