What Is High Gloss Paint?

Spacious room painted with high-gloss paint

A high gloss paint is an oil-based paint known for its high durability and strong adhesion. The paint does take longer to dry due to the thickness, but once it does, you have a coat like no other. Design styles with high gloss accent walls are increasing in popularity.

High gloss paint is defined by its shiny and reflective finish. Surfaces with high use that need to be wiped clean frequently, such as kitchen cabinets, doors and trim, are often painted with high gloss.

The high gloss finish is achieved by using a lot of resins and fewer pigments in the paint formula, which results in a hard and glossy coating. The best high gloss paints have a high sheen level, reflecting a lot of light to make the color look more vibrant.

Benefits of Using High Gloss Paint

Room with the ceiling and walls painted with high gloss paint

Regular paint has no sheen value and tends to come out matt. It is easy to apply and is commonly used for walls and ceilings. Though less prevalent than regular paint, there are benefits to using high gloss paint:

  • Durability: High gloss paint can withstand wear and tear. The high resin content in the paint creates a surface that resists scratches and scuffs better.
  • Easy to clean: Because it has a glossy finish, dirt and grime don’t stick to it as easily as they do with other types of paint.
  • Sheen: High gloss paint can make a space feel brighter and more spacious.
  • Hard finish: High gloss paint dries to a hard finish less likely to chip or crack. The finish is especially important for surfaces that are frequently touched or handled.
  • Non-absorbant: The smooth and non-porous surface of high gloss paint means that water and other liquids don’t soak into it, making it less susceptible to water damage or mold growth.

Where Should You Use High Gloss Paint?

High gloss paint is beneficial for certain sections of your house. Here are some areas where high gloss paint can be particularly effective:

  • Kitchen cabinets: High gloss paint is used for kitchen cabinets, as they’re constantly opened and closed and prone to getting dirty. You can clean splatters and spills with a wipe from a microfibre cloth.
  • Doors and trim: Another zone is interior doors and frames. People often touch doorframes with their hands and pets, especially cats, tend to rub themselves on them. Using durable, easy-to-clean paint for these zones makes sense.
  • Furniture: Use high gloss paint to give a gloss finish to furniture, creating a modern and sleek look.

Sheen vs. Gloss

Gloss and sheen relate to the surface’s shininess or reflectivity, but they’re not the same thing. Professionals measure gloss and sheen by paint’s shine or reflectivity level. They are calculated using different methods to determine the amount of light reflected off the paint surface.

Both gloss and sheen are measured by the amount of light reflected off a surface at a particular angle. With gloss, it is a 60-degree angle. The beam of light deflects off the gloss paint at 60 degrees before returning to the receptor. The receptor provides the gloss units. The closer the unit is to 100, the glossier the paint.

When choosing the best paint sheet or gloss, it’s essential to consider the level appropriate for the surface and application:

  • Gloss paints: Different levels of gloss paint are available on the market, from semi-gloss to high gloss. It’s perfect for creating a modern and polished look in a room. The reflection provides a feeling of depth. It’s a great way to add personality and character to a space and create a statement wall or highlight architectural details.
  • Sheen paints: Sheen refers to the level of shine or reflectivity of a surface, but it’s not as high as gloss. Different levels of sheen can affect the appearance of paint colors, making them look lighter or darker depending on the angle of the light. Sheen paint shows fewer imperfections from the surface underneath and dries a little quicker than thicker paints. It is ideal for rooms that need a little reflection to increase the light and give the room a lift.

Understanding Gloss and Sheen

High gloss paint will reflect light directly, increasing the brightness of a room and giving a mirror gaze. A matt paint has a rough surface finish which your eye perceives as matt or flat.

You can distinguish some key differences between paints based on the level of gloss and sheen:

  • Flat paint: Flat paint has no shine at all, making it a good choice for walls with imperfections or in areas where you don’t want any reflection. It is excellent for creating a cozy and soft atmosphere, but it can be harder to clean and less durable than other types of paint. An advantage is that touch-ups are easy with this type of paint.
  • Velvet paint: Similar to flat paint, velvet has a slight sheen that gives it a soft and luxurious look. If you look at the surface head-on, it appears flat. But if you observe it from an angle, you can see the slight sheen.
  • Eggshell: A paint with a low sheen, similar to the texture of an eggshell. Eggshell paint is a good compromise between flat and glossy paint — it has some reflection but not too much.
  • Low sheen: A good choice for walls and ceilings in areas requiring little cleaning or durability. For example, bathrooms and laundry rooms. The paint is getting a little thicker than the lower ranges, so there is some moisture resistance.
  • Semi-gloss: You can start to see reflection with semi-gloss paint, as it has a medium level of sheen with a slightly reflective finish. Another good choice for high-traffic areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Gloss: Gloss paint has a high level of sheen with a very reflective finish. The paint may show imperfections on the surface, so it’s more common for smaller areas, such as doors, cabinets and frames.
  • High gloss: High gloss paint is a good choice if you want the shiniest and most reflective paint you can get. It is excellent for creating a modern and sophisticated look. It is thick to apply and dries hard, making it the most stain resistant.

Call a Professional to Do the Job

Ceiling painted with high gloss paint

High gloss and sheen are exquisite when painted professionally but can be a challenge for the novice painter. Shoreline High Gloss proudly serves our clientele in all their painting needs, and our team of highly skilled artisans can deliver a quality high gloss painting finish.

Check out our gallery to discover what we can do for you. If you have any questions or inquiries, we are ready to answer your questions!