Advantages of Reduced Sheen on Wood


If you are in the market for fine furniture or wood flooring, you’ll see there is a huge push for reduced sheen level for the clear top coat used on wood products. First let’s discuss some sheen facts.


Simply put, Sheen defines the degree of glossiness of a paint or clear top coat. There are many levels or degree of sheens, which will dictate how reflective the top coat is.

Maple with 10% Sheen

Maple with 10% Sheen

The Common categories of sheen are Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss, Gloss and High Gloss. For more information on how sheens are measured, read How to Differentiate Between Gloss and Sheen by Sherwin-Williams.


Typically most semi-custom and custom cabinet companies use about a 20 – 25 degree sheen as a topcoat finish. The result is what some might define as a semi-gloss finish. 

20% Sheen On Natural Black Walnut


Recently, in April of 2019 Superior Cabinets released a line of new wood stains at a reduced sheen from 20 degree to 10 degree sheen to keep up with trends and the results are absolutely amazing. Let’s discuss the advantage of a lower sheen.   


Lower sheen on wood results in a beautiful and luxurious look. Because it is less shiny, it is less distracting and draws you visually to appreciate the wood grain.

Hickory with 10% Sheen

A 10 degree sheen allows for a more natural appearance while still providing the same protection to the doors and parts in your wood kitchen.


Generally speaking, the reduced sheen shows less micro scratches in the top coat surface and glossier finishes can show more. Think of a car finish, something as superficial as dust can scratch the finish, but looks amazing when it is brand new. The new 10 degree sheen will still show finger prints like a higher sheen finish however due to the durability of the top coat, your cabinet doors can easily be cleaned with warm water and a mild dish soap followed by drying with a clean soft cloth.

Natural Cherry with 10% Sheen

Cherry with 10% Sheen


There is no doubt that a reduced sheen on wood has a higher-end look. This is because high end furniture, flooring, etc. use reduced sheens. This area of influence often inspires a higher end look. 


25 degree sheen has held its place for many years, but as trends evolve,  it is good to see a progression to a warmer wood facade in cabinetry. If you hold up a 10 degree sheen cabinet next to a degree sheen one, you will instantly see the difference.


 Natural Black Walnut with 10% Sheen

Black Walnut with 10% Sheen

Maintaining the perfect sheen level can be difficult. Too low of sheen and your surface looks unfinished and too high of sheen and you will start to see imperfections quickly in the paint or stain beneath. We always recommend choosing something that will perform well and look beautiful. If you would like to see the new Superior Cabinets Wood Stain Finishes in 10 degree sheen, feel free to contact your nearest Authorized Superior Cabinets Dealer.


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