If you never had the experience of planning and painting a room or several in your home or rental property, the topic of selecting the right paint sheen from a paint sheen guide, probably hasn’t been a concern of yours. Since you are here reading about paint and sheen, I bet you are getting ready to do some home improvements on your own and want to do a good job. If you once thought it was just about picking a color and buying some brushes, well, it’s a little more involved than that.
Once the color has been chosen and agreed upon, it’s time to choose the paint. This is the single most important decision of the whole process. The paint you buy and apply sets the whole tone and outcome of the project, which is what you want to keep in mind while selecting it.This is where your lesson in selecting the right sheen from the paint sheen guide will be so valuable.
- What does sheen mean?
The term sheen is used to describe how much light is reflected off the surface of the paint, or how shiny it is after its dry. It is also an indicator of how durable it will be. And how well suited it will be for the area you want to paint. The amount of shine is determined by the enamel value, which also predicts strength and how well this pain will protect the surface you use it on. The paint industry doesn’t have standardized labels for the amount of sheen each type of paint will produce, you have to weed through the different brands and learn their own descriptions. The primary categories of sheen are flat, satin, semi gloss and gloss. The four categories are often broken down further for variations of the main type, depending on the brand you buy.
- Find the right sheen for every room in your house
Different rooms call for different looks, different decorating ideas and a variety of colors and wall treatments. Picking out the color is the really hard part about the home painting adventure. Just as important, is picking the sheen you desire from the paint sheen guide. What you want to be concerned with when choosing the ones that are right for you the answers to these questions:
- What kinds of sheen are available?
- What sheen are best for which rooms?
- Learn the different qualities of each type.
- What look or features are you looking for?
- Is a primer necessary?
Descriptions of Sheen Type, Paint Sheen Guide
This paint has no sheen, and there is very little light reflected, but the light is absorbed. This is also known as matte. These no-gloss and low-gloss finishes are all without the shine. The flat finishes are the number one choice of contractors for new construction and are perfect for hiding all the imperfections as, dings, patched drywall, taping errors, imperfections in the wall or exposed repair areas stand out. Any ceiling and a matte finish is a perfect match up. One of the best things about flat paint is that if is so non-reflective and the flaws are expertly hidden.
- Eggshell or Low Luster
This type of sheen is appropriately named for they give the finished look of the surface the egg’s shell. The small amount of light this type reflects produces a velvety, softer finish. Also known as satin sheen, this paint is popular for its ability to resist mold and mildew, dirt and some light stains. It can easily be washed and can take a light scrubbing if necessary.
So to break it down simply the first descriptions laid out for you in the paint sheen guide:
- Flat or matte gives you a smooth elegant look, but they do tend to absorb more dirt making them a bit more difficult to clean. The flat sheen may require frequent touch ups so hang on to a little bit of paint.
- Eggshell paints offer a deeper, warmer, finished appearance and they are easier to wash and keep clean as they resist the stains and grime better.
- Satin finishes offer the same qualities as eggshell plus they are more moisture resistant making them perfect for the kitchen and the bath.
- Semi-gloss and Hi-gloss Sheen
Both semi-gloss and hi-gloss paint offer the most shine, giving the painted surface the appearance of enamel or high-tech plastic. They leave a bright, shiny appearance that is durable and rich looking and is also the easiest to clean and maintain, but they also show every little flaw in the surface, so they work best on smooth unblemished surfaces. The hi- gloss finish is best used on shutters, molding, trim, railings, in addition to window frames and door jams.
Facts to remember when deciding whether to use a flat or glossy paint for your supplications are:
Semi-gloss and hi-gloss sheen brightens up the room and the strength and durability makes it excellent for the bathrooms and the kitchen, or on select surfaces that will have repeated wear and cleaning. You will spend more time preparing the area you want to paint in a gloss. The surface must be sanded very smooth, removing the flaws you don’t want accentuated by the reflected shine. The gloss paints dry to a hard shiny finish that goes great on woodwork like the cabinets, banisters and trim and base boards.
- Latex and Oil Based Paints
As in the flat paint, the terms low gloss, no gloss, matte and flat are meant to describe the same affect. Oil and Latex paints in a semi-gloss or hi-gloss finish can be used in almost any room, but it is most appreciated in the areas where there is move activity and traffic, since remember with the enamel value of the increased shine, the strength and durability will make cleaning easier and it is less easily damaged by cleaning. If you are torn between using a hi- gloss or a semi- gloss but you would like something in between, you can experiment with mixing the two kinds together until you get the desired look. Before actually putting paint onto the wall, decide if you are going to require a primer coat. You would do this to make the application of your primary coat more readily accepted by the wall’s surface and to avoid the excess cost and time consuming work of having to apply a full second coat of your chosen paint.
The last bit of knowledge I want to give is refers to the primer you may want to use before you actually pain your room.
Primer is the paint used to prepare your surface for the actual finishing coat of paint. You will want to use primer if the surface you are painting is porous and could possibly absorb the paint in an uneven way, leaving odd looking spots. Surfaces you will most likely want to use a primer on are unfinished wood, drywall or plaster. Stain-killing primers are used to cover damage caused by mold, mildew or water stains. This kind of primer also helps the paint grab a hold of the surface making it adhere better. Primer can come in three mediums, water, oil and shellac.
By taking all the information about choosing the right sheen for your paint job from the paint sheen guide I have just given you into consideration as you go on out and make the purchases of your paint, you should have an easy time of it and you can feel confident that you are choosing your sheen wisely.