Most brands of paint come in at least four levels of sheen. Gloss paints have the highest light-reflective characteristics. In declining order of sheen are semigloss paints; eggshell, satin or low lustre paints and flat paints.
They have the following characteristics:
- gloss - tough, durable and stain resistant; tend to highlight surface imperfections
- semigloss - resistant to stains and easy to clean
- eggshell, satin or low lustre - gives an appearance of greater warmth and depth; stain resistant
- flat - conceals surface imperfections; a good choice for ceilings because of low reflectivity
There are two general categories - those with natural-hair bristles and those made with synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester. Both types can be used with oil-based paints. When applying latex paint, use only brushes with synthetic bristles.