Kitchen cabinet painting, Amador County: “I Have to Pick a Sheen Too?”

by | Nov 15, 2019 | Interior Painting

Most homeowners in Amador County focus primarily on paint color when repainting their kitchen cabinets.

However, only a few think about the type of finish. While color is just as important, the finish or sheen will determine how well the paint holds up and other characteristics, such as light reflection and the ability to hide surface imperfections.

So, yes, you have to pick a sheen too. But you might be wondering what a paint sheen is.

Paints for kitchen cabinets and other forms of woodwork come in various sheens. “Sheen” is a term used to describe the level of glossiness or shininess that a paint emits once it has dried.

Types of Cabinet Paint Finishes

Different manufacturers use different terms to describe the levels of shininess. But there are five cabinet paint finishes: flat (matte), semi-gloss, gloss, eggshell, and satin.

You can identify the levels of paint sheen by the amount of light they reflect. Shinier paints contain relatively higher binders and resins, creating a smooth, glossy, complex finish.

On the other hand, less glossy, flat paints tend to have higher levels of pigments.

Flat or Matte

Flat and matte paint finishes tend to diffuse light more, hold dirt, and are often difficult to clean.

While they have more color pigments, the paint layer can be easily rubbed off, even with minor scrubbing.

On the brighter side, since these sheens absorb rather than reflect light, they tend to hide surface imperfections.

These two are probably not your best picks for painting kitchen cabinets.


This relatively low-luster finish offers the same merits as the flat and matte finishes.

Eggshell paints, however, are a bit more resistant to wear and tear. They’re probably best suited for walls and ceilings in rooms that receive low traffic.


This perfect balance offers the best of both worlds. It provides an elegant, versatile kitchen cabinet finish perfect for active kitchens.

It’s easier to clean and hides stains and imperfections to some degree. Their durability is also relatively high compared to flat and eggshell finishes.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss is perhaps the most popular sheen on kitchen cabinets and woodwork throughout many homes.

Semi-gloss paints offer a nice shine on cabinets without being overbearingly shiny.

They’re also easy to maintain and tend to be very durable even in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen.

This finish might reflect or show more grime and dirt than satin. However, it’s an excellent pick for most cabinet repaint projects.

Gloss Paint

Gloss paints are one step higher than semi-gloss paints. They reflect more light and are much easier to clean and maintain than semi-gloss and satin paints.

It’s worth noting that high-gloss paints might be easier to clean, but they will show more flaws and dirt.

Also, the shininess in this finish can be a little overbearing sometimes, especially if you’re choosing brighter colors.

So, which sheen should you choose?

Most homeowners find semi-gloss or satin paints best for kitchen cabinets.

If you’re repainting your entire kitchen, a perfect combination would be to use satin paint on the kitchen walls and semi-gloss paint on cabinets and woodwork.

Highly industrious kitchens might benefit more from high-gloss paints since they can withstand regular washing and scrubbing.

Ultimately, the type of finish you choose will depend on your preferences. Choose a glossy sheen if you want shinier and super easy-to-clean cabinets.

If you’re looking for a finish that hides surface imperfections but is still relatively easy to clean, go for the satin sheen.

In addition to providing high-quality and durable painting results, hiring professional contractors can help you sort out additional issues such as color, type of finish, and sheen.

Get the conversation started and make sure your paint job is done right by calling Michael Hines Painting at 209-256-4587 for a FREE estimate.

Or contact us at Galt House Painter, the best painting company in Galt, CA. Find high-quality painting with the best finish by clicking the link now!