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What's the Best Paint Sheen for Your Living Room?

 What's the Best Paint Sheen for Your Living Room?

So, what exact­ly is paint sheen?

Sheen is the lev­el of shine that your paint has, rang­ing from flat (dull) to high-gloss (an almost mir­ror-like fin­ish, depend­ing on the prod­uct and tech­nique you use).

Is it an aes­thet­ic pref­er­ence? Absolute­ly. Some folks want super shiny, glossy walls, while oth­ers pre­fer the warmth and sim­plic­i­ty of low­er sheens that don’t demand the same lev­el of atten­tion. But it goes deep­er than just that. You need to con­sid­er the age and con­di­tion of your walls as well, plus the lev­el of activ­i­ty in the space. Low­er-sheen paint is much more for­giv­ing of sur­face imper­fec­tions, and is eas­i­er to touch up too. High-gloss paint is more spe­cial­ized, and while very durable, it’s also hard­er to work with and care for in the long run.

Keep in mind too that high-gloss paint requires exten­sive sur­face prepa­ra­tion. Since it will show every bump, scrape, or uneven­ness in your wall, it has to be applied after exten­sive, expert-lev­el prep.

Let’s run through your basic inte­ri­or paint­ing options here, but keep in mind that there are more on the spec­trum than what we’ve list­ed. This will just pro­vide a rough idea of the pro­gres­sion and hope­ful­ly help you decide which might be the best choice for your room.

 What's the Best Paint Sheen for Your Living Room?
 What's the Best Paint Sheen for Your Living Room?

Mat­te paint finish

Mat­te paint gives the walls a soft, warm look that’s per­fect for any liv­ing room. Since it has a very low sheen lev­el, it’s not very shiny or reflec­tive. It has a slight tex­ture to it, but it’s far less notice­able than a high-gloss finish.

Satin paint finish

This paint fin­ish is a bit like the mid­dle ground between mat­te and glossy. While it’s not super shiny, it has a high­er sheen lev­el than mat­te paint, which means it’s a bit more notice­able. Unlike mat­te paint, satin paint also has a very slight tex­ture to it, so it’s not as smooth as mat­te. Why is it a nice pick for liv­ing rooms? Well, satin paint is a great com­pro­mise if you want a paint fin­ish that has a bit of sheen, but isn’t too shiny. It’s also a ver­sa­tile fin­ish that can be used in a vari­ety of rooms, from bed­rooms to bathrooms.

Gloss paint finish

High-gloss paint has a high sheen lev­el, so it’s very shiny, and a lot of light reflects from the paint­ed sur­face. Glossy and dra­mat­ic, this is a nice choice if you’re look­ing for a more spe­cial­ized fin­ish with wow factor.

Which paint sheen is most pop­u­lar right now?

There are cer­tain­ly excep­tions to the rule, but over­all we’re see­ing a LOT more low-sheen, and even flat, paint being used. It used to be that flat and mat­te paint was too weak to be used in high-traf­fic spaces; a bet­ter fit for ceil­ings than for liv­ing room walls. Thanks to prod­uct improve­ments and advance­ments, how­ev­er, that’s real­ly not as much of an issue any­more. Yes, high­er-gloss paint will always be a bit eas­i­er to wipe down and offer an extra mea­sure of dura­bil­i­ty, but flat­ter sheens are not far behind. And they’re so for­giv­ing, easy to work with, and easy to touch up (as we men­tioned before). That’s a win from every angle.

Have more ques­tions about inte­ri­or paint­ing in San Diego?

Give us a call at Chism Broth­ers Paint­ing! We’d love to help you nav­i­gate your options and make just the right choice for your home.

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