Is High-Gloss Paint Easy to Touch Up?

If you’re considering using high-gloss paint for your interior walls, you may be wondering how easy it is to touch up. After all, no matter how hard we try, our walls will inevitably get scuffed or scratched over time. 

High-gloss paints are almost impossible to touch up. This is because its reflective finish settles into a smooth, uniform sheen that doesn’t easily accept additional layers of paint. If you try to touch up a spot with more paint, it would likely end up with an obvious patch that stands out. 

In this article, you will learn about:

  • The factors that affect touch-up results on high-gloss paint
  • How high-gloss compares to other finishes
  • The best practices in touching-up high-gloss paint

The 8 Factors That Affect Touch-up Results on High-Gloss Paint

Although high-gloss is as far away from being the easiest paint finish to touch up as you can get, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of obtaining a professional finish. Let’s take a look.

Gloss level

The higher the gloss level, the more difficult it will be to blend the touch-up paint with the existing finish. The higher gloss levels of paint reflect more light, making it difficult to match the existing color and sheen.

Color matching

Touch-up painting requires a very accurate color match between the new paint and the existing finish. If the color does not match perfectly, it will be difficult for touch-ups to blend in with the existing paint.

Surface preparation

Touching up will be much more successful when the surface is properly prepared beforehand. It is important to ensure that the area to be touched up is clean, dry, and free of any dust, dirt, or debris before beginning.

Paint color

The type of paint used for touch-ups will also affect the success of the job. High-gloss paints are available in a variety of colors, and it is important to choose one that closely matches the existing color.

Age of the paint

Older paint can be more difficult to touch up, as the color and sheen may have changed over time. If possible, it is best to use the same type of paint that was used originally on the walls.

Type of surface

The type of surface the paint is being applied to can also affect touch-up results. Smooth, non-porous surfaces are easier to touch up than textured or porous surfaces.

Previous paint job

The quality of the previous paint job will also affect how well the touch-up blends in. If the original paint was applied unevenly, achieving a seamless finish with touch-up painting might be difficult.


If the humidity and room temperature are higher than normal, the glossy finish may take longer to dry and be harder to match in color when touched up.

Similarly, if the wall has been exposed to sunlight or extreme temperatures before painting, it can also make it harder for a touch-up job to be successful.

Touch-up Comparison With Other Paint Finishes


Flat paint has no sheen and is non-reflective. Flat paint is much easier to touch up than high-gloss paint. The paint absorbs light, so it is easier to match the existing color.


Matte paint is a popular choice for many because of its low-sheen and uniform finish. Matte paint is easier to touch up than high-gloss paint because it does not reflect as much light. The paint absorbs light, making it easier to match.


Eggshell paint has a slight sheen, which is less reflective than high-gloss paint. Eggshell paint is also easier to touch up. Unlike high-gloss paint, eggshell paint won’t show imperfections or brush strokes as much, making it easier to achieve a smooth finish. 


Satin paint has a mid-sheen and is semi-reflective. Satin paint is tricky to touch up. However, it is easier to touch up than high-gloss paint. The lower sheen level makes it easier to achieve a uniform finish.


Semi-gloss paint is a great choice for interior walls, as it offers good stain resistance and is easy to clean. It also provides a subtle shine that can add a bit of visual interest to any room. Semi-gloss paint is easier to touch up than high-gloss, but it’s still tricky and requires a lot of time and patience.

Best Practices for Touching up High-Gloss Paint

Clean the surface

The first step in touching up high-gloss paint is to clean the surface. Use a sponge, mild detergent, and water to remove any dirt or debris from the area. Once the surface is clean, you can start making repairs.

Make repairs if needed

If there are any cracks, holes, or other imperfections in the paint job, you will need to make repairs before beginning the touch-up process. Fill in any gaps with spackle and sand them down until the surface is even.

Prime if needed

If the surface has been damaged by prolonged exposure to sunlight or moisture, you may need to apply a primer before painting. A quality primer will help ensure the paint adheres properly and lasts longer.

Choose the correct paint

When choosing paint for a touch-up job, use the same brand, color, and sheen of paint as the existing finish. Using a different gloss level or brand of paint can cause an uneven finish that won’t match the rest of the wall.

Apply thin coats

The key to successful touch-ups is to apply thin coats of paint. This will help ensure that the touch-up area blends in seamlessly with the rest of the surface. Applying too much paint can cause an uneven finish and make the repair job look worse.

Feather the edges

Feathering the edges of the touch-up area is important to help create a seamless finish. Use a small brush or weenie roller with a thin nap and lightly feather out the edges into the surrounding paintwork.

Clean up

Once you finish touching up your high-gloss paint, clean up any excess paint that may have gotten on the walls or other surfaces. Use a damp rag to wipe away any paint that splattered during application.

Evaluate and repeat if necessary

When the paint has dried and cured, evaluate the touch-up area to ensure it blends seamlessly with the rest of the wall or surface. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the finished look.

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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