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What is Gloss Paint and When Should You Use It?

Social media platforms are helping people turn their homes into the spaces of their dreams. Platforms like Tik-Tok, Instagram, and Pinterest are all filled with ideas to transform your space. From sheet suggestions and where to buy the best mirror to decor tips and painting do’s and don’t these platforms can be a powerful tool.

In my most recent apartment, I knew I wanted to transform my space from what I had in college, to a real “adult” place to live. I threw out my lights I had to hang in my home, got rid of signs with “dance in the rain” type verbiage, and upgraded to pieces I knew I could have for years to come.

Finding decor and creating a space that fits you is not easy. With a million and one ideas to choose from, finding things you will like can be a difficult feat. I came to realize that there is either a plethora of information on decor or none at all, depending on what you are looking for.

When it came to a new rug, I went through hundreds before I found one I liked. When it came to painting, I had a hard time finding extensive information on the finish I should use in my one-hundred-year-old building. There are so many different paints to choose from. From flat to satin, eggshell, and gloss, there is something for every space in your home. 

Related: Satin Paint | Flat Paint | Eggshell Paint | Oil-Based Paint | Primer Paint | Enamel Paint | Latex-Based Paint | Chalkboard Paint | Matte Paint | Is Semi-Gloss Paint Okay in the Living Room | Water-Based Paint

What is Gloss Paint?

Gloss is used to describing the property of certain paints. Gloss refers to the amount of sheen and smoothness a paint possesses. Gloss is on the senior side and tends to reflect more light, giving the room it is used in a sort of glow.

Imagine a bright red Ferrari, it is shiny and you can most likely see your reflection on the surface. Although gloss paint will not be that shiny when used in your home, that is a good example of what it looks like on other materials. 

When Should Gloss Paint Be Used? 

A wrought iron fence being painted with gloss paint.

Because gloss paint has a high level of sheen it is perfect when you have a room that gets a lot of sunlight. The reflection of light can give the room a more dimensional look and also make it look bigger. 

Gloss paint is also super easy to clean. Using it in kitchens, bathrooms and other high traffic areas is a good idea as it is easy to clean. Because of the texture of gloss paint, cleaning the surface will not take off or wear the paint like it would if you used matte. 

When To Not Use Gloss Paint

A close look at a pair of bathroom vanity cabinets with damage.

Gloss paint tends to be on the pricier side, so it is not necessary for all rooms. In rooms such as bedrooms or dining rooms, using gloss paint can be a waste of money. 

If you have walls that have scratches, small holes, stains, or any other blemishes you will not want to use glossy paint. The sheen and look of glossy paint can actually enhance the looks of imperfections on your walls. If you have cracks or stains, you will most likely want to stick to a matte or flat finish. 

Types Of Gloss Paint


VALSPAR Corporation 11900 Valspar Professional Interior Latex Semi Gloss Hi-Hiding White, 1 Gallon-299836

Semi-gloss paints are on the lower end of the glossy paints. They are less reflective than most glossy paints and only reflect a small amount of sunlight. They are durable and stain-resistant, making them perfect for high traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. 


Enamel Paint, Gloss White, Solvent, 1 qt.

Gloss paints have a lot of reflective qualities and give off a slick look. With gloss paints, they show imperfections easily and should only be used on surfaces without blemishes. This specific finish is durable, tough, and incredibly stain resistant. So, if you have children or pets, this should be your go-to. 


Majic Paints 8-1500-4 Diamond Hard Acrylic Enamel High Gloss Paint, Half Pint/8-Ounce, Gloss White

High gloss paints are the shiniest and glossiest of all the paint finishes. If you want an item to stand out, use this paint. High-gloss is also the most durable of all your paint choices. This makes it perfect for areas such as house doors and trim.

It will last a long time and will be less likely to show imperfections that may occur over time. If you need to wipe down doors a lot due to dirt and grime, using high-gloss is always a good idea. 

What Gloss Paint Does Not Turn Yellow

Many consumers who used gloss paint in their homes complained that the paint actually turned yellow. In recent years, there have been many changes in how paint is manufactured. Until the last several years, gloss paint only came in oil-based paint form.

Because of the recent changes to the number of solvents that can be used in paints, an ingredient that replaced these solvents was changing the color of the paint. 

Also, using white gloss paint in a home where there are smokers present isn’t a great idea as the smoke will add to the likelihood of your walls turning yellow. Using gloss paint in kitchens where grease and oil will splatter can also turn your white walls yellow if not properly cleaned. 

Using a water-based acrylic paint will keep your white paint from turning yellow. There are many brands to choose from when it comes to picking your acrylic paint. 

Where To Buy Gloss Paint

  1. Home Depot — Behr i300 White Semi-Gloss Interior Paint, 1 Gallon
  2. Lowes — HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Showcase Ultra White Semi-Gloss Tintable Interior Paint, 1-Quart
  3. Walmart — Benjamin Moore Advance Interior/Exterior Paint- High Gloss (N794)
  4. Farrow & Ball — Dutch Orange No. W76 Full Gloss, 4 Litres 
  5. Lowes — Valspar Ultra Ultra White/Base A High-Gloss Enamel Tintable Interior Paint, 1-Gallon
  6. Lowes — Rust-Oleum Professional Oil-Based Gloss Almond Interior/Exterior Industrial Enamel Paint, 1-Quart