Is High-Gloss Paint Good for Baseboards and Trim?

When planning a renovation for your home, you’ll need to decide how to spruce up the baseboards and trim best. There’s nothing quite like applying a fresh coat of paint, so is high-gloss paint the way to go?

High-gloss paint is the perfect choice for baseboards and trim. It is durable and resists dirt and grime buildup. It is also easier to clean as the glossy finish will help repel dirt and dust. The glossy finish adds shine and sophistication, making the room look more elegant.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why should you use high-gloss paint
  • How high-gloss compares to other finishes
  • Whether you need primer on baseboards and trims

6 Reasons to Use High-Gloss on Baseboards and Trim

High-gloss is one of the best paint finishes for baseboards and trim. Here is a list of the 6 reasons why.

Aesthetic appeal 

Its aesthetic appeal is the most obvious reason to use high gloss on baseboards and trim. High-gloss finishes reflect light, making the woodwork appear brighter and more vibrant.

This makes them perfect for adding visual interest to any room in your home. Not only that, but they also add an elegant touch.


High-gloss finishes can be a great decorative option when considering how to brighten up a room. Adding the reflective property gives off a uniquely modern look and feel while also helping to bring more natural light in, which is something that can be particularly helpful in small or otherwise dark rooms.

Not only do high-gloss finishes provide additional light and help make a space appear larger, but they also give it an openness that can make all the difference.


High-gloss finishes also offer superior durability compared to other types of finishes. The glossy sheen helps protect the wood against scratches, dents, and other types of damage caused by everyday wear and tear.

This makes them ideal for homes with children or pets that can cause unintentional damage to walls or furniture. Additionally, the glossy surface helps repel dust, making it easier to keep your home clean and well-maintained.


High-gloss paint adds a certain level of style to any room that regular paints can’t match. Whether you opt for a classic white color or something bolder like black or navy blue, the glossy finish will make your baseboards and trim stand out in an eye-catching way.

And if you want an even more unique look, a variety of colors available in high-gloss finishes will let you create a truly one-of-a-kind look for your space. 

Resistance to moisture

High-gloss paint offers superior resistance to moisture compared to other types of finishes. This makes it an ideal choice for homes in humid or damp climates.

It prevents the wood from warping or becoming discolored due to moisture exposure. The glossy surface helps protect the wood from water damage and keeps it looking nice for longer periods. 

Easier cleaning 

High-gloss paint is one of the easiest types of paint to clean. All it takes is a damp cloth or soft sponge and some mild soap to keep your baseboards looking new for years to come.

As a bonus, high-gloss paints are resistant to dirt, fingerprints, and scuffs, which means they stay looking fresh with very little effort from you. This makes them an ideal choice for busy households where maintenance needs to be kept to a minimum.

How Does High-Gloss Compare to Other Paint Finishes?


Using semi-gloss paint on baseboards and trim will provide a reflective sheen that falls between satin and high-gloss finishes. Its reflectivity level is usually 35-70%, giving it a more subtle shine compared to a high-gloss finish.

Semi-gloss and high gloss paints are highly durable, making them both ideal for trims and baseboards, which are prone to moisture or humidity in bathrooms or kitchens.

However, due to its higher reflectivity, high-gloss paint is slightly more durable as it can withstand cleaning agents without showing any signs of wear or tear while maintaining its original vibrancy over time. 

While both finishes require preparation before application, they differ in maintenance once applied. High gloss paint is much easier to maintain as it wipes easily without harsh chemical cleaners.

In contrast, semi-gloss paint may require some elbow grease due to its lower reflectivity, which can show blemishes easily after cleaning agents are used. 

It’s recommended to choose an oil-based product for durability and longer wear. A popular choice is Glidden’s Trim, Door & Furniture Paint. It is oil-based and can be easily cleaned up using a solvent.

Benjamin Moore also has their Regal Classic Premium Interior PaintOpens in a new tab. in semi-gloss, which can easily be cleaned with soap and water.


Painting baseboards and trim with satin paint will give off a soft luster that is still more glossy than an eggshell finish but flatter than semi-gloss paint. Compared to high-gloss paint, satin will not reflect as much light and won’t be as easy to clean.

It also won’t last as long under intense wear or with frequent cleaning. For baseboards and trim in areas with heavy foot traffic and moisture, high-gloss paint is a better option.

Satin is often not the ideal choice for baseboards and trim due to its low reflectivity, making high-gloss paint the better option.

High-gloss paint offers superior levels of moisture resistance, is easier to clean, and can produce a bolder look that will last for years.

Do You Need to Use Primer When Painting Baseboards and Trim?

It is recommended to use primer when painting baseboards and trim. Primer should be applied before any type of paint to ensure that the finish will be long-lasting, durable, and look as good as possible.

Primer helps to protect the wood from moisture, which can cause warping or discoloration over time. It also helps to cover blemishes and scratches, and to fill in holes or cracks in the wood.

Primer also seals in existing stains on the wood that may bleed through the paint color, preventing it from having an uneven appearance over time.

Using a primer will help the paint adhere better to the surface so that it looks more uniform and lasts longer, resisting chips, flaking, and fading longer than if you were just using paint alone.

In addition, primer is also helpful for providing a better base for paint, stains, or topcoats that you may want to add after painting your baseboards and trim.

Joshua Milton

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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