When talking about paint ideas for your home, the paint finish means the sheen, gloss or kintab of paint. This is important in your choice of paint, something which you should also consider after you’ve chosen your paint color.

A few weeks ago, I went to another city in the Philippines to conduct a workshop, together with Chong, Boysen’s senior technical expert, and a marketing expert on Boysen’s construction chemicals called Konstrukt. While waiting for our flight, I asked a question about paint finishes because I wanted to understand what the differences were between gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte and flat. Yup, that’s me, ever the nerd.

I got a very clear answer in layman’s speak which I wanted to share with you. After I got back to Manila, a Boysen team sent me a document which they prepared for the readers of this blog. (Thanks, guys! You know who you are!)

Boysen’s Guide to Gloss

If you look at the different paint finishes as a spectrum, you have gloss on one end and flat on the other. To the eye, it translates to very shiny up to having no shine, with several variations of shine in between.

Most people decide based on color alone. But glossiness does play a part in the impact of the total look and feel of a space which goes beyond aesthetics. The paint finish also determines how a paint performs.


Gloss makes paint seem like it has absorbed so much light and reflects it back to the space to brighten it. If I compare it to lipstick, it’s that one that makes you look like you’ve wolfed down a whole kilo of lechon without the benefit of a napkin.

Paint Finish: What does Sheen, Gloss or Kintab in Paints Mean?

There are two big advantages to gloss, first is durability and second is high cleanability. The main disadvantage is that because of its high light reflectivity, imperfections of surfaces are magnified. In other words, if your surface is not smooth, and you want it to look smooth, then stay away from gloss. This paint finish is usually used in small surface areas, like in kitchens, on doors, cabinets and furniture.

Boysen offers several products that gives this glossy effect (click on products below to know more about them):

Water White Clear Gloss Lacquer #1258
Clear Gloss Lacquer #1250
Automotive Lacquer
Quick Drying Enamel


Semi-gloss is usually used on exterior walls. This is not as highly reflective as gloss but there is still some shine to it. Two advantages to this finish are again durability and cleanability. However, because it is still reflective, surface imperfections are visible.

Paint Finish: What does Sheen, Gloss or Kintab in Paints Mean?

This is a good paint to use for buildings in cities. But of course, semi-gloss can also be used in interior walls, like in kitchens, and hallways.

Two semi-gloss products offered by Boysen are Permacoat and Wallguard.


Paint Finish: What does Sheen, Gloss or Kintab in Paints Mean?

Satin is often used in interior walls, like in kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms or hallways, where regular maintenance and cleaning is easier to do. Compared to gloss and semi-gloss, satin can hide imperfections better. However, dirt pick-up resistance is lower compared to gloss and semi-gloss.

A good Boysen product would be Healthy Home.


Because it is closest to flat, matte can mask imperfections well. Matte is among the most popular house paint ideas due to its simplicity and sheer attractiveness. This makes it a good choice for your personal living spaces and would look great on your interior concrete walls.

If you have a condo (especially a tiny one) where everything is noticeable, you can go for the oh-so-trendy matte. How? Easy peasy, just get Virtuoso Silk Touch for all your interior painting needs! This is my most favorite paint. If you follow the blog, you’d have read this several times.

What I love about Virtuoso is that although it is matte, it is easy to clean because of Dupont’s Teflon Surface Protector Technology! This paint is truly kick-ass. For all its luxurious look, it’s also very hardworking and stylish.


Because it has the lowest light reflectance compared to all other sheens, flat hides imperfections really well and it is often used on large and wide areas, such as ceilings. It is also often used as a primer in Boysen’s painting systems because of its high opacity which provides great hiding.

Paint Finish: What does Sheen, Gloss or Kintab in Paints Mean?

However, its big disadvantage is that it easily picks up dirt or other contaminants which may stain surfaces. This makes it tough to clean so the experts advise to use this for ceilings where it’s not so easily reachable or as a primer for your walls.

The flat paints offered by Boysen are Permacoat Flat Latex or Flatwall Enamel.

General Rule for Paint Finishes

The higher the sheen, the easier it is to clean the surface because the resistance to dirt pick-up is high. This is the go-to paint finish for areas that are high-traffic. The main disadvantage though is that surface imperfections are magnified.

The lower the sheen, the lower the resistance to dirt pick-up so the harder it is to clean the surface. Use it for hard-to-reach areas.

But remember, there is that breaker of rules easy-to-clean Virtuoso Silk Touch which is matte! Try it, you’d love this paint innovation on your interior walls!

Let me add that there are also other sheens in the market – eggshell, which is halfway between semi-gloss and satin, and pearl, which is between semi-gloss and eggshell. Considering only Boysen standards in paint finishes though, there are five you can choose from – gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte and flat.

We made an infographic for those who want to be able to see and compare the paint finishes more easily. Click on INFOGRAPHIC: Boysen’s Paint Finishes.

If you have any technical questions, please get in touch with ask@myboysen.com.



Annie is the Managing Editor of Let it B | MyBoysen Blog. An unrepentant workaholic, she runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions (https://talkinglions.com). She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special. Annie learned interior styling while managing her own wholesale business in the Netherlands, importing high-end, handmade home furnishings to stock four outlets and a showroom in the country.


  1. Hi! Would you recommend Titan Superflex Elastomeric Paint for interior walls to achieve the matte finish? And, what are the pros and cons in using it for interior walls? Thanks!

    • Titan Superflex Elastomeric Paint can be used on both interior and exterior concrete walls and drywalls. However, if your purpose of using Titan Superflex Elastomeric Paint is for its matte finish only, we suggest trying Virtuoso Silk Touch instead.

      Virtuoso Silk Touch is our odor-less paint for interior concrete walls and drywalls that come in matte finish. Despite its low sheen, because it was formulated with Teflon surface protector technology, oil and dirt cannot easily stick to the walls, making it easy to wipe off common everyday stains.

      Click here to learn more: https://virtuosopaints.com/

  2. Good day sir, yung wallguard simeglos sir pwedi po bang maging saten finish?

    • Thank you for your message and for following us at Let it B. Para sa iyong inquiry, sadly, available lang po in Semi-Gloss Finish ang BOYSEN Wallguard.

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