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glossy matt and semi matt wall panels colourful hero image

The term 'sheen level' simply refers to the glossiness of a paint finish. Gloss level is scaled from 0 (the lowest gloss level (meaning a perfectly matt surface) to 100 (the highest gloss level) (corresponding to a highly glossy surface).

The same colour can appear completely different depending on the level of gloss, or sheen, in the paint. If you're having trouble distinguishing between matte and eggshell paints, or low sheen vs satin paints, read on to learn more.

Guide to sheen levels

The following sheen levels are available across the Tikkurila paint range.

(Top tip: the numbers noted at the end of our product names (e.g. Optiva 5) are a reference to this numerical scale. The higher the number, the higher the sheen.)

full matt painted swatch red

FULL MATT (0-4%)

Full matt (or flat matt) paints are completely non-reflective, with very low gloss levels ranging from 0% to 4%. Flat matt paints absorb any light directed at them, giving them excellent hiding power. As a result, these paints are ideal for damaged or used walls with lots of bumps and scratches. They're also a popular choice for ceilings where an anti-reflective approach improves the room's optics. Anti Reflex 2 is our customer favourite in this category.

matt painted swatch red

MATT (5-10%)

Matt paints continue to be the most popular choice for interior walls in 2022. They have a very low gloss level ranging from 5% to 10%, resulting in a non-reflective finish with no gloss or shine but slightly more depth than a flat matt. One of the primary advantages of matt paints is their ability to conceal flaws while leaving a soft, velvet-like finish that allows for a strong depth of colour. If you're looking for hard-wearing coverage - matt is the finish for you! (Available for both walls and woodwork).

semi matt painted swatch red

SEMI-MATT (11-35%)

Semi-Matt paints are the next step along the scale. They have a slightly higher gloss grade than Matt paints (11-35%), resulting in a smooth finish with a subtle sheen. This results in a low lustre finish that not only optimises a paint's colour but also increases its durability and suitability for use in any room of the house and on a variety of surface conditions. Top tip: Semi Matt paints are also termed Eggshell paints.

semi gloss painted swatch red

SEMI-GLOSS (35-60%)

Semi-Gloss paints have gloss levels of between 35-60%, and leave a highly durable finish that can be repeatedly scrubbed. A great choice for surfaces where moisture and grease stains are likely (such as the bathroom or kitchen) or where the surface will be cleaned frequently (children's rooms and hallways are good examples). This gloss grade is also popular for interior trim details (such as staircase railings or skirting boards), as the lustre draws attention to those details and distinguishes them from the walls.

gloss painted swatch red

GLOSS (61-80%)

Gloss paints are for those seeking a high-shine finish. These paints are tough, long-lasting, and easy to clean, making them ideal for woodwork, doors, and trim details. Tikkurila has pioneered the development of water-based, low VOC solutions in this gloss grade category (which was previously very solvent-based), while ensuring the same hard-wearing, non-yellowing properties.

full gloss painted swatch red


The real show-stopper of the group, high gloss paints really make a statement. These extremely hard-wearing paints, with a mirror-like appearance (and a gloss grade of more than 80%), are a popular choice for areas exposed to dirt and oil, typically doors and cabinets. The most popular product from this collection is Miranol.

Sheen Level FAQs

Glossy or Matt Paint?

The glossier the surface, the less dirt adheres to it. Although any touch-ups will be visible, the surface is simple to clean. Cleaning dirt from matt surfaces is more difficult than cleaning dirt from glossy surfaces. However, matt finishes hide flaws better than gloss finishes, which highlight every flaw.


  • You want the surface to look soft
  • You want to achieve a classic look
  • You want to create a peaceful atmosphere
  • You want a paint that easily covers imperfections


  • You want a surface that is easy to clean
  • You want a surface that is durable
  • You want to play with contrasts and light reflection
matt wall finish peach paint colour
glossy and matt wall panels purple and blue paint

Don't be afraid to experiment with paints – combining glossy and matt finishes can add dimension to your home decor. Matt and glossy surfaces create different atmospheres and reflect light in different ways. Matt sheen absorbs light and looks softer on the wall, whereas gloss highlights colours and reflects light.

Are Your Low Sheen Paints Scrubbable?

Historically, low sheen or flat paints have been warned to not have a high amount of scrubability. Tikkurila's durable range, however, has been designed to ensure durability across the entire collection. Everyday marks and spills can be easily wiped away in any of the gloss grades in the collection, and they can all be used in high-traffic areas of the home. Shop the collection here.

table with glasses lime green and pale blue painted walls
Paint Calculator

How much paint do I need? 

Use this calculator to work out your requirements, if you have any question please get in touch with one of our team who will be more than willing to help you.

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Disclaimer: Tikkurila UK Paint Calculator is provided as a guide only. The coverage rates will vary depending on surface being coated and the particular product range being used. More information on these products can be found on the cans, on the technical data sheets on individual product pages, by using our live chat service or by calling our technical team on 0131 334 4999.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the estimate, however paint requirements may vary depending on the surface, type of paint, sheen level and colour chosen.