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Create Dramatic Effects with Sheen

CREATE DRAMATIC EFFECT WITH SHEEN
Create Dramatic Effects with Sheen
Try these sheen techniques to give your walls a whole new look

People often choose higher sheen paints solely for their excellent housekeeping properties and overlook their ability to dramatically beautify a home. These higher gloss paints are ideal for areas that are susceptible to mold, mildew, stains or high traffic due to the tighter, more resilient film properties they possess. The glossiness of the paint also has the added benefit of imparting a richer, more dramatic color presence to your walls. However, the downside is that their highly reflective quality may illuminate wall imperfections more than a flat (or matte) finish. It is no surprise that these higher gloss sheens are often not considered as a first choice for many spaces despite the beautifully vivid colors they produce. However, you can have the best of both worlds by painting your walls with both flat and high sheen finishes in creative ways. You’ll be able to transform your home into a space that is enriched with color and design.
CREATE DRAMATIC EFFECT WITH SHEEN

Stripes, depending on the path you take, can add playfulness, a contemporary edge, or as in this case, a formal, traditional feel.
Stripes, depending on the path you take, can add playfulness, a contemporary edge, or as in this case, a formal, traditional feel.

Create an Elegant, Formal Look
Recreate the rich, formal look of classic wall coverings by painting stripes on your walls in alternating sheens of the same color.

By simply painting stripes in matte and high gloss finishes, you can add richness to your living space. Rooms with a strong light source are ideal for this look; the more light there is to reflect against and off your sheens, the richer and more visible they will appear.  Striping in alternating sheens, rather than alternating colors, is a technique that will subtly give the appearance of stripes. However, because only one color is used in this technique, it can almost be considered a solid color.  It is this “dual nature” of the technique that makes it easier for you to coordinate your furniture patterns and textures into your space.

Light reflections off the higher gloss stripe are more noticeable when there is a stronger light source.
Light reflections off the higher gloss stripe are more noticeable when there is a stronger light source.

CREATE DRAMATIC EFFECT WITH SHEEN

Light reflections off the higher gloss stripe are more noticeable when there is a stronger light source.
One benefit that high sheen colors possess that flat sheens do not is depth of color. The higher the sheen, the more vivid and rich your color will appear. Ideal for deep, jewel-toned colors such as blood reds, forest greens and navy blues.
Display Your Artistic Side Create some artistic interest and whimsy on your wall with a pattern made of sheens. You can create any kind of pattern or shape easily with a high gloss sheen. This technique is a wonderful way to incorporate a pattern or design element from your décor and repeat it on your walls. For this room, the diamond pattern present in the stitching of the pillows was borrowed for the wall pattern. Similar to striping in different sheens, this technique adds an understated color change and decorative presence, while maintaining its easy-to-coordinate properties. For a softer, more delicate look to your space, try this sheen effect in white.
CREATE DRAMATIC EFFECT WITH SHEEN

First, How to Start
Before beginning your project, you will need to consider how much contrast you would like between your flat and glossy finish color. For a subtle, barely noticeable stripe effect, choose sheens that are closer together on the sheen scale, such as a Flat with an Eggshell Enamel. If you would like more contrast between your stripes, then choose sheens that are farther apart, such as a Flat and a Hi-Gloss.

Creating a Stripe Effect
Once you’ve selected your sheens, start by painting your walls with the more matte paint. Let the paint dry. Next, decide how wide you’d like your stripes to be. Make sure to measure your walls and determine the thickness of your stripes so they fit evenly across the wall or around the room, from corner to corner. Once the paint is dry, apply painter’s tape to define the outer edges of your stripes. Paint each stripe with your higher sheen paint. Once the stripes are dried, remove the tape for a beautiful, sheen-striped look.

Creating Your Decorative Pattern
Decide which wall you’d like to display your pattern/design. Apply the flat paint first and allow sufficient time to dry. Measure and mark the dimensions of your design on the wall. When the flat coat has completely dried, outline your sheen shapes with painter’s tape. Paint the insides of your tape outlines with your high sheen selection. Remove tape when dry.

Not only can a new wall color give your living spaces a compelling new look, the creative use of sheens can add subtle vibrancy and sophistication to your home as well. With just a little effort and imagination, see how you can transform your home by applying different sheen finishes to your walls.