Choosing the right sheen paint levels for each room and surface can make your head spin. The level of sheen you need for each surface will also depend on the room you are painting. The higher the gloss the greater durability so it’s perfect for high traffic areas, and those sticky fingers!

From flat to a high gloss, and everything in between, we’ve shone the light on sheen so you feel more confident when you’re planning your rooms and chatting with Darren about different products.

Sheen Paint


A flat finish needs to be applied to the surfaces where you shouldn’t see roller marks like ceilings. That’s why flat paint has a sheen level rating of 0-1% which is perfect for overhead. It’s designed to produce a uniform finish and soaks up light, instead of reflecting it.

Why we recommend it for surfaces such as ceilings is because it’s got a high pigment level which means it covers really well. However, it’s very tough to clean and it isn’t very durable, which makes it perfect for ceilings that are out of reach.


On to your walls and there’re a couple of different options depending on the condition of your walls. Matt is perfect for the low traffic walls with uneven surfaces or imperfections because the sheen level is very low at 2-4%.

We recommend Matt for low traffic areas because it may mark more easily. Consider this sheen level for rooms such as bedrooms where you can achieve great coverage but your traffic is low.

Low Sheen

For usage on the interior and exterior walls, low sheen paint offers the ability to hide surface imperfections and is good for cleaning. Carrying a sheen level of 5-8%, the low sheen choice is ideally used in areas such as dining and living rooms.

Semi-Gloss / Satin

Once you require paint in areas of high traffic you’ll find the sheen level jumps up quite a bit. Semi-gloss is a great choice for rooms where moisture is present, such as a kitchen or a bathroom. It can be used on walls, doors and trims and offers an easy surface to clean and good stain resistance. However, it will show imperfections.

With a sheen level of 20-30%, it’s ideal for high traffic area which experience wear and tear.


Last but not least is the highest sheen paint level at 80% and is perfect for heavy wear surfaces such as doors and trims. You’ll find gloss very hard wearing and super easy to clean.

Gloss offers light-reflecting properties so it will show up every bump and groove in the wood. It’s one sheen level you don’t want to skimp on the prep work. Make sure it’s given the attention it deserves.


The best choice of sheen paint for each room and surface in your home will depend on the type of room, how you use it and how much you come into contact with it. Keep this in mind when you are planning your painting work. Any questions give Darren a call and he can confirm if you’re on the right track.