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Q&A: Gloss Paint

Gloss paint is on the higher end of the sheen scale and is one of the most durable paints you can buy.

But what projects should you use gloss for? Which brands should you buy from? What are some of the common problems with gloss? We answer all of those questions and more with specific examples to teach you everything there is to know about gloss.

Still with us? Read on to become an expert in all things gloss paint!

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What projects can you use gloss for?

Gloss is one of the more durable paints you can buy and works well for:

  • Doors
  • Door frames
  • Skirting boards
  • Window casing
  • Most woodworks
  • Outdoor objects

Which brands should you buy from?

There are plenty of quality brands on the market, some of which include:

  • Johnstone’s
  • Dulux
  • Crown
  • Leyland
  • Rust Oleum
  • Farrow and Ball
  • Little Greene
  • Benjamin Moore

I’ve got some Indian stone pavings to coat. After a gloss non slip paint, it’s had Johnstone’s transparent floor paint on previously. Any recommendations?

I would jet wash it then use a sealer rather than a paint. Roll it on very thin and don’t leave any puddles of it on because it will dry milky white if u do. It should give them a gloss finish but you may need to apply a few coats.

Been asked to paint all woodwork on a HSL in a water based gloss. It is already in oil based gloss. What’s the best gloss and undercoat for this?

Unless it is really yellow I usually get a good gloss finish with Caparol Haft primer, mixed 50/50 with gloss for the first coat and then Caparol Pu Gloss for the final coat. You should get a good finish in 2 coats. You’ll get a higher gloss with Johnstone’s Aqua Undercoat and gloss, but it’s a bit of a killer on the brushes and I find the Caparol nicer to use. Plus it won’t yellow as it’s not a hybrid!

Is gloss paint durable?

Gloss paint is one of the most durable paints on the market. Paints with higher sheen tend to be stronger so always keep that in mind.

I’ve got a whole wooden panel walled room to paint. At the moment it’s white oil gloss paint. Should I go oil or water based? I’ve not used water based gloss yet so not sure.

In fairness Johnstone’s water based gloss is whiter than oil based. Obviously interior doesn’t need to be as hard wearing. Just watch the temperature inside, too warm and it will start to drag.

Is the odour of gloss too strong to work with regularly?

I actually don’t notice the smell of any paints when working with them all day. But if I went into someone’s house and it had been decorated that day I really start to notice the smell then. So no, working with gloss isn’t really an issue odour wise but each person will be different.

What is the best white gloss for outside windows that are South facing?

Johnstone’s Storm Shield system is pretty handy for south facing windows because it doesn’t get damaged by the UV.

 I’m going to be painting my skirting boards and doors with gloss. Any comments on the main brands?

I’ve used the Crown Next Gen a a few times and that’s a great paint. Been back to projects and they’ve not noticeably yellowed. Armstead is great to work with but I think it yellowed fast (might just have been a particular job I did so jury out on that, I could be doing it an injustice!)

Dulux has that “wow“ factor that people tend to love. Leyland and Macpherson’s aren’t too bad either. Hope this helps!

How do you prepare a door that’s got oil-based gloss on it for water-based?

Water-based gloss is pretty advanced at this point so you don’t need to do anything special to make sure your doors are ready for it. Give the door a good rub down and if you want to, use a water-based undercoat beforehand.

What’s the Andura white gloss like?

For the price you really can’t go wrong on the stuff. It’s ultra white and is self undercoating. Yes, it doesn’t like caulk too much but most don’t to be fair. The only paint that is self undercoating is Isomat and Scuff-X which is way more expensive!

Can you get a reflective finish with gloss paint?

Absolutely but it depends on the colour as to how much of a reflection you will get. I’ve found that some lighter colours such as reds and yellows don’t reflect as much as blues or greens for example.

I’ve got hundreds of old yellow glossed doors to paint. What’s your favourite adhesion primer?

If you’re looking at quickness I’d use Coverstain then 2 top coats of water based gloss. The water based gloss will dry far quicker than oil based gloss.

Looking to use Johnstone’s Aqua gloss – how does it compare to Isomat?

I used to really like the Johnstone’s aqua system, it’s very nice to use. But… it’s the most hybrid of hybrids if you know what I mean and I’ve heard people complain that it yellows with age. Looks great at first (especially the gloss – there isn’t a water based gloss to match that finish in my opinion), but not keen on the idea of it yellowing.

Can you use Rubbol XD gloss indoors?

The Rubbol XD goes yellow very quickly inside. I’ve used the XD outside and to say it’s a “high gloss” would be an understatement. I’d be worried about it going yellow on an interior so wouldn’t recommend it. I believe they advise against it being used internally too.

I applied a coat of Johnstone’s aqua undercoat to old yellowed gloss doors after thoroughly sanding and cleaning. After 3 days the undercoat looked like it had disappeared. Any idea what happened?

One of the things I have noticed with all water based paints is that even sanding does not always get rid of grease and by brushing the water based coat on this agitates the grease to come out into the paint. On this basis, I would say applying something like Coverstain before applying the top coats would be a better option.

What’s the Johnstone’s Aqua gloss system like?

Johnstone’s Aqua gloss is one of the best on the market. It covers well and has a great flow. Just don’t use the undercoat as it kills paint brushes! I’ve used Caparol Haft primer instead with the aqua gloss. The result is the same but with live brushes at the end!

I had to gloss an oak veneer door. I lightly sanded with 180 grit, applied acrylic p/u then applied two coats of oil gloss but the grain has raised – can this be fixed? I’m meant to do another one!

I think your acrylic primer has raised the grain unfortunately. Maybe use a juicy Coverstain to prime the next one and you should be fine.

My customer is insisting on an oil based gloss for a wooden staircase. I’ve not used oil in years! Which one is good these days?

For oils I always used to go with Dulux High Gloss (PBW). Great gear. Like you though, I’ve not gone with oil on interiors for years now. Does your client know it’ll yellow & that there’s water-based gloss that has superb durability/flow rate these days? Not to mention the VOCs & curing times. You can lead a horse to water, eh…

Used Dulux Trade Gloss over Dulux Trade Undercoat 1 week ago and it’s still wet in places. Conditions – dust free, temperature – warm, paint – no additives or turps just neat. Any ideas what’s happened?

You’ve got me stumped on this one. Dulux Trade Gloss is normally super reliable so my only guess it that you’ve been unlucky enough to receive a tin from a bad batch of paint. Get your money back and go with a water-based gloss instead would be my advice!

I’m going to be spraying my daughters wardrobes which is currently a high gloss finish. What would be the best primer?

Caparol Haftprimer would be a good choice. It brushes well, sprays well and provides excellent grip.

What rollers would you recommend for glossing internal doors?

There’s quite a few choices. Two Fussy Blokes’ smooth rollers are top notch and the green Hamilton rollers are worth a shot. They hold a lot of paint and go on smoothly so should cut your job time down.