Paint Sheen and Interior Ambiance Tips

Learn about Paint Sheen and How To Use It

Have you wondered about the different paint sheen’s that you may have seen in different homes and artistic environments? Paint sheen has an important role to play in protecting the walls in certain environments of your home. For instance a laundry room would be painted with what is known as an eggshell sheen. This sheen has a more glossy finish as well as a tougher coat. Eggshell sheen is also water resistant and humidity or splashing of water will not penetrate through the paint.

A-OK Painting 6201 lake murray blvd. #102,  La Mesa, CA. 91942 (619) 997-4033

By contrast the paint with the least amount of reflective sheen is called flat paint. Because flat paint does not reflect the light the same way a higher sheen paint reflects light, it seems to give a deeper ambiance to the rooms painted with it. The characteristics of flat paint are such that it is highly encouraged to use a similar colored primer base coat before applying your coats of flat paint. Flat paint also does not resist the bleeding through of any chemicals or other substances that may react to moisture when being applied. This is another good reason to use a base coat of similar colored primer before applying your finish coats of flat paint.

A-OK Painting 6201 lake murray blvd. #102,  La Mesa, CA. 91942 (619) 997-4033

Taking paint sheen into consideration can truly accent the furnishings and frames that make up your collection of interior decorations. As a basic rule the higher the sheen, which means that more glossy it is, the more durable it is and the more resistant to water it is and therefore should be used in environments where the walls may suffer more use and abuse. Those areas that will most likely not suffer hand prints and bumps from furniture are better candidates for the more artistic and lower sheen paints.


Another thing to consider is the amount of paint used based on the sheen. The higher the sheen means the less coats of paint that will be necessary to fully cover the previous color and avoid the see-through effect. The see-through effect is simply when you put a coat of paint on the wall that was not sufficient to cover the previous color, making the previous color still visible through the new coat of paint. Higher sheen paints have more titanium in their base ingredients than the flat paints do. The more titanium in the mixture means the paint will hide previous coats better. Flat paints will usually take more coats for perfect layoff.

A-OK Painting 6201 lake murray blvd. #102,  La Mesa, CA. 91942 (619) 997-4033

Flat paints also seem to allow for easier layoff. What this means is that the final strokes used to apply the last coat can show the stroke marks in the paint as it is driving and remain visible to see until the next coat of paint or unless it’s fixed. Higher sheen paints with more titanium are less forgiving where layoff is concerned and it takes quite a bit more talent to make the finishing strokes invisible. This is one of the reasons that highly experienced painters are so valuable.


If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment below or give us a call at (619) 997-4033

Brian Hetz is the owner of A OK Painting in San Diego Ca. For over 20 years customers have relied of Brian’s reliable quality and professionalism. The outstanding dedication to customer satisfaction remains the reason for continued company growth.

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