Having trouble selecting a gloss level? We explain the differences and how to use them in your home

Nov 14, 2023 | News

Selecting the right type of gloss level for your home can prove to be quite a challenging and daunting task. How many times have you opened a magazine, visited a showroom, or friend’s home or even watched a television renovation show to see varying gloss levels on different surfaces being used; and wondered how the owners managed to integrate different gloss finishes so seamlessly to create a modern and interesting room that draws you into it. In order to answer this question you need to understand what gloss is and the different types of gloss levels, the serviceability factors and why it is important to distinguish these differences in order to make the right gloss choice for your home.

So what is gloss?

Gloss in a nutshell is all about the shine or luster of a surface. Depending on how much light is reflected from the surface will determine how “glossy” or “matt” the ultimate finish will be. If a painted surface has a smooth and glass like reflection this is determined to be “Glossy or “Shiny”- as light is directly reflected on the surface creating a higher gloss finish. A surface that is perceived to be somewhat “Flat” to the eye has a microscopically rough surface profile after it dries as light is scattered in a less intense direction – meaning a duller finish is the end result thus creating a lower gloss finish.

Why is gloss level important?

The given gloss levels in paint surfaces are an important factor to consider for your home as it can have a significant impact on both the appearance and serviceability for your home. Higher gloss levels will improve the durability of the finish and will have easier scrub and stain resistance, while being more moisture resistant than lower gloss levels. Higher gloss levels will also tend to show more defects and imperfections on the surface than lower gloss levels due to the higher gloss finish. It is also important to understand that different gloss levels will affect a colours perception. The same colour finished in different gloss level will appear as a different colour and can transform a room’s finish. For example a higher gloss finish will appear brighter and richer than the same colour in a lower gloss finish.

Different levels of gloss and Serviceability Factors (characteristics)

Matt (10%)Slight gloss appearance
Good choice for areas where some gloss level is required
Good cleaning properties
Generally used in kitchens, bedrooms, living areas, laundries or bathrooms
Satin (30%)Slightly glossy appearance
Good stain resistance properties
Easy to clean
Generally used in rooms requiring frequent cleaning such as kitchens bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas.
Semi-Gloss (60%)Slightly higher reflective surface appearance
Higher durability and stain resistance than matt and satin finishes
Easier to clean than lower gloss finishes
Generally used in high use rooms such as kitchen and bathrooms where doors and cabinets are exposed to fingerprints and grime
Higher gloss properties may highlight surface imperfections.
Gloss (90%)Highest reflective gloss appearance
Gloss surfaces will be the toughest and most stain resistant surfaces of all the finishes
Being high gloss paint will mean that it will be the easiest surface to typically clean
Generally used on surfaces that are exposed to higher rates of dirt and oil such as doors and cabinets in kitchens
Higher gloss paint can emphasize surface imperfections.

So you now see that gloss isn’t just gloss! There are many factors to consider when choosing the type of gloss level you want to incorporate in your home. The gloss level chosen will determine the look, feel and texture of your home.

For more information on gloss levels or contact our friendly sales representative