Blog What Sheen Should You Paint Your Homes Exterior? May 31, 2023

When it comes to painting your home's exterior, many factors can help you determine the right kind of paint finish or sheen to choose from. From enhancing your home’s curb appeal to providing protection against weather, paint sheen is just as important as the color you choose. But with so many options available, determining what sheen to use can be a daunting task.

So, what is the right sheen for your home's exterior? This guide will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision, and explore the different sheen options available.

First, let’s understand what paint sheen is. Paint sheen is the shine or glossiness of the paint finish and can range from being flat or matte to glossy and shiny. Typically, a higher sheen reflects more light and provides a more durable finish.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right sheen for your home exterior:

1. Climate If you live in an area with a lot of rain or harsh sun, you may want to consider a more durable sheen that offers protection for the exterior of your home.

2. Personal Style Your home’s exterior can make a statement about you, reflect your personal style or complement the architecture of your home. Consider your personal style, architectural style, and surrounding landscape when selecting a sheen.

3. Home Age and Condition Consider the age and condition of your home. If you have an older home with more imperfections, a lower sheen may be more appropriate. A higher sheen could make flaws more prominent.

Now let's explore the different sheen options:

1. Flat or Matte

Flat or Matte finishes are perfect for hiding surface flaws and imperfections. It doesn't have any shine or gloss and gives a velvety finish, making it ideal for older homes or homes with a lot of shaded areas. However, it is not as durable as higher sheens, and it is susceptible to stains and scuffs. It's best used on siding and body or trim.

2. Satin

Satin finishes are more durable than flat finishes and have a slightly shiny appearance. It is often described as having a soft, velvety look. Satin is suitable for homes with wood siding or less than perfect walls. It is often used for trim and shutters, and it's an excellent alternative to the glossy finish.

3. Semi-Gloss

Semi-gloss finishes are highly durable, with a moderate sheen perfect for high-use areas such as doors, shutters, and trim. It's easy to clean and tends to resist mildew, making it an excellent choice in humid climates. However, its higher reflectivity may draw attention to surface imperfections.

4. Gloss

Gloss finishes are perfect for commercial or industrial buildings but may be too shiny for a home’s exterior. Gloss has a highly reflective and ultra-smooth finish, which can make a statement but may emphasize surface imperfections. It’s a great choice for metal doors, gutters, and outdoor furniture.

The best sheen for different parts of the home:

1. Siding Siding is the largest component of your home's exterior and should have a durable, long-lasting finish. Satin or eggshell finishes are best for exterior siding.

2. Trim & Doors Trim and doors require a durable finish to withstand heavy use, so Semi-Gloss or high-gloss finishes work best for these surfaces.

3. Front doors A front door is an important curb appeal element that deserves attention. It depends on your personal style, but Semi-gloss or high-gloss finish makes it look bold and standout.

In conclusion, selecting the right sheen for your home's exterior can be a complex decision, but understanding your needs, personal style, and home condition can simplify the process. Always keep in mind that different sheens offer different benefits, and it's essential to identify your priorities. Additionally, a high-quality exterior paint with the right sheen can protect your home from the elements and enhance curb appeal for years to come.

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