Painting tips for high gloss paint

Updated November 21, 2016

When considering painting tips for high gloss paint it is first important to understand exactly what high gloss paint means. The term "high gloss" refers to the sheen and reflectivity of the paint. Therefore, high gloss means highly reflective. Semi-gloss is another type of sheen and is commonly used as a substitute for applications where the high gloss durability is required, but not the glaring reflection of light.

Uses for High Gloss Paint

Unlike flat or eggshell finishes that are low lustre, easily scratched and often difficult to clean, high gloss paints, either oil or latex based enamels, provide a tough durable coat that withstands scratches, stains, and are very easy to clean. High gloss paints are sensible to use in areas where dirt and grime will be, like garages, but are also mildew resistant making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. High gloss paint works best on doors, windows, and trim, drawing attention to the structural elements of a house. If the decor is modern or an extra impact is desired, like accenting an entryway or key design element, high gloss paint will work well in these applications by reflecting light, and creating an instant attention-grabbing scene. As for painting tips for high gloss paints on furniture, high gloss paint adds a shiny lacquer-like finish that blends flawlessly with modern or Asian design themes.

Applying High Gloss Paint

Painting tips for high gloss paint often involves application techniques. Apply high gloss paint with a brush or roller. For use in a spray gun or on hot days, dilute paint with a small amount of thinner or turpentine. For mixing directions, ask a store associate for help or consult with the paint manufacturer's directions. While high gloss paints are durable and easy to clean thanks to thick enamel, they also create a thick sticky skin-like layer as they dry. Take care when removing painters tape as the sticky layer from the paint will adhere to the tape and peel off the rest of the paint. In keeping with application tips for high gloss paint, when painting doors or windows, open the doors and windows as the paint dries to prevent the paint from sealing the openings shut. Avoid exposure and use until the paint has completely dried.


Despite high gloss paint's durability, avoid using this particular sheen on an entire wall. High gloss paints do not provide good coverage and will clearly accent any dents, divots or holes and patchwork under the paint. Sanding, puttying, and priming the walls are vital for a quality paint job when using high gloss paint. In addition, the highly reflective surface of high gloss paints are an instant turn-off to some, who prefer calmer, more muted sheens. For those who are considering remodelling for an upcoming open house or sale, do not use high gloss paints. Instead, use flat or eggshell finishes that hide any wall imperfections and create a more serene environment for potential buyers.

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