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» How To Pick The Right Paint Sheen For Your Project

How To Pick The Right Paint Sheen For Your Project

How to pick the right sheen for your project

 Walls : Stunning 826 (Semi-Gloss)
When it comes to painting your home, picking the perfect colour to suit the space, light and your own personal style is a feat in itself! 

Once you've narrowed down that shortlist and picked the perfect hue, there is one final consideration to think about before you get painting - the best finish for your project.

This final step is often overlooked despite it having a huge impact, not only on the look of a room, but also the practical benefits in terms of durability and longevity.

From matte, to eggshell, to high gloss - where to start?

In a nutshell, the sheen of a paint, sometimes referred to as the finish, is a description of the shininess of the paint when its dry and a measure how much light is reflected from the surface. 

Benjamin Moore offers six sheen levels for interior paints. At the lower end -  with the least sheen - are flat and matte finishes, at the other end of the scale are semi- gloss and high gloss which reflect the most. 

But what does this mean for your space?

Here's a handy 'how-to' that explains the options, their characteristics, and where they work best. 
Ceiling : Deep Ocean 2058-30 (Semi-Gloss), Walls : Deep Ocean 2058-30 (Eggshell).
First up ... the forgiving flat

Flat paints have the lowest level of reflectance, resulting in virtually no sheen at all.

This lack of sheen means the appearance of any flaws or uneven areas on a wall or ceiling will be masked and the end result will look more uniform. This makes flat sheen paints the perfect choice for older properties or areas where certain walls are flooded with light, highlighting any imperfections. 

Flat paints generally have lower durability than the higher sheen paints, so typically flat paints are recommended for areas in the home with lower wear and tear, as well as ceilings. 
Ceiling : Heavenly Blue 709 (Ultra Flat).  Walls and woodwork : Oxford White 869 (Eggshell)

Lend a luxurious touch with matte

Defined by its low level of sheen, selecting a matte sheen paint will give a smooth, contemporary finish. It's almost as shine-free as flat, offering that excellent hide and depth of colour but with more durability.

You can now even paint your bathroom with a matte sheen paint, thanks to our innovative Aura
® Bath & Spa product.  This luxurious paint has been was designed to achieve exceptional durability, colour retention and mildew resistance in high-humidity environments. 

The velvety, rich look of matte paints makes it perfect for plush sitting rooms and dreamy bedrooms. Accessorise with polished fixtures and metallics, all of which will really pop against a matte backdrop.

Upper wall : Gray Mist OC-30 (Matte). Bottom Wall : Black Jack 2133-20 (Matte)

Eggshell, the 'go to' for elegant restraint.

Eggshell, with its very subtle sheen, unsurprisingly can be compared to the surface of an ... egg. It's an incredibly popular choice as provides an easy-to-clean, nearly shine-free finish, suited for most areas of a home, working particularly well in kitchens, living and dining rooms.

While an eggshell finish does not have too much luster, it still reflects and bounces light producing a soft glow. This soft glow casts light beautifully throughout a room, creating depth without appearing overly shiny.

Walls : Snowfall White OC-118 (Eggshell). Ceiling : Snowfall White OC-118 (Flat). Accent wall : Casco Bay 2051-30 (Eggshell). Painted arch : Pirates Cove Beach OC-80 (Eggshell).  

Get the glow with satin.

A satin finish has a beautiful luster, almost velvety and slightly less lustrous than a gloss finish. It is often described as a glow, rather than a shine and will create an understated intensity in your space as well as enlivening the colour.

A satin finish delivers a higher gloss than eggshell offering more stain resistance and durability. Many people choose a satin finish for cabinets, woodwork, panelling, doors and banisters as it will beautifully emphasise the architectural details of the space. 

Kitchen Cabinets: Balsam 567 (Satin) 

Go gloss to achieve a high impact scheme.

The luminous look of a gloss paint is perfectly suited to highlight the architectural details of your home and create dimension on woodwork, trim and doors.
We offer two types of gloss - semi-gloss and high gloss. 

Semi-gloss offers a higher sheen than satin. This finish is tough, durable and stain resistant making it perfect for surfaces that need to be cleaned. 

Walls : Starry Night Blue 2067-20 (Semi Gloss).

Offering a mirror-like finish, high gloss sits at the top of the sheen chart.

While usually a finish for woodwork, we've seen a recent trend towards experimenting with high gloss paint in unexpected areas, such as the ceiling or an accent wall.  There is nothing as showstopping as a high gloss finish to add drama and offer the most elegant shine.

Walls : Carter Plum CW-355 (High Gloss).

Discover the different products in the Benjamin Moore range and which sheens are available in which product here.

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