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How to determine a finish sheen?

How to determine a finish sheen? Stéphanie Landry Poirier

Tuesday, 09 June 2020

Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin or Matte, how do we establish the sheen level of these different finishes? Basically, the sheen is determined with a shine meter inclined at 60 degrees that will give us the sheen degree of the finish. I know this might bring up many questions.

Why 60 degrees? This is the angle that allows the best simulation of the look of a man of an average height on the floor. In other words, it is the average perception of the light reflection.

How do we read the sheen meter? The sheen meter gives a number corresponding to the sheen rate in percentage.

Simply put, the higher the number, the shinier the finish. We could also say, the higher the number, the more it reflects the light. A 100% sheen rate, even if impossible, would be the equivalent of a mirror.

The lower the number, the more the finish absorbs the light and the luster is matte.

We categorize a gloss finish when the number is higher to 70%, semi-gloss between 45 and 65%, satin between 25 and 40%, matte between 10 and 15% and ultramatte under 10%.

What you need to understand is that depending the wood grain or specie, the same finish may have a different aspect. The precision of the top coat sanding also may have an effect on the final result.

Also, the sheen is totally independent from the abrasion resistance. It is therefore false to believe that glossier or matter is the finish, the more durable it is. In the end, luster will be affected by the amount of traffic on your surface, but not the protection.

Yet, the trend is to the matte and ultramatte luster. One of the benefits of this sheen, in addition to imitate the old europeens oil finishes, is that it hides traces and imperfections better than others. That is to say that this type of sheen is a must for high traffic areas and in homes where we have kids or pets.

If you are actually restoring a floor or if you are about to do so and that you decide to change the luster, know that this is possible. For all technical details, I suggest you to read the following blog: https://www.finitec-inc.com/en/Blog/furniture-and-floors-finish/is-it-possible-to-change-the-luster-between-2-coats-3104.html

At Finitec, we offer finishes with sheens going from 10% to 90%.

That is to say that, without a doubt, we have the product that will suit your needs. For the complete line of finishes, you can find them here: https://www.finitec-inc.com/en/finishing/

They are not only great finishes, they are non-toxic, waterborne and made in Canada!

No matter what your final choice will be, we wish you great renos and to have fun making your project!