How to Choose the Right Paint Sheen for Drywall, Trim & Doors

How to Choose the Right Paint Sheen for Drywall, Trim & Doors

November 8, 2023

Renovation,And,Modernization,With,Drywall,Plaster,In,A,Walk-through,RoomChoosing the right paint sheen for your drywall, trim, and doors can make a world of difference in the overall aesthetic appeal of your space. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which sheen is best suited for each surface. In this blog post, we will guide you through the different types of paint sheens and help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the perfect sheen for your drywall, trim, and doors.

Understanding Paint Sheens

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s important to understand what paint sheen actually means. Paint sheen refers to the level of glossiness or shine that a finished paint surface exhibits. Different paint sheens offer varying levels of durability, reflectivity, and smoothness. Understanding the different types of sheens will help you achieve the desired finish for each surface in your home.

Drywall Sheens

When it comes to painting drywall, the most common sheen options include flat, eggshell, and satin.

Flat paint sheen, as the name suggests, has no reflectivity and provides a smooth, matte finish. It is perfect for hiding imperfections on your drywall, such as bumps or patched areas. However, it is less resistant to stains and may not be as durable as other sheens. Therefore, it is best suited for low-traffic areas like bedrooms and living rooms.

Eggshell paint sheen has a slight sheen and offers a soft, velvety finish. It is more durable and washable than flat sheen, making it suitable for high-traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms. The slight sheen also helps to reflect some light, adding a touch of elegance to your walls.

Satin paint sheen provides a bit more glossiness compared to eggshell. It offers superior durability, washability, and resistance to stains and scuffs. Satin sheen is ideal for areas that see a lot of activity, such as kids’ rooms, playrooms, or entryways.

Trim and Doors Sheens

The recommended paint sheens for trim and doors usually differ from those for drywall.

For trim, semi-gloss or high-gloss paint sheen is commonly used. Semi-gloss sheen offers a lustrous shine and is easy to clean, which is essential for areas prone to dirt, such as baseboards and crown moldings. It also provides a beautiful contrast when paired with a matte or eggshell finish on the walls. High-gloss sheen, on the other hand, provides the highest level of sheen and creates a sleek, reflective surface. It is often chosen for doors and cabinets to create a high-end, polished look.

Factors to Consider

While the general guidelines mentioned above can help you choose the right paint sheen, there are a few additional factors to consider before making your final decision:

  • Lighting: The amount of natural and artificial light in a room can affect how the paint sheen appears. Rooms with ample natural light can handle higher sheens without appearing overly shiny.
  • Functionality: Consider the purpose and usage of the surface you are painting. High-traffic areas require more durable sheens that can withstand frequent cleaning and resist stains and scuffs.
  • Size of the Room: The size of the room can also influence your choice of paint sheen. In smaller rooms, higher-gloss sheens may make the space feel more cramped, while lower-gloss sheens can help create a more open and airy feel.
  • Personal Preference: Ultimately, your personal preference and the look you want to achieve should play a significant role in your decision-making process. Consider the overall aesthetic of your space and how different sheens will contribute to the desired atmosphere.


Choosing the right paint sheen for drywall, trim, and doors is crucial for achieving the desired look and durability in your home. By understanding the different sheens available and considering factors such as lighting, functionality, room size, and personal preference, you can confidently select the perfect sheen for each surface. So, go ahead and transform your space with the right paint sheen choice!

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