A paint’s “sheen” refers to the way that light reflects off of it, resulting in different amounts of shine. Here are the various types of sheens used to describe paints:

Flat – has no visible shine when light hits it; most commonly used on the main body of the house

Velvet – an exterior paint that has just a tiny bit of shine, can be used on the body or foundation areas when better “cleanability” is desired

Eggshell – an interior paint similar to “Velvet”; good for areas that you want to be able to wipe off more easily

Satin – has a bit more shine; is typically used on the trim areas (windows, fascias, eaves); satin is also commonly used for interior projects in areas where water or steam are present (kitchens and baths)

Semi-Gloss – has quite a bit of shine; used on areas that you want to “pop” such as the front door

Gloss (or High Gloss) – the shinest of all; will really stand out against painted areas with less sheen

*One thing to remember is that the shinier the paint, the more any imperfections in the surface will stand out