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See all Exterior paint how-to »

How to Choose an Exterior Paint Sheen

Skill:  Novice DIY'er

When choosing a paint sheen, think about the exterior surface you are painting. Types of sheens include flat, satin enamel, semi-gloss enamel and hi-gloss enamel, and each offers its own distinct benefits.

For Best Results:

A handy sheen guide is available on the Behr color display in The Home Depot.

For more info on sheens, visit the About Sheen page.

Floors need specially formulated paint. Learn more about BEHR PREMIUM® Porch and Patio Floor Paint.

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  1. Step 1

    Determine the sheen based on the surface you are painting.

    Lower sheen paints are often chosen for the body of the house, while higher sheen paints are often used for trim, doors, and accents.
  2. Tip 1

    If you're using semi-gloss enamel or hi-gloss enamel, apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat to achieve the smoothest finish.