Bringing Sexy Back (with paint)

Bringing Sexy Back (with paint)

We have all, at some point read in a magazine or been told by a paint expert that high gloss paint is a big no-no.  To some extent I agree; if woodwork, walls or ceilings are not well finished then shine will absolutely magnify every bump, gouge and mistake.  Gloss can be gross:  A recent experiment with a new sparkly face powder which made the young super model advertising it look healthy and glowing only helped to magnify my large pores and crows feet (I could go on but you get the idea)!

Glossy paint in my dining room creates movement and interest to the ceiling, moldings and trim.  High Gloss Ultra Pure White from Behr paints.

Glossy paints also take longer to paint, usually a minimum of three thin coats being careful not to leave brush or drip marks in order to achieve that pristine ‘dipped in’ look.  Still, I have always loved high gloss; it’s durable and super easy to wipe clean, its a great way to make plain ceilings more interesting, trick inexpensive hollow core doors into looking solid and rich and transform traditional moldings into something more modern and sexy. Roll your eyes, because yes, I did in fact just refer to moldings painted in high gloss as sexy.  What can I say except, I’m passionate about what I do, and I’m right!

Moldings and trim stand out and get some sex appeal in high gloss paint

Glossy & Dramatic: lacquered teal walls.  Photo via

As for being more modern -that’s my take on it, however it could be argued that the complete opposite is true.  When looking at home interiors a few decades ago, very often doors, trims and walls had a glossy sheen, due in part because paints were oil based.

Inexpensive hollow core doors in my home painted in high gloss take on a richer and more solid appearance.  Wall color Intellectual by Behr paints.

Ethereal and Calming: glossy hallway. Photo via

For an even more glassy-gloss effect you can try applying several coats of clear  high gloss varnish/lacquer/polyurethane over the (dried) paint color.  I did this (polyurethane) in the kitchen of my previous home, over top light gray walls between my counters and upper cabinets.  I was trying to imitate the pricier back painted glass back splashes (inspired by Will & Grace‘s kitchen).  A quick inexpensive fix to a slightly dated and boring kitchen that I was not prepared to invest in.

The 101: Fact is anything that reflects light, will draw attention to itself.  Next time you find yourself re-painting, give some serious thought as to whether any architectural details in your space are super model worthy of some high gloss sheen and just go for it!

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4 thoughts on “Bringing Sexy Back (with paint)

  1. That’s a good question!

    I think it depends on the use of the room and what colors the walls are: A deep dark wall color in an intimate space like a study or bar can handle a glossy ceiling -it would add to the drama. But a large open combined space (family room/kitchen/eating area) would def attract unwanted attention -and be a reminder of how low the ceiling are!


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