Everything You Need to Know About Gloss Enamel Paint

gloss enamel paint

Choosing the best paint for the job is important, as is knowing what finish you’ll get. Some paints are better for certain surfaces and areas than others, and this is particularly true of gloss enamel paint. But what is gloss enamel paint, and what surfaces is it best used on?

What is gloss enamel paint?

Gloss enamel paint is usually oil-based, and provides heat, stain and scratch resistance, making it a durable paint to use on any surface that you need a protective barrier on. It can be used on most building materials – wood, metal and even concrete - and when it dries, it leaves a shiny, opaque finish due to its high-sheen nature. You can also get enamel paint in semi-gloss, which simply means the finish is slightly less shiny.

What are the benefits of gloss enamel paint?

exterior gloss enamel paint


Gloss enamel paint is ideal in areas that see high use and wear because of its durability; it forms a hard shell once dry, and is mould and moisture resistant, so will last for a number of years. Because it’s waterproof, it’s perfect for any surface exposed to elements, such as your home’s exterior walls, window trims and doors.

Gloss enamel paint is also good for using on indoor and outdoor furniture, as well as cabinetry and DIY projects due to its hard, glossy protective finish.

Ease of application

Regardless of whether you’re applying gloss enamel paint with a brush or a spray can, once you start painting, you’ll notice how easy it is to apply – the paint spreads evenly and quickly. 

Just remember that all surfaces that you’re going to paint will need preparation, including cleaning and priming to remove dust and debris. This is especially true of wood, which can warp; poor preparation will impact the smoothness and look of the finish as glossy paints highlight any imperfections in the underlying surface.

Easy to clean

Any surface painted with gloss enamel paint is easy to clean due to the hard sheen of the finish; simply wipe with either a dry or wet cloth to remove any built-up dust, dirt or marks.

What are the disadvantages of gloss enamel paint?


Because gloss enamel paint is oil-based, it contains solvents and a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOC) which produce a strong odour that dissipates after drying. Caution is needed while applying, to protect yourself from any fumes, as well as while handling due to the solvents used in them.

Harder to clean paint runs once dry

Gloss enamel paints can be hard to clean off after application without damaging the underlying surface. This means it’s important to manage paint runs while you’re applying the paint.

Slow to dry

Gloss enamel paint is slow drying, taking between 8-24 hours to dry completely depending on the ambient temperature. This means time between recoats is much longer than if you were using a water-based acrylic paint. Painting surfaces with enamel is better in warm, dry conditions because of this.

Interior use

Gloss enamel paint isn’t recommended for interior painting of walls or ceilings. Because of its hard, glossy finish, it’ll show up any imperfections in your walls as well as brush or roller marks. 

Exterior use

It’s important to check what type of enamel paint you’re using for exterior painting, as not all are completely weather resistant. Oil-based enamel paint is, but acrylic and water-based enamel paints aren’t as durable so won’t last as long. Some are more prone to cracking as well, so it’s important to read the label and speak to a painting professional before choosing your exterior paint. 

Want the best exterior paint finish? Call the experts

Getting the right finish from your gloss enamel paint requires solid preparation and knowledge of how to safely handle oil-based paints to ensure you get the best from them. 

Whether you’re looking for a refresh of your exterior walls, or advice on what paint is best to use on what surface and when the best time of year it is to paint, Kraudelt Painting is here to help. We’re the experts in exterior and interior painting for residential and commercial properties alike, and are experienced in handling any kind of surface that you want to freshen up and protect. For painting services from knowledgeable, reliable experts, get in touch today.

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About Louise Kraudelt

Meet Louise Kraudelt, a knowledgeable and insightful author in the field of house painting. With a passion for sharing her expertise, Louise provides valuable information and tips on all aspects of commercial and house painting in this blog.

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