Selecting Exterior Paint Sheens

When choosing the right product for your exterior painting project, you not only need to consider the colour, but also the sheen. This is less straightforward than colour alone but choosing the right sheen for your home can have a significant impact. Here is a list of the different types of exterior paint sheens available and their qualities:


Like it’s interior counterpart, flat exterior paint is appropriate on more uneven surfaces as its low sheen conceals imperfections. This is why flat sheens are used on older homes, especially those with cedar siding as it tends to be a rougher surface. While a high-quality flat paint is still durable and washable, it’s not as easy to clean as other sheens may be. It also will not stand up as well to abrasion, but a flat sheen is still a great choice for the exterior of any home.

Low Lustre/Satin

This sheen is the most commonly used exterior paint sheen. This sheen is often used for the main body of a house or building exterior. A low lustre/satin sheen provides a soft finish that will look great on siding that is in good condition while allowing it to be cleaned occasionally without impacting the sheen itself.

Semi-Gloss, Gloss and High Gloss

Gloss sheens on a home or building exterior require skillful application. Professional painters rarely use gloss paint for exterior painting as it tends to show imperfections in the surface. Glossy sheens are more washable, resist dirt and clean up more easily and satin or flat sheens. A gloss sheen is best applied to accent pieces such as shutters or doors where added shine can be beneficial, and imperfections are easier to hide.


Stains also come in a variety of sheens like outlined above and different opacities such as clear, semi-transparent and solid. A clear or translucent finish will allow the natural beauty of the wood to display as much as possible. Semi-transparent will add some subtle colour or darkness to the wood, and solid is best used when high levels of coverage are needed as it masks imperfections and can be tinted quite easily.

If you’re looking to have your home’s exterior painted, get in touch with our exterior painting team at ProRise Painting to schedule your exterior painting consultation today.



Prorise Painting provides detailed and transparent consultations and estimates. Are you a homeowner or a business professional? Do you need one room or the entire office repainted? Trust that Prorise Painting will do the job right the first time, each and every time.



Get a quote today!