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Benjamin Moore Paint Guide: The Right Sheen for Every Room

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Jessica
08.11.14

Walls: Natura, Eggshell, Green Umber CW-460; Trim: Natura, Semi-Gloss, Harwood Putty CW-5; Ceiling: Natura, Flat, Harwood Putty CW-5

All paint is not created equal. And it’s not just about color, either. Finish matters, too! If you’re a little hazy on what “finish” actually means, it’s basically the paint’s gloss level (or amount  of light reflection). So, glossy and shiny paint like Benjamin Moore’s high-gloss or semi-gloss paint reflect more light than their matte counterparts like Benjamin Moore’s flat and eggshell.

Factors like the size, location and the amount of foot-traffic a room gets can all affect the ideal finish type. Use these guidelines to make good choices!

The Best Places for Flat Paint: Living Room, Bedroom, Ceiling and Furniture

Flat paint has no luster or sheen at all – it’s matte from all angles. It will hide any “imperfections” because it doesn’t reflect very much light. So it’s best to use flat finishes in areas where there may be nicks, scratches or dirt, like on a ceiling or in a high-use room like your living room.

Our favorite Benjamin Moore flat paint options:

Walls: Regal Select, Matte, Stonington Gray HC-170;Trim: Regal Select, Semi-Gloss, Stonington Gray HC-170; Ceiling: Waterborne Ceiling Paint, Ultra Flat, Powder Pink 2009-70

Walls: Natura, Flat, Van Deusen Blue HC-156

The Best Places for Eggshell Paint: Hallways, Dining Rooms and Kitchens

Eggshell paint is one step glossier than flat paint, and has a slight sheen when viewed from an angle. Eggshell paint is easier to clean than matte paint, so it’s best to use in rooms where the walls may receive grease or dirt, such as in the kitchen, or areas that see heavy foot traffic, like a hallway.

Our favorite Benjamin Moore eggshell paint options:

Front Wall: ben, Eggshell, Covington Blue HC-138; Kitchen Wall: ben, Eggshell, Palladian Blue HC-144; Trim: ben, Semi-Gloss, Moonlight White OC-125

Near Wall: ben, Eggshell, Thicket AF-405; Far Wall: ben, Eggshell, Constellation AF-540; Trim: ben, Semi-Gloss, Frostine AF-5

The Best Places for Satin Paint: Bathrooms and Furniture

Satin paint is eggshell paint’s flashier cousin. It’s slightly glossier than eggshell, but the gloss is still primarily seen from an angle. It’s best to use in bathrooms and other small spaces, because it reflects more light than eggshell. Because of this, it can highlight imperfections in larger rooms.  

Our favorite Benjamin Moore satin paint options:

Photo: Kohler

Walls: Aura Bath & Spa, Matte, Fruit Shake 2088-60; Wainscoting & Trim: ADVANCE, Satin, Fruit Shake 2088-60 

Photo: Kohler

Walls: Aura Bath & Spa, Matte, Gray Mirage 2142-50; Ceiling:Waterborne Ceiling Paint, Flat, Moonlight White 2143-60; Door & Hallway: ADVANCE, Satin, Sparrow AF-720

The Best Place for Semi-Gloss or High-Gloss Paint: Windows, Trim, Doors and Cabinetry

Semi-gloss and high-gloss paint are the disco ball of paint finishes – they reflect a lot of light! It’s best to use these finishes as accents on windows, trim, doors and cabinetry. If an entire room were painted in high-gloss paint, not only would it reflect a ton of light, it would show all of the room’s imperfections. Eek!

Our favorite Benjamin Moore high-gloss paint options:

Door: Regal Select High Build Exterior, Soft Gloss, Tarrytown Green HC-134; Siding & Trim: Regal Select REVIVE, Icicle 2142-70; Stair Risers: Regal Select High Build Exterior, Low Lustre, Revere Pewter HC-172

Walls: Kitchen & Bath, Pearl, Yarmouth Blue HC-150; Cabinets:ADVANCE, Semi-Gloss, Swiss Coffee OC-45

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