Okay you’ve selected the paint color. Now for the sheen.

Here’s what we do, in general:

We love a flat or matte sheen on walls and ceilings.  There was a time, however, when this wasn’t always the smartest choice.  The argument was it wasn’t easy to clean.  It wasn’t wipeable.  So we would up the sheen for kids rooms, family rooms, and hallways. That has changed now that major paint manufacturers have developed wipeable flat sheens. Besides the soft look of the finish, flat paint does a better job of hiding little imperfections and it can more easily be touched up without leaving brush marks.

We go with eggshell for Kitchen and Bathroom walls and ceilings. Eggshell is more wipeable than flat and absorbs less moisture.

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If your Kitchen is open to a living area then the washable flat paints are perfect. They cost a bit more, as a matter of fact sometimes twice as much, but it could be well worth it.

Generally speaking we go with eggshell for trim in more casual homes. 

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For more formal or larger homes, we’ll go with satin or semi gloss for trim.

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If you are looking for something more dramatic semi-gloss or even gloss can be stunning on walls and/or ceilings. But, be aware your walls need to be in perfect condition and the paint needs to be applied perfectly. Paints with higher sheen levels show everything. 


Shinier paints reflect light, which creates an amazing affect and a major wow factor. We once did a Powder Room in a black gloss. For dinner parties the clients would light candles and use the dimmers on the lights. Gorgeous.

Barbara Hyde Evans
Hyde Evans Design