Whenever you decide to paint your home, one of the toughest choices to make is the right color. After you have chosen the color that you like, next you will need to determine the sheen of the paint that you want to use.
Paint sheen is basically the level of a paints glossiness or shine. For exterior paints, there are generally four sheens that are used today, flat, satin, semi-gloss and gloss and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Regardless of the color that you choose to paint your home, the sheen can dramatically effect the way that it looks.
Flat paint is often referred to as matte and has very little if any sheen and appears non-reflective offering a smooth appearance. A flat sheen is a good choice if you have imperfections on your siding or trim because it works great to conceal these imperfections. The biggest disadvantage to using a flat sheen is that it is not quite as durable as the other sheens.
Satin paint offers a subtle shine but does appear more glossy that a flat sheen does. Satin sheens are very popular because they offer better durability than a flat sheen does and are easier to clean. A satin sheen will show more imperfections in your siding or trim than a flat sheen will, but not as much as a semi-gloss or a gloss paint will. Satin sheens are often referred to as low luster sheen.
A semi-gloss paint has a more glossy appearance than satin and offers very good durability. Semi-gloss paints are not good for hiding imperfections in your siding or trim but are easier to clean. When semi-gloss paints are used on the exterior it is most often used for painting trim.
A gloss paint has the most shiny appearance of all of the other sheens and offers superior durability. Gloss paints are very shiny and are not used very often on the exterior. When a gloss paint is used on the exterior it is normally used on doors or shutters.
This most common paint sheens that I use today as a Hoover AL house painting contractor are satin and flat, in that order. While exterior semi-gloss and gloss paints are available, they are not used as often on the exterior.