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William Waldron

Benjamin Moore:High-gloss blue paint makes an impact in an inviting dining space.

When it comes to paint finishes, you might consider high-gloss to be the most daring of options. However, it’s actually a common paint finish designers use to add visual interest to an interior.

We checked in with Andrea Magno, a Benjamin Moore color and design expert, to find out her top high-gloss paint ideas. Use her pointers as inspiration to experiment with this versatile paint finish in your home, from millwork in a library to a living room ceiling.

ELLE Decor: What’s the best way to use high-gloss paint in a home? 

Andrea Magno: High-gloss finishes are commonly used on interior doors, trim, high-traffic areas, and exterior doors. However, you can use high-gloss finishes almost anywhere you want to create a unique atmosphere, but be sure that careful attention is paid to preparation.

High-gloss finishes can be a great way to add dimension or detail to a room, or consider using the same color on the walls and trim, but vary the finish. For example, select one white, such as Chantilly Lace OC-65, and use it on the walls in an eggshell finish with trim and millwork painted in the same color but in a high-gloss.

Benjamin Moore: High-gloss blue paint makes an impact in an inviting dining space.

ED: Is there a certain type of decorating style that helps to balance the dramatic look of high-gloss paint?

Magno: Many decorating styles can handle a high-gloss finish, but using it deliberately is important. Glamorous high-gloss looks are often used in living rooms, dining rooms, on millwork in a library, or to accentuate trim and wainscoting in an entry, with the objective of making a statement whether the style is traditional or modern. Plus, take into consideration the other finishes used in the room. High-gloss amplifies light, giving it a romantic, shimmering look, especially when juxtaposed with a softer finish. Accent pieces with rich texture, such as a wool throw, sisal rug, and even unglazed ceramic vases, balance the room. The key is to use the finish in a way that will complement the overall look of the room and not overwhelm the space.

ED: Can you share any pointers on choosing paint colors in a high-gloss finish?

Magno: Lighter shades of high-gloss finishes can accentuate architectural detail without overwhelming an existing color scheme. But to add drama, a deep-colored high-gloss is hard to beat because there is more contrast between the dark color of the surface and the areas where light is reflected. The lacquer-like finish is accentuated with darker colors, transforming an ordinary surface into a luxury design. In any hue or depth, high-gloss finishes will make spaces more interesting and add highlights.

Benjamin Moore: An airy kitchen, featuring a floor painted in Benjamin Moore’s high-gloss Distant Gray.

ED: How are Benjamin Moore customers using high-gloss paint right now? What’s trending?

Magno: With the interest in painting cabinetry and millwork, high-gloss has become a popular finish, as it is highly durable and easy to clean. There are also great examples of high-gloss finishes being used as a highlight or detail in a room, particularly if there is exceptional moulding or architectural details that deserve attention. For smaller accent pieces painted in a high-gloss, this finish offers the opportunity to use a bold or deep color, adding to the overall look.

ED: Any other do’s and don’ts to consider?

Magno: When used on cabinets or furniture, a high-gloss finish will deliver a shiny, lacquer-like look that is easy to keep clean. It is important to know that high-gloss finishes are not very forgiving when it comes to surface imperfections, so it is critical that the prep work and application is meticulous. Also, the glass-like finish of a high-gloss surface creates a significant amount of reflectance, which can create glare and eye fatigue. It’s important to balance this finish with more matte surfaces, whether it’s other walls, textiles, or rugs.

Benjamin Moore: ABenjamin Moore’s Million Dollar Red high-gloss paint adds a dose of drama to a chair..


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