The shininess of a paint film is referred to as its sheen. It is a measure of how much light is reflected from the surface - the shinier the surface, the higher the % reflectance.
There are no particular standards in the UK paint industry for how to name sheen levels nor what % reflectance a particular name might refer to – each manufacturer has different names and reflectance levels for their paints.
Benjamin Moore paints offer 7 sheen levels for interior paints and 4 sheen levels for exterior paints.
|Sheen Name||Typical % reflectance||Products available in this sheen|
|Flat / Ultra Flat||0-3% sheen at 85°||Natura, Regal Select, Ultra Spec 500, Ceiling Paint|
|Matte||3-5% sheen at 85°||Aura, Regal Select|
|Eggshell||12-20% sheen at 85°||Aura, Regal Select, Ultra Spec, (Floor Paint)|
|Pearl||15-25% sheen at 60°||Regal Select|
|Satin||25-35% sheen at 60°||Aura, Advance WB Alkyd|
|Semi-Gloss/ Gloss||35-60% sheen at 60°||Aura, Natura, Ultra Spec|
|High Gloss||>85% sheen at 60°||Advance WB Alkyd|
|Sheen Name||% Reflectance||Products available in this sheen|
|Flat||0-2% sheen at 85°||Aura Exterior, Ultra Spec EXT (from Mar ‘17)|
|Low Lustre||12-20% sheen at 85°||Aura Exterior (from Mar ’17), Floor Paint|
|Satin||25-35% sheen at 60°||Aura Exterior, Aura Grand Entrance|
|High Gloss||>85% sheen at 60°||Advance WB Alkyd, Aura Grand Entrance|
For shinier paints, the reflectance is measured by shining light at an angle of 60° to the paint surface. For flatter paints, the angle of measurement is 85°.
In a room, the amount of light falling on a surface will change how shiny it appears. So, shinier sheens will not appear as shiny in dimly lit rooms as in brightly lit rooms.