Paint Sheen

How to Choose Sheen


“Sheen” refers to the finish of the paint which can vary from chalky to glass-like. Here’s a quick guide to selecting the right sheen for your room.


  • Flat: (also called Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings.

  • Flat Enamel: Has almost no shine but is a bit easier to clean than flat paint. This is also perfect for low traffic areas but may be a better choice if you really like the look of flat but have kids or pets.

  • Eggshell Enamel: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms. Most scuffs can be wiped off of this surface with a damp cloth.

  • Satin Enamel: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas or areas that have moisture. It is also super washable which is why it is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

  • Semi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim, or in really high moisture areas.

  • Hi-Gloss Enamel:  Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces (like a railing) or furniture.


California paint has the right sheen for your project. Stop in and see!

Phinney Lumber is your premiere local source for lumber, building materials, hardware, paint and more.

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