You decided to paint your home but your have no clue what paint sheen you should select. There is the oil-based and the water-based, the low odour, the you-cannot-go-wrong-with-it, ours-looks-the-best and the must-have-now paint or, when it comes to its apearance, one can choose a flat, egshell enamel, satin, semi-gloss, hi-gloss sheen paint, just to list a few.

People do not really like to make choices although many say it is better. The majority of people are only puzzled. Why so many types?

Oil paint consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. Turpentine or white spirit are used to modify its viscosity while varnish may be added to increase its glossiness. Acrylic/latex paint contains pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion, can be diluted with water and become water-resistant when dry.

The oil-based paint is tyically more durable than the acrylic/latex paint but the it seams to be harder to apply and have a stronger odour. More people seam to prefer the water-based paint. However, for windows, doors and high traffic areas oil based paint should be considered due to its superior durability.

Selecting the right sheen is also important. One should consider the desired look, the condition of the existing surface and the desired durability.

Here are the typical sheen to choose from:

  • FLAT – elegant, warm matte sheen, ideal in areas with low traffic such as bedrooms, dining rooms, living room and family room
  • FLAT ENAMEL- low-lustre, matte sheen, ideal in areas with medium traffic
  • EGGSHELL ENAMEL - soft, velvety sheen, ideal for areas with high traffic
  • SATIN ENAMEL – rich, pearl-like sheen, very resistent to stains, ideal for areas with high traffic
  • SATIN LUSTRE – radiant, silky sheen, easy to clean, moisture and mildew resistant, ideal for hallways, kitchens and baths, doors and windows
  • SEMI-GLOSS ENAMEL – radiant, sleek sheen, superior scrubbabilty with moisture resistance, ideal for hallways, kitchens and baths, doors and windows
  • HIGH-GLOSS ENAMEL – brilliant, glass-like sheen, durable and highly scrubbable, ideal in kitchens and baths, doors and windows

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