High-Gloss Paint and Wet Areas

High gloss paint in a modern kitchen

A fresh coat of paint is a savvy way to give any room in your home a quick makeover. A classy shade of beige can elevate a previously all-white bathroom, and warm, rich reds in your kitchen can complement new interior trends. However, because kitchens and bathrooms are high-humidity areas, choosing paint for these spaces involves more than aesthetic preferences.

The type of paint you choose is essential. Matte and eggshell paints typically absorb moisture and will inevitably peel and crack. Glossy paints offer a suitable solution.

Understanding High-Gloss Paint and Its Advantages in Wet Areas

Bathroom walls can be tricky to paint, even with proper ventilation. The same is true for kitchens — cooking up a storm creates steam that rises to the ceiling and then turns into liquid droplets that run down the walls. So, why are high-gloss paints the ideal solution?

What Makes High-Gloss Paint Unique?

The gloss in paint is measured on a scale of 0-100. Matte paints have zero gloss value, and eggshell finishes have a subtle sheen and a slightly higher gloss value, comparable to the surface of an eggshell. Satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes have much higher gloss values. The glossier the paint, the more it can reflect light and deflect moisture instead of absorbing it.

Beyond the water-resistant benefits, paint with a higher sheen value is much easier to clean. Wiping food splatters and soapy spills is easier, and there’s no risk of scrubbing the color away. As a result, glossy paints are much more durable than matte and eggshell finishes for wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Why High-Gloss Paint Is the Perfect Choice for Bathrooms and Kitchens

Bathroom walls are especially prone to mold and mildew growth because of the moisture. The steam from showering and bathing creates condensation. Matte paints absorb the moisture, and as the paint bubbles and peels away, the walls become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Touching and inhaling mold spores can cause sinus troubles, coughing, wheezing, skin rashes and allergic reactions. The harder finish of glossy paints offers consistent moisture resistance, ensuring mold has no place to grow.

While kitchens are a bit less prone to mold growth, the walls of cooking spaces are exposed to food splatter. Cleaning food splatter can be a frustrating challenge without a tiled backsplash or high-gloss paint.

Moreover, glossy paints play on light and help enhance illumination in the room, which can help you manipulate space. High-gloss wall paint offers a chic, clean aesthetic in high-traffic, high-humidity areas in a home. Modern interior trends often use glossy paints for trims and moldings, and repainting walls with glossy paint can give rooms a sophisticated and polished look. However, because glossy paint can make imperfections more blatant, surfaces must be properly prepped and sanded before painting begins.

FAQ: Choosing Paint for Your Wet Areas

When it comes to choosing the right glossy paints for wet areas, it’s essential to choose the right gloss value to ensure water resistance. And because a glossy finish will influence color density, choosing the right color palette is crucial.

Is High-Gloss or Semi-Gloss Paint Better for Water Resistance?

High-gloss paint is waterproof, making it less prone to water damage, while semi-gloss paints are slightly less water resistant. The high-gloss finish also seals paint pigments on the surface it’s painted on.

However, proper ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms is still crucial because ceilings in wet areas are typically painted with thicker, matte paint, prone to moisture buildup over time. Proper ventilation ensures the ceiling won’t absorb as much water vapor.

Which Paint Finish Offers the Highest Durability?

High-gloss finishes are the best type of paint for wet areas, largely because they offer the highest durability. This is important in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms that need to be cleaned often and that experience high foot traffic. Semi-gloss paint is also suitable and offers decent durability. Satin paint offers moderate durability, and neither eggshell nor matte paints are known for their durability.

Can You Paint Cabinets and Vanities Using High-Gloss Paint?

Yes! The higher reflective properties of high-gloss paint make it ideal for cabinets, vanities and hutches in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Imperfections might be more visible, but this finish is also very durable, so it will resist scratches more easily.

Which Colors Are Best for Glossy Paints?

While just about any paint color comes in a glossy finish, some colors don’t show their vibrancy as well as others due to the high sheen value. White and light color shades with high-gloss finishes work best because they work well with light. However, darker colors show the slightest imperfections on surfaces as the light bounces around. Moreover, darker colors will distort as light reflects off of the surfaces.

Every color family offers a selection of lighter tints to choose from. You can create a color palette incorporating these lighter tints and create accents in the space with darker shades of the same color family.

Maintaining Your High-Gloss Surfaces in Wet Areas

While keeping glossy paint surfaces clean is easier than matte and eggshell finishes, you’ll still need to devote some time to routine cleaning and care.

Routine Cleaning and Care

Wall and shelving unit painted with blue high gloss paint

Regularly cleaning glossy surfaces is the best way to ensure the paint maintains its sheen. Cleaning high-gloss paint is easy. All you will need is a bucket, a microfiber cloth, lukewarm water and a gentle cleaning product like dish soap. Avoid abrasive materials, hot water or harsh detergents when cleaning glossy surfaces.

Touch-Ups and Long-Term Maintenance

With regular cleaning, this type of paint can last years. However, even though high-gloss paint is quite durable, It will gradually begin to show signs of wear and tear over the years.

Shoreline High Gloss is an expert in refinishing and repainting high-gloss surfaces. The moment you start to notice imperfections like dull patches, fades or cracks, contact us. We can restore your glossy walls with superior painting services.

Contact Shoreline High Gloss for Expert Painting Services

Painting with high-gloss paints can be tricky — lathering the paint on even a little too thick can cause dripping, while too little paint can leave more sheen in some places. Whether you’re after a spa-inspired powder blue bathroom or luxurious warm tones in your kitchen, Shoreline High Gloss can help you achieve the interior aesthetic you’re after.

As a New York- and Palm Beach-based Fine Paints of Europe Master Certified Painter, our experts understand how to apply glossy paints perfectly. Contact our team or learn more today!

Modern bathroom painted with high gloss paint by Shoreline Painting