The right paint sheen can enhance the overall look of your painted surfaces, adding that perfect finishing touch to your home or business improvement project. But how does one choose the right paint sheen and finish to do this? As professional painters in Perth, we’re here to guide you through this process. We assess every aspect of your space, suggest suitable finishes, and even provide colour palette recommendations. But before you pick up your paintbrush, let’s dive into the world of paint finishes and how to choose a paint sheen for your home or business painting project!

Understanding Paint Finishes and Sheens

Paint finishes and sheens are related terms in the world of paint, but they refer to slightly different aspects of a paint’s appearance and functionality.

Paint finishes, also known as paint types or paint formulations, refer to the specific composition and characteristics of the paint itself. Different paint finishes are designed to serve various purposes and offer distinct advantages for different surfaces and environments. Paint finishes affect factors such as resistance, ease of cleaning, and overall appearance.

Paint sheens describe the level of gloss or shine that a paint surface exhibits after it dries. The type of finish used determines the sheen, which can significantly impact the visual appeal of a painted surface. The sheen of a paint finish affects how light interacts with the painted surface and influences its overall appearance.

Five Types of Paint Finishes & Their Ideal Home Applications

High-Gloss Paint Finishes

High-gloss paint finishes are renowned for their light-reflecting qualities, offering a shiny appearance. They excel in durability and ease of cleaning. However, due to their ultra-shine effect, they tend to emphasise imperfections, requiring precise surface preparation. We recommend high-gloss paints for smaller surfaces like doors, trim, or cabinets rather than extensive wall areas.

Semi-Gloss Paint Finish

Semi-gloss paint finishes possess a noticeable sheen and offer impressive durability and ease of maintenance. They are particularly suitable for areas with high humidity, like bathrooms and kitchens, due to their resistance to mildew. Achieving a flawless finish with semi-gloss paint may require additional surface preparation, but the longevity of the paint is well worth the effort.

Satin Paint Finish

Satin paint finishes are ideal for interior projects due to their soft, velvety sheen. While slightly less stable than glossy finishes, they can withstand daily wear and tear and routine cleaning. It’s crucial to pay attention to application techniques, as brush strokes can be quite noticeable. When applied correctly, satin paint provides a seamless appearance.

Eggshell Paint Finish

Eggshell paint finishes exhibit a subtle lustre reminiscent of a chicken egg’s sheen. Although not highly glossy, eggshell finishes offer medium durability and can effectively conceal imperfections. They are also resistant to fingerprints, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas or gathering spaces such as hallways and dining rooms.

Flat or Matte Paint Finish

Matte or flat paint finishes are characterised by their minimal shine or reflection, making them virtually non-reflective when fully dry. They typically require fewer coats to hide surface imperfections. However, matte finishes are sensitive to cleaning solutions, making them best suited for low-traffic areas, ceilings, and bedrooms.

Choosing Paint for Specific Surfaces

Selecting the right paint sheen types for different surfaces is essential to achieve both aesthetic and functional results. An ideal paint finish varies depending on factors such as the location, surface type, and the desired look and durability.

Surface Type

  • Drywall and Plaster – Commonly found on interior walls, these surfaces work well with eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss sheens due to their ease of cleaning and resistance to moisture.
  • Wood – For wooden surfaces like trim, cabinetry, or interior doors, we recommend semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes for their durability and easy cleaning.
  • Ceilings – We typically suggest flat or matte finishes for ceilings as they help hide imperfections and create a smooth, uniform appearance.
  • Exterior Surfaces – Exterior surfaces need paint finishes that can withstand Perth’s harsh weather. Satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss are suitable options for exterior walls and trim.

Location & Purpose

  • Bathrooms – Due to high moisture levels, we recommend semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes. These finishes are easy to clean and resist moisture, helping prevent mould and mildew growth.
  • Kitchen Walls – Often, kitchens are areas where grease and moisture are abundant. Therefore, semi-gloss or satin finishes are a good choice for washability and durability.
  • Bedroom Walls – Bedrooms typically have less traffic and moisture. We suggest a matte or eggshell finish that creates a soft, elegant look without excessive shine.
  • Interior Doors – Interior doors endure frequent touching and handling. Semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes provide the needed durability and easy cleaning.

Additional Tips to Choose the Right Paint Sheen

At Perth Premier Painting, we believe seeking advice from professional painters when planning a painting project can provide numerous benefits.

Expertise and Experience

We have years of experience working on various projects, from residential to commercial spaces. We understand the intricacies of different painting techniques, materials, and finishes.

Customised Recommendations

We assess your unique requirements and preferences. We consider the room’s purpose, lighting conditions, existing surface conditions, and your desired look to recommend the most suitable paint sheen.

Environmental Considerations

We consider the environment where the paint will be applied. High-moisture areas like bathrooms or kitchens may require a different sheen than low-traffic, dry areas like bedrooms.

Lighting Conditions

Lighting plays a crucial role in how paint appears on walls. We evaluate the natural and artificial lighting in a room and suggest the best sheen to complement the lighting conditions. 

Final Comments On Choosing Paint Finishes and Sheen Levels

The choice of paint finish and sheen depends on various factors, such as the painting surface, the desired aesthetic, the level of durability required, and the room’s lighting conditions.

For instance, a matte finish might be your go-to for a bedroom to create a cozy, non-reflective atmosphere. Whereas a high-gloss finish may be preferable for a kitchen or bathroom where easy cleaning and durability are essential. Paint finishes encompass the overall characteristics of a painted surface, while sheen specifically refers to the level of gloss or shine within those finishes. Understanding both can help you select the right paint for your specific project.

At Perth Premier Painting, we’re here to guide you through this process and ensure that your painting project not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Contact us to speak with our experienced Perth painters about your next painting project today.