How To Make Paint Glossy? – Let’s Find Out!

  • By: Artistic Bees
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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A few years back, I painted my whole house and realized that the finishing of the color was flatter than I anticipated. To be honest, almost everybody prefers glossy paint to a flatter tone when it comes to coloring. That day, I extensively researched and found a few ways to make the paints shinier. With a few simple steps, you can do it too.

For making the color glossy, the first thing you will need is a polyacrylic varnish which should be water-based. To begin with, you will have to clean the surface thoroughly using plain water and wait for it to dry. After that, apply the correct amount of varnish. You will find the accurate quantity written on the can. It will add an extra layer of protection on top of the sheen.

I’ve talked about the basic way you can make any flat paint glossy, and now I’d like to provide some valuable insights into this topic. One of the most common questions that I get asked is “How to Make Paint Glossy?” and here, I will extensively explain it. For a better understanding of this topic, I would suggest you read through the whole article.

Ingredients Of Glossy Paint

Before giving flat paints a glossy finish, you will have to know some basic facts about what makes colors shiny. Most of the paints out there contain two main elements: pigment and binders. For making paint glossy, having basic knowledge about both is essential. Now, pigment is the element that gives the paint a particular color.

In general, pigments aren’t liquid and don’t stick to any surface. Due to that fact, it takes help from various types of binders. The binders help to hold the pigment on any plane and also distribute it evenly. The final element of the paint is solvent, which evaporates within a few hours and leaves binder and pigment on the desired surface.

You might be wondering, why is all this information necessary for you? Well, these elements will decide whether the paint is glossy or not. For instance, if a mix has a high amount of pigment compared to the blinder, that means the distribution is less uniform. As a result, the surface will reflect less light and look matte or flat.

On the contrary, if the amount of pigment on the mix is lower than the blinder, the result will be much smoother than the previous scenario and thus, the light will reflect evenly. Uniform reflection of all the lights will make the paint look glossy and beautiful. So, to make your paint shiny, all you need to do is lower the total amount of pigment in the mix.

Steps To Make Any Paint Glossy

If you are planning to convert matt paint to glossy, there are two possible scenarios. Either you already have painted a flat color on a wall or surface; you want to convert it, or you have a can of matte color. Fortunately, there are solutions for both of the situations. Read my instructions carefully.

For Converting Wall Paint

For those who have already painted a flat color on the walls of their homes, you will need to buy a polyacrylic varnish to convert the paint from flat to shiny. These are water-based clear finishes that will turn any matte-colored wall glossy.

You will find them on Amazon for a very affordable price. Aerosols will be included with the package. For those who don’t know, it makes the painting job hundreds of times easier. Even if you are not a professional painter, the whole process of applying polycrylic varnish should not take more than a few hours.

Now, if your pockets are deep, you can go for a wallpaper varnish instead of polyacrylic. They might work a little better, but I would personally ignore them as the result does not justify the price tag, and you will have to be an expert painter as using wallpaper varnish is not an easy task at all.

For Converting Paint

Let’s say you accidentally bought a matte paint can instead of a glossy one and now, you want to convert it. Well, there are two possible ways to do it.

Mixing Method

This method is fairly easy and straightforward. The steps are given below.

Step One

To begin with, you will have to buy glossy paint cans of the same brand. For instance, if you have three tins of flat color, buy the same amount of glossy paint.

Step Two

Buy a container that is made with glass or plastic. Don’t buy metal ones, as they might react with the elements of the paint you purchased.

Step Three

Finally, mix them appropriately. The percentage of the flat and glossy colors depends on how shiny you want the colors to be.

As you might already know, flat paints are cheap in general. Thus, those on a tight budget will benefit from this process. You might be wondering how this method will cost less. Well, let’s say you need 6 cans for coloring your house. Using this method, you will have to buy only three glossy paint tins and the rest of the colors can be flat, which is typically cheap.

Using Varnish On Flat Paint

Mixing glossy colors with flat ones works great and you will not notice any decline in quality. However, because you are combining two different colors, achieving 100% gloss is technically impossible. If you want the paints to be very shiny and beautiful, using varnish would be much more suitable.

Now, how much varnish you’ll need completely depends on the paint you are using. Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward process. Just keep in mind that a too-glossy look isn’t the best for coloring your home, but it’s ideal for places like offices, restaurants, and so on. So, the amount of varnish on the mix also depends on what you are painting.

As I have mentioned earlier, using polyacrylic varnish would be the best option for all sorts of scenarios. Why would you spend your hard-earned dollars on wallpaper varnish as it does almost nothing to the final product?

Finally, I would highly suggest you test the colors on a surface before putting it on the wall. Sometimes, too much or too little varnish makes the color unpleasant. So, if you don’t like it, mix the color and varnish again with a different ratio.

Why Glossy Paint?

Many people cannot help but wonder why glossy paint is preferred over flat paint. Naturally, it looks best on walls and roofs. It is also easily washable, unlike regular paint.

But you might not know that using this paint comes with a few more advantages. They are mentioned below.

  • Glossy paints are much more durable than matte ones.
  • They will blend in with your room and become a beauty feature.
  • In general, glossy paints are much more resistant to humidity and water.
  • Almost every type of glossy paint is wipeable and washable.
  • They are highly reflective, meaning if you use such paint, the room will look naturally brighter.
  • Glossy paints can be paired with other types of colors and the result looks phenomenal if you do the job correctly.


As you can see, you can make any matte paint glossy by following a few simple steps. “How to Make Paint Glossy” is a common question, and in this article, I have extensively answered it.

Hopefully, after reading the whole article, you will be able to get the perfect gloss out of flat color. Until next time, bye.