can you add gloss to flat paint
Kristina Davis

Can you add gloss to flat paint? You may ask this question if your flat wall paint getting on your nerves.

So many people wonder if they can make their flat paint look more luxurious by applying a gloss coat over it.

Apparently, applying a coat of clear lacquer or varnish to your walls will give them a glossy finish and a modest reflective sheen without making them look fake.

But, is it the right thing to do? Can you add semi-gloss to flat pain?

There is no hard and fast rule for achieving a certain sheen by combining semi-gloss and flat paints, so yes you can add gloss to flat paint. 

Learning All about Gloss Paint

gloss paint

A gloss paint dries to a reflective sheen. Trim and other areas that require a long-lasting, glossy paint job are common candidates.

A high-gloss topcoat is a great option for giving flat paint a glossy finish. Topcoats are protective, transparent coatings that may be sprayed over any color paint to make it look glossy and homogeneous.

Applying a topcoat is straightforward; you can use a brush, roller, or sprayer to get the job done.

It is crucial to clean the area thoroughly with a moist cloth before applying the topcoat

The Benefits of Glossy Paint

There are a number of advantages to using glossy paint rather than flat paint.

Keep in mind that a higher ingredient concentration in paint does not result in a more long-lasting paint.

So, why would you want to use gloss paint? Here are some good reasons to do that: 


red paint flowing

You may want to select gloss paint because of its high bonding content, reducing the likelihood of peeling caused by the larger concentration of pigments in flat paint. 

Moisture Resistant

As you know, gloss paint is more long-lasting than other finishes, thus it is also a fantastic option if you live in high-humidity locations. 


gloss paint shine

Gloss paint, being non-reflective, provides a uniformly shining surface and accentuates the vividness of any hue.

Gloss paint is the way to go if you want to draw attention to a certain part of a space. 

Compatible with Different Finishes

You may easily achieve the desired look by combining several shades of gloss paint. In fact, it makes it simple to experiment with different looks for any surface you like.

Fact: Be sure to choose high quality paint because low-quality paint may not cover as evenly or last as long since it contains more filler than pigment. 

Can You Add Gloss to Flat Paint?

adding gloss paint to the wall

Apparently, there is no rule keeping you from mixing gloss and flat paint.

Painting your walls and ceilings with flat paint, which is matte and does not reflect any light, is a terrific way to give your home a uniform look.

But, you may wish to add some sheen to your flat paint in order to increase the amount of light reflected.

Buying a fresh can of paint is one option, but with a little effort, you can turn your flat paint into a glossy finish.

Hence, the question becomes, “How do you make flat paint glossy?” 

What to Know When Adding Gloss to Flat Paint?

Adding gloss to previously flat paint requires careful consideration of a number of things.

The first step is picking a gloss paint that complements the current flat paint. Similarly, to maintain a uniform and smooth surface, surface preparation is also essential.

Too much gloss can make the walls look too reflective and fake, so it is crucial to strike a balance.

Last but not least, getting the right results requires using the right application methods and giving it enough time to dry

What Makes Paint Shiny?

painting gray paint

High-gloss paint is durable and easy to maintain because of its shiny, reflected surface.

This type of paint is exceptionally sturdy and resistant to stains and fading as a result of the high resin content.

The pigment-to-binder ratio, or pigment volume concentration, determines the glossiness of a paint.

Fact: Bear in mind that paints with more pigment content will produce a flatter finish on your walls. 

Understanding the Way to Add Gloss to Flat Paint

While flat paint is simple to apply, the result is often rather unimpressive. The dullness of flat paint can be remedied by learning how to achieve a semi-gloss finish.

No one likes living in a home with drab paint, which is why any do-it-yourselfer worth their salt will go to great lengths to ensure that their personal space sparkles.

Flat paint, in comparison to other paints, may be easier to apply on a certain surface. In addition to being an efficient method, it saves money. 

But, remember that flat paint emits a dull finish; to eliminate dullness in your space, you will need to combine it with gloss or semi-gloss. 

Steps to Add Gloss to Flat Paint

an orange paint

A water-based polyacrylic varnish works well as a glazing medium to bring out the sheen and brightness of your flat paint.

You should clean the walls thoroughly and apply the thinner in the right amounts just like you would before starting to paint.

To get a consistent gloss paint from flat paint, just follow these procedures. 

Step #1: Use a Cloth

The first step in your painting workout is to lay down some sort of drop cloth. At this phase, any scrap of fabric will do.

The glaze material immediately soaks through the drop cloth and you do not have to deal with any mess. 

Step #2: Prepare the Container

preparing the paint container

To ensure a uniform consistency, shake the glazing medium container vigorously. Shake it really hard to mix all the ingredients. 

Step #3: Spread the Glazing Media

Cut off a little strip of the packaging material and use it to spread the glazing media, as it will not soak up the liquid. The surface ought to be shiny and reflective. 

Step #4:  Apply the Glazing Media

adding glazing media to paint

First, roll up the wrapping paper or other material tightly. Then, dip the spherical object into the glaze.

Glazing media should be applied in a thin layer on the wall. Remember, you may have to carry out this process multiple times over the same area.

Fact: Use a brush or roller made for gloss paint, as painting with it is faster and easier than with a brush. 

Top Reasons to Add Gloss to Flat Paint

It is true that a non-reflective finish covers flaws and creates a consistent look, which is why flat paint is frequently used on walls.

However, there are situations in which homeowners and decorators might desire to add gloss to flat paint.

For instance: 


gloss paint last

Adding gloss to otherwise flat paint increases the paint’s longevity and protection against scuffs and scrapes.

This is due to the fact that gloss paint is more durable and long-lasting than its flat counterpart. 

Improved Cleanliness

When compared to flat paint, which may be damaged with a simple moist cloth or sponge, gloss paint is much more user-friendly.

Also, the glossy finish of gloss paint makes for a cleaner surface because it does not trap dust and grime as easily as flat paint does. 

Improved Brightness

bright white room

Gloss added to flat paint increases the surface’s reflectivity, making the room look and feel brighter and larger.

Gloss paint can make the color pop and give the wall more depth. 


Gloss added to flat paint creates a distinctive finish that can be employed in a wide range of situations.

Trim and woodwork, for instance, can be given a semi-gloss or satin finish, while furniture and accent pieces can be given a high-gloss finish. 

Important Things to Consider

painting yellow paint

Glossing over flat paint might make it trickier to paint in general.

In order to achieve a uniform, glossy surface, adequate surface preparation and priming are required. It may take more coats of gloss paint to obtain the appropriate coverage.

Similarly, brush marks, drips, and bubbles are commonplace in glossy paint, among other flaws. DIYers who lack experience painting with gloss may find this frustrating.  

Fact: Gloss paint requires more drying time, so wait for long enough between coats to get the best results. 


Can you add gloss to flat paint? Adding gloss to flat paint is a viable choice to obtain a rich finish and extend the life of the paint.

Glossy paint lasts longer, protects better against moisture, and makes any space look more polished and luxurious. It is recommended to use a high-gloss topcoat.

But, you need to give considerable thought to how you prepare the surface and apply the coat.