What painting sheen should I use when painting my home?

This is a question that arises a lot. And a lot of inexperienced do it yourselfers make mistakes quite frequently!


The simple answer is: there is no simple answer.


For starters you need to ask yourself these questions.


  1. Will this area be exposed to water or cooking?
  2. Will this area be in direct sunlight?
  3. Do I have children or pets that may scuff up the walls or get dirt on them?
  4. How do I want to feel when I enter this room?

Typically sheens go in this order:

Flat- No gloss added

Matte- A slight gloss added

Eggshell- Medium Gloss and reflective value

Satin or Pearl- In between eggshell and semi gloss this is a good paint for bathrooms

Semi Gloss- Good for areas with high traffic and needed for extra durability. All trim and doors should be painted in this


For bathrooms I would always recommend an eggshell or higher because the added sheen adds dexterity and you will be able to scrub and wash the walls easier without damaging the paint.

This is also true in kitchens without backsplashes or proper hood vent and ventilation for removing grease. You will want a strong durable paint.

For the rest of the home, from my experience a Matte finish is the best balance of durability and visuals. A matte finish also hides most wall imperfections and its reflective value will let you see the colour of the wall and not be blinded by the sun or any other light that reflects!


If children or pets are involved in the home I would go one step above and use an eggshell finish for added protective value!


If you have any questions about what sheen to use feel free to get in contact with us.


-James, Fresh Start Painting

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