Is High-Gloss Paint Good for Kitchen Walls?

Painting your kitchen walls is a great way to freshen up the look of your home. But when it comes to choosing the right paint, it can be tricky to know which one will be the best. One popular choice is high gloss paint. But is this type of paint suitable for kitchen walls?

High-gloss paint can be used for kitchens. Although semi-gloss is often the more popular choice, high-gloss paint can still be used. It’s also more durable and easier to clean. However, it will emphasize any flaws in the walls, so make sure your walls are properly prepared before applying.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The 5 benefits of using high-gloss paint
  • The 6 drawbacks of using high-gloss paint
  • How high-gloss compares to other finishes

5 Benefits of Using High-Gloss Paint in Your Kitchen

High-gloss is one of the best paint finishes for kitchens. Here is a list of the 5 reasons why.

Easy to clean 

One of the biggest benefits of high-gloss paint is that it is very easy to clean. It is also resistant to stains and grease, making it ideal for kitchen walls.

Brightens up the space 

Another great benefit of high-gloss paint is that it can brighten a space. If your kitchen feels dark and dreary, painting it with high-gloss paint will help reflect light and make the space more open and airy. 


This type of paint is resistant to scratches, scuffs, and other damage, making it ideal for kitchens where there is a lot of activity.

Resistant to mold and mildew

High-gloss paint is not only aesthetically pleasing but also provides a protective layer that guards against the growth of mold and mildew, which makes it an ideal choice for kitchens or any other humid environment.

This type of paint helps to prevent unsightly buildup on your walls while ensuring your safety from hazardous conditions.

Highlight architectural details

Finally, high-gloss paint is great for highlighting architectural features in your kitchen. Its reflective nature can draw attention to intricate details or patterns on the walls and moldings, making them stand out in a way other paints just can’t.

6 Drawbacks of Using High-Gloss Paint in Your Kitchen

Although high-gloss paint is a great choice for kitchens, it’s not without its drawbacks. Here are 6 reasons why you might want to consider an alternative.

Imperfections are highlighted

High-gloss paints show imperfections easily. Any imperfections in your walls will be magnified when using high-gloss paints. This includes bumps, cracks, dents, and holes.

Roller or brush marks are visible

The glossy finish magnifies any brush or roller marks, which can leave an undesired look in the kitchen.

It can be too reflective

While the reflective quality of high-gloss paint can brighten up a space, it can also be too reflective. The light reflection can create a glare in the kitchen, which can be unpleasant for some people.

Difficult to touch-up

Touch-up work or repairs may be difficult to do with high-gloss paint because the damage will be more noticeable due to the reflective nature of the paint. 

More expensive

High-gloss paint is usually more expensive than other types of paint, especially when buying higher-quality brands.  

More difficult to apply

High-gloss paints are also often more difficult to apply since they require a smooth, even finish with no imperfections or marks.

Applying high-gloss paint also requires more preparation, as any dirt or grease on the walls must be removed, and the surface must be sanded smooth before painting.

How Does High-Gloss Paint Compare to Other Finishes?


Semi-gloss paint has a reflectivity level of 40-50%, which falls between satin and high gloss. Semi-gloss is preferred for kitchen walls since high-gloss can be too reflective. 

Semi-gloss is highly durable and resistant to moisture, making it an ideal choice for areas that may be exposed to water, such as kitchen walls. In addition, the surface wipes easily due to its smooth, glossy texture. 

While semi-gloss does require some preparation before painting, its maintenance requirements are still much lower than those of high-gloss paint.

High-gloss paints demand meticulous preparation since they will show any blemishes or imperfections on surfaces that were not properly sanded or primed before painting. 


Satin paint is a popular choice for kitchens if you’re looking for a strong, vibrant color with a hint of sheen. Satin paint does not create reflections in low light, unlike high-gloss paint, and does not have a stark or excessive appearance.

Regarding durability, satin paint makes up for its high cost with its superior performance. Since its sheen provides a protective layer, it can withstand wear and tear, spills, heat, and humidity.

Clean-up is also manageable since dirt does not adhere to the surface as much as other finishes. You can use a damp cloth to clean the area without scrubbing it too hard.

Satin paint also requires less preparation than high gloss, making it easier to apply and a more cost-effective option for kitchen walls. The finish is slightly less durable than a high-gloss but still holds up well over time.

Flat, matte, and eggshell

Flat, matte, and eggshell paint are not good for kitchen walls. This is because these paints have a velvety matte finish, providing a muted, flat, and dull appearance that can hardly stand the test of time in high-traffic spaces like kitchens.

Moreover, scrubbing can cause damage to these types of paint, taking away its strength and causing visible wear and abrasions. 

In contrast, high-gloss paint is highly recommended for kitchen walls due to its sleek finish, providing a bright and airy atmosphere.

This type of paint reflects light instead of absorbing it, which helps bounce it around a room, making it appear larger. Featuring a low-maintenance surface that is resistant to dirt and dust, high-gloss offers effortless cleanability.

High-gloss paints offer superior durability compared to flat, matte, or eggshell paints due to their reflective properties and superior strength against abrasion and scratches.

Furthermore, a high-gloss finish provides an aesthetically pleasing look that will stand out while helping you create the perfect cooking ambiance in your home.

Kitchens Need a Special Primer

Kitchens need primer just as much as any other part of the house. Primer is essential for achieving a long-lasting and durable finish on painted surfaces.

When painting kitchen walls, primer is pivotal in ensuring that your paint adheres properly, provides coverage, and helps prevent staining or peeling down the line. A quality primer can also help create an even base for your paint color to be applied more evenly and easily.

Primers play a crucial role when painting in a kitchen as the area is more susceptible to grease, smoke, and stain buildup compared to other rooms in the house.

Specialty primers with mold-resistant additives will help protect your walls from these environmental hazards for years to come. This primer should be used when painting over existing paint exposed to food splatters, grease, or smoke. 

Even if you’re using an all-in-one paint and primer product for convenience, applying a separate high-quality primer first is recommended before adding topcoat layers of your desired color.

This will give you better coverage with fewer coats needed overall, saving you time and money in the short run and keeping your kitchen looking fresh for years to come.

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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