How To Make Paint Glossy?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Paint glossy has been the traditional paint for woodwork, metalwork, doors, trims, etc. It used to be oil-based in the past, but it is prone to yellowing and contains harmful lead that could threaten one’s health.

Thankfully, more modern paint glossy is water-based, with fewer VOC solvents to provide a great shine without the fear of yellowing after some time.

What Is Paint Glossy?

Paint glossy or gloss paint is the kind of paint that shines and reflects light. How shiny the paint will be depends on whether it is high or low in gloss.

The word “gloss” is about the amount of smoothness of light reflected on the surface. Some surfaces would smoothly reflect light even when such surfaces are painted with colour gloss paint.

What Is Paint Glossy

A typical example is an automobile painted in high gloss paint; you can see yourself in the car’s reflection because of the shiny high level of the gloss paint. In contrast, paints with low gloss have dull finishes. Low-gloss paints have no reflections but can reflect sufficient light to show the colour.

You need to understand paint ingredients to comprehend what high or low gloss paint is. Paints are composed of pigments and binders. The pigment is responsible for giving your paint a particular colour. This pigment is not liquid and won’t paste on a surface. This is where the binder comes in. The binder is responsible for holding the solution together for even distribution on a surface.

Another ingredient is the solvent. The solvent is in liquid form. It evaporates and helps the paint dry while leaving the pigment, binder, and other additives on the surface.

How To Make Paint Glossy?

If you have painted the surface or a piece of furniture with flat paint and you realize the surface is too dull, you can make it bright and shiny by adding more binders to the paint.

The high binder makes paint glossy, while high pigment makes the paint flat or dull. The formula for mixing pigments and binders is pigment volume concentration (PVC).

How To Make Paint Glossy

There is a large amount of pigment with less binder in flat paint to make it dull, while there is less pigment and high bnder in gloss paint to make it shine. So, to make paint glossy, you just have to increase the binder in the flat paint. PVC is usually in percentage. Below is the formulation with different types of paints:

  • Flat paint has over 40% PVC
  • Eggshell paint contains between 35% to 40% PVC
  • Satin paint contains 30% to 35% PVC
  • Semi-gloss paint has just 25% PVC
  • Gloss paint contains just 15% PVC

Another way to make paint glossy after applying the flat paint to the surface is to purchase a glossy finish and apply it. Polyacrylic varnish is the best option for most surfaces that have been painted already.

You can also mix the flat paint with the glossy paint to make it glossy. Remember that you have to reduce the PVC in the matte paint. You can add a quart of flat paint to one gallon of gloss paint. It can also be a gallon of flat paint to five gallons of gloss paint. If you mix them equally, you will get semi-gloss paint. Buying faux and glaze finishes can also help to transform a wall painted with matte paint into gloss.

Have A LookHow to Make Spray Paint Not Sticky?

What Are the Advantages of Paint Glossy?

You’re mistaken if you think more pigments mean better quality. The opposite is the case. Paint glossy has got a lot of advantages over matte paint. Below are some of the advantages of paint glossy:

What Are The Advantages Of Paint Glossy

  • High humidity-resistant– Paint glossy can resist humidity more than matte paint. The binder in the paint creates a strong bond that resists water particles consistently. This doesn’t mean that paint glossy is waterproof.
  • Durable– Paint glossy is more durable than matte paint because there is more binder than pigment. The binder helps to prevent the paint from scratches and scruffs.
  • Washable– Paint glossy can be washed or cleaned easily. Since the surface is very smooth, you can just wipe it down without causing any damage to the paint. Matte paint is prone to water damage and cannot be washed like paint glossy.
  • It goes well with other paints– Paint glossy peers well with different paints with excellent results. For example, the trim can be painted with glossy paint, while the walls can be semi-gloss. This helps to accentuate the edge. You can also use glossy paint for the wall and matte paint for the ceiling.
  • Highly reflective– Paint glossy is very reflective if you are thinking of brightening up the space in your home. With a lot of reflective properties in the paint, it makes every painted area shiny and bright.
  • Bold and dramatic– Paint glossy is well noticed anywhere it is applied because it shines and brightens the space. The colours are bold and dramatic, thereby attracting attention.

What Are the Disadvantages of Paint Glossy?

Paint glossy comes with some disadvantages that should be well noted. Here are some of them:

  • Hard to paint over– Paint glossy is not like matte paints that you can paint over. Once you have applied the paint, doing touch-ups on the same space may create a colour mismatch, giving the surface a patchy and ugly look.

The paint can change with time due to exposure to UV light. It reacts to sunlight and smoke. Retouching the affected areas will only create visible imperfections. Avoid issues with paint glossy by constantly cleaning it.

  • Shows imperfections– Paint glossy will show the imperfection of the surface you want to paint. It is not the right paint to conceal the mess under the wall. The right paint for this is matte. Painting over the imperfect areas on the surface will only magnify them.


Making paint glossy used to be the exclusive preserve of professional painters. That is no longer the case. Just enter any paint store and purchase varnish to make the paint or surface glossy. Mix the varnish with the matte paint in the right proportion and see your surface turn into a bright, shiny space.

When you mix the two solutions, try to test it on a small part of the wall to see what it looks like. If you like what you see, you can apply the paint to the surface where you want it.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

More Posts

Leave a Comment