what is cutting in paint

See Your Home In Full Color

At first blush, paint sheen seems a minor design consideration — especially compared with color. But picking the ideal sheen for a paint job involves important visual and functional considerations.

Technically speaking

High paint-resin or binder levels create high sheen, smooth finishes and durable surfaces.

Glossed over

Glossy finishes draw the eye – so where should they be used? Contrasting finishes provide a feeling of depth. To achieve a 3-D feel, consider using gloss paint on the trim in a room that has otherwise been painted with a low-lustre or flat paint.

Halfway there: satin, low-lustre and eggshell

All of these finishes have a sheen that is between semigloss and flat paints. Satin and low-lustre paints have a slightly higher sheen than eggshell finishes. Paints in this category are warmer and provide a greater appearance of depth than flat paints. They also resist stains better than flat paints.

Striking a flat note

Flat paints, also known as matte paints, are a valuable design tool when used correctly. Because they are non-reflective, they tend to conceal surface blemishes better than paints with more sheen. In a visual sense, these finishes effectively "smooth" walls that are dented or rough.

One last option: in-between

With four levels of sheen available in most products, designers can usually find a paint finish that matches their vision. But, if a manufacturer’s sheen does not work aesthetically for a particular project, consider mixing two sheens together to get a custom sheen or an "in-between finish."

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