top of page
  • Writer's pictureAndy

Selecting The Right Sheen For Your Next Interior Painting Project!

local interior professional painting services colour consultation on paint sheen selection Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore paint sheens for interior professional painting services

You've spent countless hours looking over different colours, different undertones, different variations of colour undertones. After all, when you undertake a massive project to the most valuable asset you own, your house, the colour has to be right! The fact that you'll be seeing this colour every day makes it that much more important to find the perfect colour. After all this searching for the perfect colour, visiting Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and Dulux paint stores, scrolling through the Emerald Toronto House Painters Blog and viewing through Home Depot painters magazines, you find a designer colour you love. You call your Emerald Professional Painters representative to communicate the perfect colour for your place and the representative asks, how about the paint sheen? We've written this blog posts to answer that exact question. We'll go through all the different paint sheens, their advantages and disadvantages.

Have You Considered Paint Sheens For Your Interior Painting Project?

There is more? Are you telling me that after all this time spent on finding the perfect colour, I'm not done yet? Choosing the perfect colour for your home or areas of your home (living area, kitchen, stairway, bedroom, bathroom) isn't the only decision you'll make. Undertaking a house painting project or painting only certain areas of your home or condo involves putting on your interior designer hat and considering all options available to you. This means selecting the perfect colour and the right paint sheen or finish. There are numerous paint finishes for you to choose from. Which one is right for you and your specific room, living space or whole house? Does any paint sheen provide a higher quality finish? Are any paint sheens more suitable for specific areas inside your home? Are paint sheens simply a design choice? The professional house painting experts at Emerald Professional Painters are there to answer these questions and steer you in the right direction. We'll give you the information so you can make informed decisions about your sheen and colour choices. Our professional painters will go through each paint finish with you, outlining advantages and disadvantages. Next time you have a painting project, make sure to work with the professional painter in selecting the perfect finish that makes your house dazzle!

Your Options on Paint Sheens & Finishes

What is a paint sheen or finish? It is a measure of the reflected light (glossiness level) of a latex paint. We've outlined the different sheen or finish level options you have when selecting a latex paint for your home. 1) Matte (< 10% shine) 2) Eggshell (10% to 20% shine) 3) Satin (20% to 40% shine) 4) Semi-Gloss (40% to 70% shine) 5) Gloss (70% to 90% shine) The percentage variations are as a result of other factors that can also affect shine. These factors are type of paint (interior vs. exterior), colour (light vs. dark) and product (Sherwin-Williams Emerald versus Benjamin Moore Regal Select). For example, if we have two gallons of Benjamin Moore Regal Select interior paint, where one gallon is tinted with Chantilly Lace OC-65 (very light white) and the other gallon is tinted with Kendall Charcoal HC-166 (very dark grey), the Kendall Charcoal HC-166 will be shinier than the Chantilly Lace OC-65.

Paint Sheens and Durability

Does a specific sheen or finish of paint affect the durability and longevity of the completed work? It takes a whole lot of effort and resources to complete a large painting project. Because of this, durability and longevity are generally at the top of priority lists. When selecting a paint sheen, it is important to keep in mind that generally, shinier paints are more durable. Where all other factors are the same (paint type, paint quality, paint colour, traffic/activity in living space), a shinier paint provides increased washability and scuff resistance. As such, a shinier paint lasts longer and is more durable. Before you make up your mind on the paint sheen/finish you are going with off of this information alone, lets consider aesthetics and paint quality (continue reading...).

Paint Sheens and Aesthetics

Glossier paints may provide increased durability and longevity. However, the trade-off is that glossier interior latex paints lack a quality finish and cannot compete with matte paints on aesthetics. As we increase the level of shine on paints, roller marks don't blend in as well and brushed in areas don't blend in with rolled in areas. For older homes, drywall imperfections (nail pops, drywall tape, shifts in drywall angles) stick out like a sore thumb with shinier paints. High gloss paints really have such a negative impact on the quality of the project. As a result, you will have a hard time finding a house whose walls and ceilings are painted with a shiny paint. If too much shine negatively affects the quality of the finish and too little shine negatively affects longevity and durability, where's the middle ground? Eggshell! The eggshell finish provides a good balance between shine (durability and longevity) and no shine (aesthetics). This is why eggshell is the standard or go-to level of shine amongst most homes. Having said that, there are ways to keep the durability and longevity of an eggshell paint while using a matte sheen. The above commentary has been written considering

Helpful Links and Resources relating to Paint Sheen Selection

Have a look at our very own paint sheen/finishes chart below for more of a visual on paint sheens. If this read is just a little too much writing, feel free to look at the links below for some additional information on paint sheens and finishes.

Throughout the video below, the difference between a flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss paint sheen is explained with clarity. Have a listen for some additional information!

Our Very Own Paint Sheen/Finishes Chart

Is there any value to a blog post without a chart? We don't think so! Below you will find a chart that provides certain relevant factors and recommended living spaces for each paint sheen in hopes it will help you make life slightly easier when you're faced with the difficult task of picking a paint sheen.

Paint Finish

Relevant Factors to Consider

Recommended Living Spaces


  • A smooth & subtle finish

  • Any attempt to clean will burnish the finish

  • Ceilings


  • Provides a smooth & subtle finish

  • Minimize imperfections & absorbs light

  • Ideal in areas with lower traffic

  • Holds dirt and is more difficult to clean (excessive cleaning can burnish the finish)

  • Living areas

  • Bedrooms

  • All eggshell living spaces (in a higher quality matte paint)


  • Offers an elegant low-sheen & low-lustre finish (shine compared to egg shells)

  • Increased washability, durability & longevity compared to matte

  • Light is not absorbed as well as a matte sheen (imperfections show more, as a result)

  • ​Hallways

  • Stairways

  • Kitchens

  • Bathrooms


  • Easier to wipe clean with less risk of damaging the finish

  • Ideal for more active rooms or areas with increased humidity levels

  • Increased durability comes at the expense of aesthetics (roller marks, imperfections and brushed in areas show on drywall)

  • Spray finish is recommended on wood

  • Trim and doors

  • Rental property walls

  • Kitchens

  • Bathrooms

  • Kitchen Cabinets


  • Easier to scrub surface clean without risk of damaging the finish

  • Increased durability comes at the expense of aesthetics (roller marks, imperfections and brushed in areas show on drywall)

  • Spray finish is recommended on wood

  • Trim and doors

  • Kitchen Cabinets


  • Highest level of shine with the highest level of durability (not recommended for drywall)

  • Spray finish is recommended on wood

  • Furniture


 Residential Commercial Painting Services house office condo interior exterior Toronto Whitby Ajax Oshawa Scarborough Markham
bottom of page