The 411 On Exterior Paint Sheens

If you’re familiar with interior painting, you’ll probably know a thing or two about paint sheens. That being, the fact that you can choose paints with a variety of different shiny or non-shiny finishes, in accordance with your preferences and their intended use.

But what often takes DIY types by surprise is the fact that there are also plenty of different paint sheens available for exterior painting. Whether you plan to paint your home’s exterior in its entirety or just a couple of features, you’ll be looking at a pretty extensive range of paint types and finishes to choose from.

The question being – which is best?

interior paint color

As is usually the case which such things, personal preference plays a part. After all, just as long as you personally are delighted with the result, nobody can tell you what’s right or wrong. Still, there are some general rules of thumb to follow to ensure you come out with the best possible result.

So if you’re planning to show some love to your home’s exterior in the near future, here’s a quick overview of the primary sheens available and their respective applications:


As is the case with interior paints, flat exterior paints create a matte finish with little to no shine whatsoever. Having very little luster, flat paints are the ideal choice when dealing with surfaces that are uneven or blemished. A good-quality flat paint can cover a world of imperfections, creating a much more balanced and seamless finish.

This is why flat exterior paints are the recommended choice for older homes and properties with uneven and imperfect surfaces. If the surface is in any way rough, flat exterior paint is a good choice to go. The only slight downside being that flat paints are more difficult to clean than their glossy counterparts. They’re also not quite as resistant to abrasion, but can nonetheless provide an incredibly attractive and robust finish for your home’s exterior.

Low Lustre/Satin

One step up the ladder you’ll find low-luster or satin paints, which as you’d expect are neither shiny nor matte. They’re somewhere in the middle, creating a soft finish that isn’t quite as ‘dull’ as a flat finish, but also isn’t noticeably glossy.

Gloss and High-Gloss

If you’re planning on painting your home manually, approach glossy paints with caution. Even with all the experience and expertise in the world, it can be incredibly difficult and laborious to immaculately apply gloss paint to a home’s exterior. This is why their use is typically limited to certain features and focal points, as opposed to being used on the main siding of the property.

Gloss paints create the kind of shiny and reflective finish that is highly resistant and easy to clean. Nevertheless, it also has a habit of magnifying and intensifying blemishes and imperfections. So if you do manage to get it on evenly, you’ll highlight any unevenness of the surface. Instead, gloss paints are perfect for touching up window frames, doors, shutters and similar features in general. The more eye-catching elements of the home, where a bit of shine and sparkle can make all the difference.


Last but not least, stain is also an option that’s worth considering. Products for staining your home’s exterior are available in a variety of sheens, along with various levels of opacity. Some are practically see-through and designed to let the natural beauty of the surface shine through, while others will almost entirely mask the surface beneath. The latter (obviously) being the better choice when dealing with wooden surfaces that are damaged or aren’t particularly attractive.

Along with your own personal preferences, the ideal exterior coating for your home will depend on the materials, the condition of the surfaces and so on. Rather than choosing exterior paints at random, it’s important first to go over your home’s exteriors in full and consider its requirements. Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, hiring help if you’ve any doubts or concerns.

Here at Homm CPS, we’d be delighted to offer you an obligation-free consultation to discuss your requirements in more detail. Always remember that bringing in the pros could actually save you time and money! So before getting started, get in touch with a member of our customer support team and see what we can offer you.