Is Semi-Gloss Paint Good for Baseboards and Trim?

You want your home to look its best, but you’re not sure if semi-gloss paint is good for baseboards and trim. It can be tough to decide what type of paint to use, so do you go with a glossy finish or something with less shine?

Semi-gloss paint is the best option for baseboards and trims because it offers a balance of durability and shine. Semi-gloss paint also resists dirt better. It’s also easier to clean, so no more worrying about grime buildup. It also adds a pop to your walls, making them look bright and vibrant.

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • Why you should use semi-gloss on baseboards and trim
  • How semi-gloss compares to other finishes
  • Whether you need to use a primer

5 Reasons to Use Semi-Gloss on Baseboards and Trim

Semi-gloss is one of the best paint finishes for baseboards and trim. Here is a list of the 5 reasons why.


Semi-gloss paint is ideal for baseboards and trims because of its durability and scratch resistance. It stands up to wear and tear better than most other types of paint, which reduces the number of times you need to repaint, saving time and money.

Mold and mildew resistance

The protective qualities of semi-gloss are excellent. It offers more protection against mold and mildew than other paints. This is especially beneficial in areas prone to moisture buildup, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

Mid-level sheen

Semi-gloss offers a mid-level sheen that sits between a satin finish and a glossy finish. This means it will have some shine, but not as much as high-gloss paint, so it won’t be overpowering or too reflective in the room.

Because of this, semi-gloss paint can help to bring out the vibrancy of your baseboards and trim without making them look too glossy.

It also has an advantage in hiding imperfections or blemishes on your painting surfaces, as the light reflection isn’t as strong.

Easy to clean

Semi-gloss paint is ideal for busy households or high-traffic areas, where dust, dirt, and fingerprints can accumulate quickly.

It has a smooth finish that resists water better than other low-luster paints. When wiping down your baseboards and trim, you won’t have to worry about streaks or smudges.

Additionally, semi-gloss paint does not require special cleaners. A damp cloth or sponge should do the trick for most surfaces.


Finally, the semi-gloss finish on baseboards and trim can offer a sophisticated look to any room. It appears more modern than flat paint but less flashy than glossy paint, providing a more subtle yet elegant aesthetic. The sheen gives the room a touch of shine while still maintaining a classic look.

How Does Semi-Gloss Compare to Other Paint Finishes?


High gloss paints offer a much higher sheen than semi-gloss paints, with a reflective surface that can brighten up any room. The increased sheen from using a high-gloss finish on baseboards and trim also results in a glass-like appearance that is smooth and shiny.

High-gloss paints tend to be even tougher than semi-gloss, and they also offer increased stain resistance as well as being able to withstand scrubbing better. Semi-gloss may not stand up quite well against tough scrubbing or heavy staining agents.

When it comes down to choosing between high gloss or semi-gloss for your baseboard and trim projects, it mostly depends on personal preference.

Just keep in mind that high gloss is best for high-traffic areas. Glidden’s Trim, Door & Furniture Paint in high-gloss is recommended for a superior finish.


Using satin paint on baseboards and trim is the perfect medium between eggshell and semi-gloss, giving off a soft sheen that manages to be reflective without being too shiny. This makes it ideal for rooms where you don’t want reflections in low lighting.

Due to its flexible and tough nature, satin is known for being able to withstand wear and tear in medium-traffic areas.

It is also moisture-resistant; however, semi-gloss offers superior durability and protection against moisture and humidity, making it the better choice when dealing with baseboards and trim in bathrooms and kitchens.

Although satin can be used on baseboards and trims in certain areas of the home, it is usually not glossy enough to make them stand out from the walls.

Semi-gloss provides a little more shine and depth of color, making it a better choice for highlighting details in your trim work. 

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

Preparing your trim for painting is essential to ensure that the end result looks polished and professional. While you may be tempted to skip this step, you shouldn’t.

Priming before you begin painting ensures that your trim will achieve better coverage with fewer coats of paint.

If any of your trim has been stained, is bare, or requires sanding to remove imperfections, it’s necessary to prime those areas.

For the absolute best results, it’s a good idea to prime the entire surface of your trim beforehand. Doing so will help protect against fading and chipping in the future.

Overall, priming your trim before painting is always a worthwhile investment that produces clean finishes and lasting results.

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.

Recent Posts