Why Does My Flat Paint Look Glossy? [know this Answer]

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

There are different kinds of paint. You have the Flat Paint and the Glossy Paint, as well as many other types. But Flat paint has no shine, while glossy paint shines as its characteristics. If Flat paint doesn’t shine nor appear glossy, why does my flat paint look glossy? This is one of the questions from house owners whose paint type is flat but seeing some shine.

In practice, your choice of paint and the way you complete the application on the surface determines the look. So, the type of finish you want to see at the end of your painting project is up to you. As you may already know, some finishes are smoother, and some are muted.

This article is meant to address why Flat paint looks glossy sometimes and other related questions.

Is Flat Paint Glossy?

Flat paint is not glossy because they have different ratios of essential components in them. Sheen is one thing that enables paints to create a reflection effect on the surface. The more sheen you have in a paint mixture, the more the paint will reflect light and seem to shine. The gloss has the highest level of sheen, while the flat has no sheen or very little of it.

Is Flat Paint Glossy

Flat paint simply provides a smooth, uniform finish when dried. The name Flat finish describes the fact that the paint does not produce reflection from the surface when dried.

Why Does My Flat Paint Look Glossy?

The major characteristics of Flat Paint are that there is no shine at all. That’s why you may be asking; why does my Flat Paint look glossy if it shouldn’t? This is the question most homeowners need answers to. Some of the reasons why you may see your Flat paint reflecting the effect of shine or Glossy is enumerated below:

Why Does My Flat Paint Look Glossy

Less Pigments Contents

One thing that determines the finish of any paint is the number of pigments in its mixture. The more pigments you have in a paint, the flatter it will look on your wall. So, one of the reasons your Flat paint is looking glossy is because of less pigment content in the mixture.

The simple formula is MP = LG (More pigment equals less gloss). This means that more pigment particles in paints make light scatter, which creates a non-reflective surface. In addition, if there are more pigment particles in a volume of paint, it means that there are fewer binders in that paint. Meanwhile, it is Binders that help to create the smooth, Glossy surface.

More Binder Contents

Any paint mixture where you have more binders and fewer pigments, the output will come with shine or Glossy effects. This is why the shine in paints is the availability of the reflective particles contained in the paint. In this case, the more layers that are applied, the higher the shine that will appear at the finished project. This is because more reflective particles are contained in the finished product of the paint mixture with high Binders.

Application Method

Paint mixture is not all that determines the final look of the finished work. The pattern or method of application is a strong factor in how the final look will turn out to be. You will always get different results when you use Brush, Roller, and Spray Device to apply your paints.

For example, if you use a Roller or Brush to apply your Flat Paint, you may get it 100% Flat. If you use a spraying device to do the same job, you will see less Flat and more Glossy. This is so because the spray system that carries the pigments evaporates much slower at 45° there about. This gives the surface of the paint a long time to smooth out.

Light Absorption

As you already know, paint finish refers to the amount of light that the paint can reflect from its surface. Flat paints absorb lights instead of reflecting them. Glossy also absorbs light, even as Flat paint reflects light, but It absorbs more lights than they reflect.

Don’t forget that the Pigments and Binders ratio in your mixture of paint can determine the reflection or absorption of light. So, Fewer Pigments and More Binders can cause your Flat paint to shine or reflect light.

Multiple Layer Application

We’ve already learned that the shiny reflective property of paints is contained in the reflective particles in the paint. So, it is logical that the more layers that are put on the surface, the more light reflection you will get from the surface. So, one reason why your Flat paint can appear Glossy is the number of layers applied.

Having reasoned why Flat paints look Glossy sometimes, it is worth it to share a little light on the benefits of Flat paint.

6 Benefit of Flat Paint

Benefit of Flat Paint

1. Hides Dents and Roughs

The fact that Flat paint has no shine makes it one of the favorites of most painters and house owners. This is why it is considered to be very beneficial when used for dented or rough surfaces. The reason is that it hides all available patches, nail holes, and other glaring surface imperfections.

Hides Dents and Roughs

Most times, Flat paint is recommended for formal rooms like the living rooms and dining rooms. The essence of this is that patches and most imperfections are not easily seen in Flat paint. This is one of the reasons why it is also a good choice for ceiling painting.

2. Fewer Coats Requirement

Flat paints require fewer coats to get the job done, unlike glossy paints. This is another major reason why Flat paint is the choice of many painters and house owners. Of course, you should know that fewer coats mean less quantity of paints is consumed in the project. Secondly, painters feel good when they see that a single touch can perfectly correct areas that need recovery touches.

3. Ease of Re-Touch

Again, surface deficiencies are easier to correct in Flat paints than Glossy paints in case of touch-up needs. This is so because there is hardly any difference between the touch-up paint and the rest of the painted surface. In the Flat paint project, painters don’t need to struggle with correcting Roller lines during touch-up because it blends in.

4. Better Project Cost

The fact that fewer coats are needed to get the job done with Flat paints means that it costs less. This is one of the reasons why Flat pain is a top choice for builders.

5. Ease of Recovery Covering

Flat paint is one the ideal paint for covering walls that have major flaws or blemishes. It can even cover large imperfections like and nails and extensive scuffs, and it will look good. All of these are achieved on the ground that Flat Paints are very effective at absorbing light, which hides bumps.

6. Best Finish

Flat paint can fully provide your ceiling with the best outstanding finish in terms of a professional color look. Flat paint is most recommended if you want to achieve a saturated, velvety flat finish on your ceiling. Flat paint can take care of all your ceiling imperfections, and its power of light absorbs ion and appear less noticeable.

Does Gloss Paint Dull Over Time?

Generally, all paints have titanium dioxide. Gloss paints start out fine, but after some time, the shine dulls out. It happens this way when the paint loses its luster due to the presence of titanium dioxide in the paint. Some of the conditions that can dull out Glossy paints are direct sunlight, harsh weather, and extreme temperature. Other reasons why Gloss paint can dull out are poor usage of thinners, improper priming of surfaces,

Does Gloss Paint Dull Over Time

Titanium dioxide pigment is a fine white powder. This is what provides maximum whiteness and opacity when used in paints. In the history of paint production, Titanium dioxide pigment is considered more effective than other types of white pigment.

How Do You Fix Uneven Paint Sheen?

Uneven paint sheen simply refers to the look of an uneven painted surface when a painting project is completed. It’s very good to learn how to fix this problem, but what about knowing the cause and avoiding it? Some of the reasons you can have a condition of uneven paint sheen are:


  • Poor paints mixture
  • Improper coverage of imperfections in surfaces
  • A complex surface that is uneven
  • Insufficient application of paint coats
  • Improper spreading of the paints, making it appear uneven
  • Lack of steady temperature during drying time.
  • Rough surface.
  • Effect of rain, dew, or humidity during the drying process.


  • Complete proper cleaning and sanding
  • Ensure to remove any dust particles that may deposit there during your sanding.
  • Drop a new coat on the surface after proper sanding and cleaning.
  • You must start off with a base coat on the substrate before using the finishing products.
  • Clean, sand, and suck out any dust from the surface before applying a new coat.
  • You should ensure that your paint mixture gets to the bottom of the container.
  • You should begin with a base coat to get the appearance uniform surface.
  • The panels and the joints must be properly aligned and kept straight.
  • You must be careful to apply your paint in a uniform manner.
  • To achieve complete evenness, finishing coats is recommended.
  • Following the recommended application temperature for your product is key.


You can make Flat paint to maintain its features and deliver according to your desire if you adhere to some requirements. You should be sure of what you are doing when mixing your paint. This is important because it’s one of the factors that will determine the look of the finished. If the paint appears glossy when it shouldn’t, you may be asking, why does my Flat Paint look glossy?

If you want your Flat project to remain Flat when done, use your Pigments and Binders properly. One of the factors that can make your Flat paint look Glossy is when Binders is more than Pigments. Another factor is your method of application. So, you need to be sure you mix your paint and the method to use for the application to get what you want.

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.

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