How to differentiate between gloss and sheen?

Sheen meterHow to differentiate between gloss and sheen?
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  • How to differentiate between gloss and sheen?

    In this article, you can find out the difference between both gloss and sheen and how they are both measured. However, differentiating between gloss and sheen is complicated but important. This is because they both have a strong impact on the paint colour and the finish of a product.

    How are sheen and gloss measured?

    Across the industry of paint, gloss and sheen are both measured by reflecting light off of specific angles. Gloss is always measured at a 60-degree angle. This means that a beam of light is detected from a 60-degree angle off a surface and into a receptor. This receptor then provides you with the number of gloss units and can range from 0-100. However, the closer to 100 units you are means the shiner and glossier the paint is on the surface. To measure this you would use a gloss meter. On the other hand, the sheen is measured on an 85-degree angle.

    sheen meter

    How to choose the gloss or sheen level?

    When choosing either gloss or sheen, you should consider visual and functional considerations such as the lighting and traffic level of a room as well as the performance expectations.

    When to use a low gloss or sheen:

    There are many instances when you are recommended to use a low gloss or sheen. These include:

     When space does not need much attention such as ceilings or even hallways

     The room has plenty of natural light

     If you have a wall with a few imperfections as low gloss or sheen will cover this

    When to use a high sheen or gloss:

    Yet again, there are many times when high gloss or sheen will be beneficial. These include:

     If the room has a lot of traffic as it will need a lot of cleaning and high gloss or sheen is typically known for providing stain resistant finishes

     The room needs some depth. We believe that contrasting your finishes provides a feeling of depth and if you want to make architectural features stand out use high gloss or sheen.

    About the author: Darren