How to Pick Paint Sheen

September 21, 2020 3 min read

How to Pick Paint Sheen

The hardest part of painting your home should be picking your favorite color! But the most common questions around painting don’t come up when selecting the color to use; most questions are about which sheen you should use! A good starting point is to always consider:how much traffic does this area of my home receive?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal sheen that works well in every area of your home. It’s important to choose the right sheen so your paint will stand the test of time. While you’re likely to see many types and names of sheens, Benjamin Moore uses seven main finishes:


Flat sheen is the go to for CEILINGS! This sheen doesn’t reflect light and while it’s excellent at hiding flaws, it stains very easily. This makes it perfect for the zero traffic area above your head! Our go to is  Benjamin Moore Ceiling Paint in Ultra Flat!


Matte sheen is similar to flat because it’s also doesn’t reflect light (so no shine!) but it’s slightly more durable! This makes it great for most walls in your home: living room, dining room, and bedrooms. This matte finish is a truly lux look and gives an amazing finish on flat walls. 


This is our most popular sheen! Eggshell is the go to paint finish for most walls in your home – especially in high traffic areas. It is also a low shine finish, but is more durable that both flat and matte. It’s very easy to clean, has a soft/velvety appearance and is great in most areas of your home! 


A gorgeous middle ground sheen is pearl. Pearl is a highly durable medium gloss which makes it very easy to clean. Because of this, it’s great on walls in high traffic areas! A great example of this is  Benjamin Moore Regal Select Pearl – it’s great in high humidity areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms!   


Satin sheen is often confused with eggshell. The easiest way to tell the difference: satin has a higher gloss! It is even better with stain resistance than the previous sheens and is even more durable as well. Satin sheen is a go to for adding definition to the home and looks amazing on trim, shutters, or your interior doors! 


Semi-Gloss is your go to for kitchen cabinets! This is a very shiny finish and is perfect in the highest traffic area of your home – the kitchen! This sheen cures to a smooth finish and has a beautiful glossy look.  Because of its shine, it will show imperfections so considering that when selecting. Our recommendation is     Benjamin Moore Advance Semi-Gloss. Need help choosing a paint color for your kitchen cabinets?We can help!

High Gloss

The shiniest of all the sheens! This finish is extremely easy to clean and is stain resistant but can be challenging to apply. It requires careful application, must be put on areas that are completely smooth, and it is best to entrust a professional painter if you’d like to try this sheen in your home. Try  ADVANCE High Gloss for an amazing finish that can make a dramatic statement in your home.

Need help choosing a sheen for your home?  Stop by Benjamin Moore Flagship Paints for samples or  setup and appointment with our consultants to get started choosing the right paint for your home!



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