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

Sheen Standards at Xylem Design
Standard Laminate (Black/White) – Matte
Premium Laminates – Gloss to Matte
Lacquers (Clear/Opaque) – Satin and Matte

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)