What’s the Difference Between Colour and Sheen?

new paint job with added sheen

One of the most common questions for homeowners when painting is, “What’s the difference between colour and sheen?” To answer this question, it’s important to understand the terms used to describe them. Colour refers to the pigmentation of the paint and sheen is a measure of how reflective or glossy a paint is. This can affect how a colour will look on your walls.

How does sheen affect colour? Generally speaking, high sheens make colours appear more intense while low sheens tend to produce more muted tones. This is because high sheens have a higher gloss level which reflects more light and makes colours stand out more. Low sheens have a flatter finish that absorbs more light which dulls down the vibrancy of colours. It’s important to note that both colour and sheen change as paint dries.

When choosing paints, many companies will use different names to describe the same reflectiveness levels. For example, matte finishes are often referred to as flat finishes while semi-gloss finishes are referred to as eggshell or satin finishes. Understanding these terms can help you make an informed decision about what type of finish you want for your walls.

Aesthetically speaking, wall paints usually range from 10-20 at an 85° angle which generally translates into either flat (matte) or low-sheen finishes whereas trim paints are usually in the 25-50 range with a higher gloss level such as semi-gloss or gloss finishes. It’s worth noting that you can still use any level of sheen or gloss for any surface however there are benefits associated with low and high sheens for each application respectively.


exterior paint job after

Low Sheen/Flat Pros

These types of finishes hide surface imperfections better than higher sheens and they also dry faster since they don’t reflect light as much as higher sheens do. Flat/low-sheen paints are great for rooms that get lots of sunlight since they won’t reflect light back into eyes making them more comfortable spaces overall.

High Sheen/Gloss Pros

When it comes to doors, trims, and other areas where durability matters, these types of paints offer more protection against staining and washing since they have a higher hardness level due to their reflective properties. Also, areas where you want an accent piece such as millwork or baseboards look better with higher levels of gloss due to their shinier appearance drawing attention away from other parts of the room in comparison.

Using Both

Contrasting lower sheen walls with higher sheen trims helps create visual interest by accentuating the different materials used in each area whereas using similar levels creates a uniform look throughout any given space making it look bigger and brighter overall if done properly!

To sum up, when it comes to picking out paint colours there really isn’t one “correct” way but understanding how colours and their respective properties work together can help you make informed decisions when deciding what works best for your home’s aesthetics! Whether its hiding imperfections in one area while accentuating others in another; creating contrast between different materials; or just finding something that looks pleasing regardless – understanding the differences between colour, sheen, and gloss can go a long way!

At Pro Crew Painting, we understand how important it is to get the right colour and sheen for your house’s exterior. Our team of professional painters have extensive experience in selecting the perfect colours and sheens to make your house look its best. We can provide expert advice on how to maintain the paint job over time, ensuring that you get the best possible results. Contact us today to find out how we can help give your house a fresh new look with the right colour and sheen.

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