How do I choose a paint sheen? !
One look in a paint store, with its endless variety of brands, colors and sizes of paint cans will convince you that choosing the right paint can be daunting. Fortunately, a skilled painting contractor can give you excellent advice and help you narrow your choices. Here in the San Fransicso Bay area, MB JESSEE works with our clients to help them achieve the look they desire.
People usually have some idea what colors they want, but even when the perfect shades are chosen, there is another important decision that homeowners are often less prepared for: what paint sheen (or finish) should I use? Your painting contractor can help you with this decision as well, but it helps to know some of the most important information in advance.
In general, the more glossy (or light-reflective) a paint is, the more durable it is, holding up against bumps, scuffs, stains, cleanings, and children. Glossy finishes draw the eye with their bright luster, but they are also tricky to use because of their tendency to highlight imperfections in the painted surface. Here are the most commonly used paint sheens:
Flat: This finish has almost no reflective quality, and is commonly used for ceilings, where it does not draw attention to itself. Because it has a higher percentage of pigment, it requires fewer coats to provide thorough coverage, making it an economical paint to use on walls in closets and areas of the house where visual appeal are less of a consideration. It hides flaws and slight wall damage better than other sheens. Flat paint is not a good choice in bathrooms and kitchens, because it does not perform well against humidity and splashes.
Eggshell and Satin: Bright, warm, subtle and smooth, eggshell and satin finishes have a slight shine or light-reflective quality to them. These finishes are similar to each other, though not identical: satin finishes generally have a touch more luster than eggshell. Durable and cleanable, these sheens hold up well in areas of the house that receive a lot of traffic or wear. They are a common choice for walls in living rooms, bedrooms, halls and stairways, and also protect against moisture both inside and out.
Semi-Gloss: This highly durable finish draws attention with its moderate shine, and is commonly used to call the eye to features such as doors, window frames, trim, molding, and cabinets. Very resistant to scuffing and dirt, this scrubbable sheen is a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Not only will this sheen highlight the elegant details of your home interior—it also keeps the eye moving, which creates a feeling of spaciousness even in smaller rooms.
Gloss: With a brilliant shine and a very durable protective quality, gloss paint is the hardest and most reflective sheen available. This finish makes an impact, calling attention to clean lines and graceful features. It should be used in moderation as it can overwhelm and tire the eye in large doses. Because they are so finicky in drawing attention to flaws, glossy paints must be expertly applied, but when used properly they can make your home a true showpiece. This sheen can look almost like plastic or enamel, and fashionable homes here in the Bay Area often use it to make a statement on cabinets, trim, furniture, and other details.
Whatever your painting project, and whichever finish you need, meticulous surface preparation is one of the most vital procedures in an outstanding, enduring paint job. It is important to find a painting contractor that is expert and conscientious in completing these steps with care. For over 15 years, MB JESSEE has earned a top-quality reputation in the San Francisco and East Bay areas, providing premium care to high-end homes and estates. Contact us to schedule a free consultation or to ask any questions you may have.