Low-Gloss Sheens (Flat, Matte and Eggshell)
Flat, or matte finish is frequently used in new construction and on ceilings because it hides flaws extremely well. Because it doesn’t reflect light directly, imperfections in walls and ceilings are much less noticeable. Flat finishes are ideal for use on new drywall that has an imperfect taping job or where the porous joint compound has been applied.
Eggshell, or low-luster, finishes are so named because the slight sheen they provide is similar in appearance to the surface of an egg. This slight sheen creates a soft, velvety finish. Satin sheens provide a slightly more reflective surface and are excellent at resisting mildew, dirt and stains, making them better suited to more frequently used rooms. They can withstand cleaning and light scrubbing better than flat or eggshell finishes.
- Flat/matte paint provides a smooth, elegant finish
- Flat sheens tend to absorb dirt and may be somewhat difficult to clean
- Keep extra paint on hand to touch up nicks and scratches in flat sheens
- Eggshell finishes are easier to wash than flat finishes and resist stains and scuffs
- Eggshell and satin finishes offer more depth and warmth
- Satin finishes can withstand moisture, making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms
Semi gloss Sheens
Unlike lower-gloss sheens, semi-gloss and glossy sheens create a bright, shiny look. They are both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Glossy sheens do, however, show nearly every imperfection in a wall or ceiling’s surface, meaning it’s best to use them on walls with unmarred surfaces.
Semi-gloss finishes offer high resistance to moisture, though they may suffer a little from sticking. High-gloss sheens are brilliant, reflective finishes that are ideal for highlighting trim, railings, shutters and molding. Glossier finishes may be used on ceilings, but be sure the ceiling has no imperfections prior to applying.
- Sheens with higher glosses brighten rooms
- Semi-gloss and glossy sheens can be scrubbed and are easy to clean
- Both sheens require more prep work and sanding to ensure smooth application
- Semi-gloss sheens may be used in kitchens and bathrooms
- Glossy sheens provide a look similar to plastic or enamel
Here is a simple chart highlighting the differences between the sheens, and identifying the areas where they can be used.
|Sheen||Things to Consider||Suggested Rooms|
|Flat/Matte||Provides a smooth, subtle finish
Ideal for low-traffic areas
Holds dirt and is more difficult to clean
Rubbing with cleanser may burnish the finish
|Eggshell/Low-Lustre||Offers an elegant low-sheen finish
Best for low-traffic areas
More washable than flat sheens
|Satin||Can be wiped clean
Provides an elegant finish
Ideal for more active rooms
May be used indoors or outdoors
|Semi-Gloss||Can be scrubbed clean with ease
Smooth sheen reflects light directly to create shine
Ideal for high-traffic areas
Easy to wash
May be used indoors or outdoors
|Gloss||Can be scrubbed clean with ease
Offers a smooth, high-shine finish
Ideal for surfaces that require frequent washing
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Ryan Amato - Amato Painting and Power Washing
Ryan Amato is a man driven by his values, first and foremost. As manager of Amato Painting, Ryan’s leadership is one of trust and commitment. His relationships with his team are as important as those with his clients. His motivation to provide professional service is driven by a dependable workmanship that secures their reputation of being the best at what they do. No matter the size of the project, Ryan is adept at meeting deadlines and budgets.
As an award winner for his outstanding painting work, Ryan’s projects have been featured in the Sherwin Williams Quarterly Industry Magazine. You can find his contributions to the painting community across numerous blog sites and on his YouTube channel. With a true passion for his craft, Ryan is driven by so much more than the bottom line. He lives in Easton, Pa with his fiancé Michelle, his two teenagers, Preston and Ryenn and his dog Duncan who stars on the company logo!