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Question on choice of paint sheen.

I plan on painting my kitchen cabinets currently a medium brown color to a pure white.  What sheen is normally used on kitchen cabinets, high gloss or semi-gloss?  Would you recommend painting the trim and baseboards with the same sheen?

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Posted 2013-09-02T20:29:25+0000  by elainekohr elainekohr

Great Questions elainekohr!


Historically, old-school wood crafters would spend days applying stain to bring the natural beauty of their wood to life.


They would never consider applying a high-gloss clear coat that would reflect light and distract from their craftsmanship.


So, traditionally, satin was the wood crafter's sheen of choice.


The low lustre finish protects and still allows the beauty of the wood to show through.


Today, most cabinet makers still honor this tradition and factory finishes on cabinets tend to be satin.


Trim, on the other hand, is commonly semi-gloss or high-gloss today.



When painting cabinets I always recommend that your match the trim ... continuity is the key to a beautiful decor.


Which sheen?


I usually suggest semi-gloss if your existing trim is semi-gloss.


If your existing trim is high-gloss, either semi-gloss or high-gloss will work.


But regardless of which you choose, follow a decor theme that builds continuity ... change everything wood to white.


Dark wood trim that bumps into white painted cabinets simply looks eclectic.


Multi-color trim and cabinet themes also create a problem with selecting a main wall color that will contrast properly with both dark and light accent colors.



The solids from which your paint is made are ground finer to make shinier paint. Finer particles overlay each other more smoothly, creating glossier sheen. Generally, the higher the sheen, the more durable the paint.



If your home is two or more levels, you might consider changing one level at a time ... using the stairwells as your transition point.

Posted 2013-09-03T13:59:57+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Hello again elainekohr!

Since your original question, we produced this Quick Tip video:

How To Pick The Right Paint Sheen

Click the link to

Posted 2015-09-01T22:07:27+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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