What We Talk About When We Talk About Sheen

What is Sheen?
Sheen means “a soft luster on a surface.” Synonyms are luster, shine, gloss, brilliance.

3 Black Finishes with Varying Sheen

Sheen Standards at Pedestal Source
Standard Laminates (Black/White) – Satin
Premium Laminates – Matte to Gloss
Lacquers (Clear/Opaque) – Matte & Satin
Acrylics – Frosted & Gloss

Note: While there are technical measurements for sheen, even those are relative to the calibrating surface. What’s more, these technical measurements don’t always align with popular usage. If you are concerned about whether our “matte” is your “matte” and you aren’t in a rush, we’re happy to send you a sample.

Getting Technical
Sheen is measured by an instrument called a Gardner 60 Gloss Meter, which measures the light emitted from the instrument at a specified incident angle, reflected from the surface of the dried coating being measured at the same angle, to a receiver. The instrument compares the emitted light to the received light and computes the difference to determine the amount directly reflected versus the light scattered or diffused by that surface. It compares the results to results of the same test performed on a calibrating surface, such as a highly polished black glass plate. The calibrating surface should register 100 on this scale.

  • Gloss- 90% sheen
  • Semi-gloss, between about 60% and 70% sheen
  • Satin- 50% sheen
  • Low satin- 30% to 40% sheen
  • Matte or flat- 10% sheen
(www.woodshopnews.com/columns-blogs/finishing/502077-shedding-light-on-getting-the-right-sheen)