The Best Place In Your Home To Use Gloss Paint

Paint is a simple and cost-efficient tool that can completely change the look and feel of your home. No matter the style or look you're going for to revamp your home, there is a formula of paint available to help bring your desired look into fruition.

If you've ever meandered through the paint section of any big-box hardware retailer, you may have expressed shock at the vast number of paint options available for interior and exterior home improvement. You've probably glanced at the labels adorning the many cans of paint lining the aisles, wondering how all of this complex, yet repetitive, terminology relates to your personal painting endeavors. This experience could prove overwhelming for even an experienced renovator or designer.

However, painting doesn't have to be left to the pros. Choosing the right type of paint to don your home's interior may seem daunting, but with a little know-how, you can spearhead your next home renovation project with little to no professional experience.

What is gloss paint?

Before you run to your nearest hardware store and pick up the first few cans of paint you lay eyes on, you should first become accustomed to the different kinds of paint that are available on the market. Selecting a can of paint requires consideration that goes beyond colors and quantity. There is another important factor that greatly impacts the outcome of your paint job.

"Sheen" refers to the shininess of a specific formula of paint. According to paint manufacturing giant Sherwin-Williams, sheen is an important quality to consider when planning to paint your home, since each level of sheen appears different when met with direct light.The amount of sheen a can of paint contains also serves as an indicator of how durable that particular formula of paint is once completely dry. As a rule of thumb, formulas with a higher sheen are also more durable, protecting your surfaces from bumps, nicks, and scratches more efficiently (via Sherwin-Williams).

Interior paint is generally categorized into five types, with each type varying in sheen and finish. From most dull to most shiny, these types are flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. This means that gloss paint is durable, shiny, and sensitive to light. It's important to acknowledge that each paint manufacturer follows a different spectrum when grading their different paint options. In other words, one brand's semi-gloss paint may appear shinier than another brand's semi-gloss paint. Be mindful of this before deciding to switch or alternate between paint brands! 

Use gloss paint on interior accents throughout your home

According to Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, another major paint manufacturer, glossy paint appears most stylish and proves most useful on "accent" surfaces, like doors, entryways, trim, cabinets, and other architectural detailing that is unique to the consumer's house. Glossy paint draws a person's eye and grabs their attention, especially in a room where a majority of surfaces, painted or otherwise, appear more dull or matte (via Sherwin-Williams). Add paint to these places to make your home look multidimensional (via Benjamin Moore). These accent surfaces also tend to succumb to wear and tear faster than other places in your house, so applying a semi- or high-gloss paint to these areas may provide greater protection than other paint options.

Sherwin-Williams also recommends adding glossier paint to places of your home that receive less light. Shinier paints reflect light more effectively and can brighten an otherwise dark living space. Painting a surface that receives excessive amounts of direct light, on the other hand, can create an annoying and intense glare that can act as an eyesore to residents and guests of the home, on top of acting as a potential hazard to dwellers who would look at the surface on a regular basis.

Benjamin Moore also warns against using glossier paints on surfaces that aren't entirely smooth. Since paint formulas with a greater sheen are also more reflective, they can draw attention to imperfections once light hits these parts of your home.