High-Gloss or Semi-Gloss Paint for Kitchen Walls?

If you’re planning on painting your kitchen, you might be wondering what kind of paint finish you should use. So which is better, high-gloss or semi-gloss?

Semi-gloss paint is a popular choice for kitchen walls because it has a slightly glossy finish that can help reflect light. Unlike high-gloss, its reflection will not be too intense. Semi-gloss paint is also easy to clean. It can help protect the walls from grease and dirt accumulating in busy kitchens.

In this article, you will learn about the following:

  • The factors to consider when choosing a paint finish for kitchen walls
  • The pros and cons of semi-gloss paint
  • The pros and cons of high-gloss paint
  • How to decide between semi-gloss and high-gloss

4 Essential Factors for Choosing the Perfect Paint Finish

A quality paint job can make all the difference in the aesthetics of your kitchen. Let’s consider some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a paint finish for your kitchen walls.


The durability of your paint finish should be one of the most important factors in choosing the right paint for your kitchen walls. Kitchens are high-traffic areas, so you want to select a paint that’s resistant to wear and tear and has the ability to withstand regular cleaning and scrubbing.

Sheen level

Another factor to consider when selecting a paint finish for your kitchen walls is the sheen level. The sheen level determines how much light will reflect off the wall’s surface and how glossy it will appear.

Finishes with lower gloss levels are great if you’re looking for an understated look with minimal glare, while gloss finishes will add more shine and luster while also helping reflect more light throughout the room.

Lighting conditions 

The lighting conditions in your kitchen should also play an important role in determining which paint finish you choose for your walls.

If your kitchen is bright and airy with plenty of natural light, you can get away with a finish with a lower gloss level.

On the other hand, if your kitchen is dimmer and relies on artificial lighting, a higher gloss finish can help brighten up the space.

Maintenance requirements

You should also consider the maintenance requirements of your chosen finish. Flatter finishes are harder to clean and maintain, while glossy finishes are easier to keep looking new. Although, keep in mind that the higher the gloss level, the harder it is to touch up.

Pros and Cons of High-Gloss Paint

High-gloss paint is a great choice for kitchen walls for its modern, sleek appearance. It has a glossy, reflective sheen that bounces light around the room, creating an eye-catching effect.


High-gloss paint reflects more light than other finishes, making the space appear brighter and more vibrant. This can help to make a kitchen look larger and more inviting.

The smooth surface of the paint also makes it easy to clean, which means that spills and splatters can be wiped away quickly and efficiently with just a damp cloth.

It also helps prevent dirt and grime from accumulating on the walls, keeping your kitchen neat and spotless for longer.

In addition, a high-gloss finish is highly resistant to wear and tear and water damage, making it a great choice for busy kitchens that require frequent cleaning or in areas prone to moisture, such as near sinks or dishwashers.


One of the primary cons of high-gloss paint is that it emphasizes imperfections in the wall. Any dents, cracks, or holes will be highlighted. A high-gloss finish may not be ideal if you want to maintain a clean and pristine look in your kitchen. 

In addition, some people find high-gloss paint too glossy for their taste when used on kitchen walls. The shiny surface can cause an overwhelming visual effect, making it hard to focus on anything else in the room.

Finally, high-gloss paint is the hardest to touch up and repair. Blending in the new color can be difficult if a wall section gets chipped or scratched, as with other finishes.

Pros and Cons of Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss paint is a great option for kitchen walls. Its subtle shine adds an elegant touch to any room. With its beautiful luster and stain-resistant qualities, semi-gloss paint will help your kitchen walls look their best while providing long-lasting coverage.


Semi-gloss paint is a great choice for kitchen walls due to its moderate shine and softer, more traditional look. It is much easier to touch up than high-gloss paint and can more easily be blended into the existing wall surface.

Also, semi-gloss is durable and ideal for areas prone to wear and tear. The smooth, easy-to-clean surface of semi-gloss paint makes it highly resistant to moisture, grease, and stains. This makes it an ideal choice for kitchens which often see spills or splattering of food.

Semi-gloss also has a high level of reflectivity which helps create an illusion of spaciousness in the room. The glossy finish allows light to reflect off the walls, creating a bright and inviting space in any kitchen.


Semi-gloss is often the go-to option when choosing a paint finish for kitchen walls. While semi-gloss can be an attractive and durable choice, some drawbacks exist.

One of the main cons of using semi-gloss in the kitchen is that it reflects a lot of light. This can make any imperfections or flaws in the wall more visible, which may not be desirable if you want a smooth finish.

Additionally, semi-gloss is more difficult to touch up than other flatter finishes. It can be difficult to match the original color and sheen if you need to make repairs or touch-ups.

High-Gloss vs. Semi-gloss: Which Should You Choose?

High-gloss and semi-gloss paints are great for kitchen cabinets and walls, but choosing semi-gloss is the way to go.

Semi-gloss paint is easier to clean than high-gloss because it requires less scrubbing and offers a bit more protection against scuffs, stains, and moisture. This makes it ideal for areas prone to splattering or humidity, like kitchens.

Additionally, semi-gloss will give your kitchen a softer look due to its slightly lower sheen than high-gloss paints. It also doesn’t show imperfections as much as high-gloss paints, so you won’t need to worry about hiding flaws if you’re going with this type of finish.

Of course, this isn’t to say that high-gloss paint isn’t suitable for kitchen walls. It’s just that it’s not as practical as semi-gloss.

Although high-gloss paint is easier to clean and is more durable, it may not be the best option for a kitchen as it can show imperfections more easily. On top of that, it might be too reflective and cause some glare in the cooking area.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to your preference and the condition of your walls. High gloss is the way to go if you’re looking for a modern and sleek look.

However, semi-gloss paint is the better choice if you prefer something more subtle. Make sure to consider all of these factors to make the best decision for your kitchen walls.

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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