In part 1 of this 2-part series, we wrote about VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paint, Canada’s VOC regulations, and acrylic/latex water-based paints. In part 2, we explore the paint sheen options, and why you would use one over another in various areas of you home. Sheen, of course, refers to the level of reflection of a painted surface.

Interior Paint Sheen

Generally, the higher a paint’s sheen, the more durable and washable the paint is. The downside to high-sheen paints is that touch ups are not easy to blend in. Flat paints hide surface imperfections and touch up more easily than gloss paints. Gloss paints are a good choice for home interior painting. They’re a good choice for rooms that see a lot of moisture or need frequent wiping, such as bathrooms and kitchens. An experienced Surrey painting company can help you choose the right paint sheen. Choosing the right paint sheen requires knowledge of painting best practices and an understanding of how you use each room in your home.


Flat or Matte paint have no sheen and are great for surfaces like living rooms, bedrooms, and ceilings. Flat paint tends to hide imperfections and eliminates glare on the surfaces its painted on.


Eggshell finishes are still quite flat, but a bit less so than matte finishes and are a bit more durable. Eggshell is frequently used on walls and/or anywhere you might want less sheen and a more durability.


Interior paints with a “satin” finish impart a very low gloss –  less so than semi-gloss paint. They are durable and useful in high-traffic areas and are often used for hallways, interior doors and trim.


A semi-gloss paint’s sheen is somewhere between satin and gloss. Semi-gloss interior paint is used for areas in your home that that may be humid, require frequent cleaning, or require long-lasting durability including: kid’s rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, doors, cabinetry, shelves, windows and trim.


Gloss paint has the most sheen and is the number one choice for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s  also used on trim, mouldings, built-in shelves and cabinetry.

Paint Sheen and Usage Table

Sheen Flat/Matte Eggshell Satin Semigloss Gloss
Room or Use
Living Room
Dining Room
Trim and Moulding
Window Sills and Moulding

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