During the course of selections for a major kitchen or bathroom remodel, the choice of paint sheen is a relatively minor consideration for most homeowners. They are far more concerned with finding the perfect combination of cabinets, countertops, backsplash, floor tile, fixtures and paint colors. However, picking the ideal sheen for a paint job involves some important visual and functional considerations. With some help from our friends at Sherwin Williams, here are a few tips regarding paint sheen that may be useful in your decision-making process.
Ease of cleaning vs. spotlighting imperfections
The first thing to know is that the higher the sheen, the higher the shine. Flat paint has no shine, while high gloss paint is all shine. In between and in order of lowest sheen (shine) are eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Practically speaking, higher-sheen surfaces are easier to clean. They feature tougher and more stain-resistant finishes that are more scrubbable once blemished. On the flip side, the higher shine puts a spotlight on any imperfections on a given surface, particularly indoors. So, any bumps, nicks, nail pops, patches or other texture irregularities will be more noticeable if not addressed prior to painting with a higher sheen. In addition, future painting touch-ups are trickier to match to untouched areas as the chemicals that produce the paint sheen change from exposure to natural and artificial light over time. Unless you are a skilled painter or willing to repaint the entire area, touch-ups will be seen under certain lighting conditions. Lastly, higher-sheen paint jobs are more expensive because they are more labor-intensive if done properly.
New paint technology offers the best of both worlds
Flat paints are non-reflective and conceal blemishes better than paints with more sheen. These finishes effectively “smooth” walls that are patched, dented or generally rough. Stains are often more difficult to remove from flat finishes because they have a more porous texture, which can trap dirt and result in burnishing when scrubbed or rubbed. However, Sherwin Williams has introduced new paint lines, such as Duration and Cashmere, with patented technology that allows for easier cleaning while also concealing many imperfections on interior surfaces. In other words, they offer the best of both worlds….One final note on flat finishes – necessary painting touch-ups are simple, even for an amateur.
Consult a professional before choosing your paint
So, before starting your next painting project, think about the appropriate sheen for your situation as well as your favorite color. Consult with the professionals at TriFection or Sherwin Williams. Like all home improvement efforts, listening to good advice from industry experts and proper planning will produce a better outcome.