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What is the best sheen for exterior paint?

Choosing the best color for an exterior paint project can be tough enough, but how do you find the best sheen for exterior paint? Will a flat paint fail faster? Will a glossy finish look bad? These are questions that are hard to get clear answers to, and the wrong choice can have major consequences for your home exterior. Luckily, we’re here to help.

The best sheen for exterior paint is satin. Flat sheens quickly lose their color and are more prone to damage. Semi-gloss sheens can become sticky and develop an unpleasant texture. A satin sheen is ideal because improves the paint’s durability and color retention without overly impacting the texture.

What is a sheen?

In essence, a sheen is the measure of a paint’s gloss, or how much light it reflects. The higher the sheen, the more reflective the paint is. This sheen also improves a paint’s durability, making it more scrubbable for cleaning and more resistant to scuffs and scratches.

Some of the most common sheen types are:

  • Flat
  • Matte/Eggshell
  • Satin
  • Semi-Gloss
  • Gloss
  • High-Gloss

Why is satin the best sheen for exterior paint?

Satin improves a paint’s durability, especially against moisture because of its wet-wicking properties. Satin also keeps the color of the paint vibrant for much longer because it protects the paint beneath from the sun’s UV rays.

Many people like the look of a flat sheen for exteriors, but the color and the paint itself may not last as long because there is no sheen to protect it. That isn’t as much of a problem in higher-end paints, but you may notice moisture shading on flat paint during periods of drying after rain or dew. 

What is the best sheen for exterior trim?

In general, we recommend the same sheen for your exterior, regardless of what system it is. That means the best sheen for exterior trim is still satin. 

Fill out the form below for a free estimate from Heritage Custom Painting on your exterior project. Our trained staff can provide a detailed and accurate estimate, and we can even help you find the right color with our color consulting and virtual rendering services. Fill out the form below and fall in love with your home again today.

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