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Old 09-30-2007, 06:18 PM   #1
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What sheens go where?


Didn't want to hijack the 'painted my living room matte, want it glossy' thread, so I started this.

Someone posted that gloss isn't a living room sheen. It donned on me I don't know the first thing about which sheens are typical where.

For instance, I've done my bedrooms' walls/ceilings with a matte white. I used a satin sheen red on my front door, and matte red on my other exterior accents (unless they were metal, those I used satin on). I actually am planning on using some satin sheen white for the exterior door trim/frame.


So, what places does one typically use a high gloss? What sheen/location combos are typically avoided?

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Old 09-30-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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What sheens go where?


Typically there is little demand for high gloss these days
Mostly people like trim a sheen or two shinier than walls
Semi-gloss is probably the most popular for trim, flat for walls, but eggshell for walls has had a huge jump in popularity the last few years

But those are just what's common
There are no rules

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Old 10-01-2007, 06:09 AM   #3
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What sheens go where?


While I don't read decorating magazines, my ceilings are flat (as pretty much all ceilings are), my walls eggshell (for enhanced washability), and my trim SW ProClassic Gloss. (Although I have heard that SW "Gloss" would be semi-gloss with other companies... can't say for sure on that one.)

I would paint trim semi-gloss at the least, as trim, especially on doors and windows gets grimy quickly from constant touching. High sheens will help you keep it clean, as regular cleaning will not hurt the finish. (It might "burnish" a flat or eggshell.)

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Old 10-01-2007, 01:19 PM   #4
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What sheens go where?


can you explain that sheen/cleaning issue more? Is it basically a higher sheen handles cleaning better? Are you referring to stuff like wiping off dirty fingerprints with a wet paper towel? I have noticed my <crappy brand> matte white paint doesn't seem to like me using a wet towel to clean things (seems like it smudges it up..)
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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What sheens go where?


Speaking in a general fashion, stains "soak in" to flatter sheens more easily. If you touch a flat wall vs. a higher-sheen wall, you can feel the difference; the flatter sheens have a rougher feel to them. Also, higher sheens simply stand up better to scrubbing because they are already smoother to begin with.

If you look at just about any company's advice for sheens, they almost all recommend flats for ceilings and low-traffic rooms, eggshell for higher-traffic areas, bathrooms, and kitchens, and at least semi-gloss for trim.

Flat does have the advantage that it hides irregularities in the wall surface, and also hides application issues better.

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Old 10-01-2007, 09:09 PM   #6
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What sheens go where?


coolness. A more elaborate explanation of such subject matter would make a great sticky if we ever see more stickies added to this site. For instance, I just had some paint tinted to satin for interior accents, but a little late now because it was custom tinted, I would've gone back and gotten semi-gloss!

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