Gloss Levels: Which is Right for Your Project?
You’ve decided you are ready to repaint those kitchen cabinets or the front door. When it comes to deciding on colour, you also must decide on gloss level. Here’s a guide to help you figure out which gloss level is right for your project.
Manufacturers use different words to describe different gloss levels. Here at Dianella Polishing, we use this scale:
In order to minimize confusion, refer to the percentage, e.g. 10%, instead of the name of the gloss level when placing orders with different manufacturers.
Uses: Although Matt is the least shiny level of all gloss levels, it shows fingerprints the easiest. It is most commonly used on ceilings and walls. It’s best for surfaces with many imperfections. Since Matt doesn’t reflect light, it is also ideal for home theatres.
Care: Matt is a great finish because it can generally be touched up without having to repaint the entire surface. However, it is hard to clean.
Uses: Satin is the most popular gloss level for furniture. Most furniture in local furniture stores are painted in Satin, such as beds, dining room tables, and bedside tables. It is also a good choice for kitchen cabinets and woodwork. Roughly 70% of the kitchen cabinets we paint are painted in Satin. It is more affordable than gloss and covers imperfections better.
Care: It is more difficult to touch up because differences will be apparent. However, it is easier to clean.
Uses: Semi-gloss is the most popular for trim and mouldings. It has a sheen similar to Gloss but doesn’t show imperfections as much.
Care: It is more durable and easier to clean than Satin. But just like Satin, it is difficult to touch up because the differences in sheen may be apparent.
Uses: Gloss has a mirror-like finish but shows all imperfections. It works best on surfaces that are smooth. It is not recommended for surfaces with recesses or patterns. Exterior house doors finished in gloss tend to hold up better to the elements. It is a more desirable look for bathroom cabinets and kitchen cabinets, but it is also more expensive.
Care: It is the most durable and easiest to clean of all the finishes available. It is buffable, but to ensure the finish isn’t damaged, look to a professional to do the buffing.
If you go with one gloss level and you don’t like it, it is easy to change to another level. If you don’t have a personal preference, go with the market preference as your home will be more desirable to buyers. Above all, take the advice of your professional Painter or Polisher, as they should be able to guide you in the right direction for your specific project.