The Best Gloss Paints For Achieving The Perfect Finish

Add the finishing touches to your interior and exterior surfaces with our handpicked selection of gloss paints.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Best Gloss Paint
Edward Bailey/DIY Works
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Gloss paint is the best type of paint to use to provide a shiny finish to an interior or exterior surface as they make certain fixtures and fittings stand out. Whether you are painting your skirting boards, door frames, cabinets or any other surface, the addition of gloss can provide the finishing touches to a room. There are also many formulas at your disposal that specialise in certain areas such as non-yellowing, non-drip and fast-drying gloss paints.

To assist you in selecting a gloss paint, our handpicked selection lists top-performing paints, chosen based on our first-hand experience painting interior and exterior surfaces. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.

Dulux Quick Dry White Gloss Paint
Best Overall: Dulux Quick Dry Gloss
Johnstone's Hardwearing Non Drip
Best For Durability: Johnstone's Hardwearing Non Drip
Leyland Trade High Gloss Paint
Best High Gloss: Leyland Trade High Gloss Paint
Dulux Once Gloss Paint
Best Value: Dulux Once Gloss Paint
Rust-Oleum All Surface
Most Versatile: Rust-Oleum All Surface
Ronseal Weatherproof Exterior Gloss Paint
Best Exterior: Ronseal Weatherproof

How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates The Gloss Paints

As we own a number of properties (Airbnb’s and rental properties), we find ourselves using gloss paint regularly on a range of surfaces such as skirting boards, architraves, doors, stairs and a wide variety of other surfaces.

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest gloss paints (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice that a brand has released a new and improved gloss paint, we will attempt to use it on our next painting project for testing.

During our testing of gloss paints, we analyse the paint’s finish, ease of application, durability, coverage, odour output and the time it takes to dry. Below are some photos we took during our most recent testing of the gloss paints.

best quick dry gloss

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best gloss paint to stay white

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

As you can see, white gloss paint is our favourite colour to use primarily due to the contemporary look and feel that it provides. However, the colour you decide to use is completely up to you but what we do recommend is that you use a high-quality paint brush for applying the gloss and the same can be said if you are using a paint roller.

best white gloss paint

Edward Bailey/DIY Works
best gloss paint for doors

Edward Bailey/DIY Works

As well as our testing and experience using a range of gloss paints, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the paint’s finish, durability, compatible surfaces, odour output, ease of application, the time it takes to dry, colour selection, non-yellowing qualities, coverage and value for money.

The Best Gloss Paints

At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

1. Best Overall: Dulux Quick Dry Gloss

(How We Review →)

Dulux is one of the biggest paint brands in the UK and they have a great selection of gloss paints to choose from. The Quick Dry formula in particular is their most highly rated and it’s suitable for both wood and metal surfaces.

According to the brand, it’s a non-yellowing gloss paint that’s self-undercoating and produces a low odour during application.

Pros
  • Touch dry in 1 hour
  • High sheen gloss level
  • Suitable for all type of wood surfaces
  • Water based and non-yellowing formula
  • Produces a low amount of odour during application
  • Huge selection of colours to choose from
  • Available in 750 ml or 2.5 litre tins
Cons
  • During our testing, we found that it required two coats with a 6 hour wait between the two coats

To conclude, the Dulux Quick Dry is one of the best gloss paints that dries quickly and produces very little odour. Its popularity speaks for itself and it certainly won’t disappoint when used to paint a range of fixtures and fittings.

2. Best For Durability: Johnstone's Hardwearing Non Drip

(How We Review →)

Johnstone’s is equally just as well-known as Dulux in the paint industry and they offer a variety of gloss paints. Their hardwearing formula is the brand’s most popular because it’s drip resistant, hardwearing and long-lasting.

In terms of its application, it provides up to 17 m2 coverage per litre and it’s touch dry in 16 to 24 hours.

Pros
  • Solvent based non-drip formulation
  • Provides a desirable high sheen finish
  • Highly durable and ideal for high traffic areas
  • Great coverage (up to 17 m2 per litre)
  • Can be used for exterior surfaces
Cons
  • Limited colour options to choose from

To conclude, the Johnstone’s Hardwearing Gloss is the best alternative to the Dulux paint above with its hardwearing qualities. Apart from the lack of colours offered by the brand, it really does tick all the boxes.

3. Best High Gloss: Leyland Trade High Gloss Paint

(How We Review →)

Leyland is a brand that’s well-known among professionals for their high-quality yet affordable paint and their gloss paints follow the same reputation. This particular paint is the brand’s high gloss formula, which produces a desirable shine upon a range of surfaces.

Pros
  • Produces a durable high shine finish
  • Suitable for interior or exterior use
  • Thick and covers well upon a range of surfaces
  • Available in five different colours
Cons
  • During our testing, we found that it had high VOC

If you require a high gloss finish to your bannister, internal doors, skirting board or any other woodwork in your house, you can’t go wrong with the Leyland gloss paint. It’s easy to apply, covers very well and leaves behind a durable, high-shine finish once dried.

4. Best Value: Dulux Once Gloss Paint

(How We Review →)

Another Dulux option is their Once Gloss, which is a guaranteed 1-coat paint that’s easy to apply. Once dry, it produces a high gloss finish and it can even be used as a radiator paint but it must be switched off during the application.

To avoid applying another coat, it’s advised that you apply thick even coats and leave it to fully dry out. During the testing of this paint on skirting boards, we didn’t need another coat but we did apply a primer beforehand.

Pros
  • Guaranteed single coat application
  • High gloss white finish
  • 12 m2 coverage per litre
  • Suitable for wood and metal
  • Long lasting white finish
Cons
  • Requires 16 hours to fully dry
  • During testing, we found that it produced a fair amount of odour during application

To conclude, the Dulux Once Gloss is a high-quality white gloss paint that provides great coverage and a high gloss finish. The main disadvantage is that it takes a long time to dry and produces quite a bit of odour. However, as long as you aren’t in a rush and allow for plenty of ventilation in the room, it’ll produce excellent results. Compared to other gloss paints, it also offers excellent value for the money, which is always a good bonus.

5. Most Versatile: Rust-Oleum All Surface

(How We Review →)

Choosing a gloss paint that’s versatile and can be used on all surfaces is highly beneficial and the Rust-Oleum Gloss does exactly that. It’s a highly-rated option that can be used on wood, metal, plastic, ceramic and even rust.

Although the brand states that it’s both a paint and primer in one, it’s advised that you use a primer if painted on non-ferrous or galvanized metals.

Pros
  • Paint and primer in one
  • Suitable for all surface
  • Choice of 14 gloss colours
  • Available as a 250 or 750 ml tin
  • Touch dry in 2 hours and hardened in 8 hours
Cons
  • Coverage isn't great when compared to other gloss paints (only covers 9 m2 per litre)

Overall, the Rust-Oleum All-Surface paint is by far the best option for both interior and exterior use. The fact that it contains a primer and can be applied via a brush makes it one of the easiest to use too.

6. Best Exterior: Ronseal Weatherproof

(How We Review →)

If you are planning on painting wood that’s left outdoors, you’ll want to use exterior wood paint. If this is the case, the Ronseal Weatherproof is by far the best-rated exterior gloss paint that’s available in red, grey or blue.

Due to the unpredictability of the British weather, you must choose a fast-drying paint and according to the brand, this gloss formula becomes weatherproof in just one hour once applied to the wood.

Pros
  • Suitable for bare or previously painted wood
  • Guaranteed to last up to 10 years
  • 12 m2 coverage per litre
  • Weatherproof in 1 hour
Cons
  • Requires 2 coats for the best results

If you require a gloss paint for wood that’s suitable for all weather conditions, this Ronseal paint is the best option. It’s fast drying and guaranteed to last up to 10 years according to the manufacturer.

Conclusion

Gloss paints are best used to provide the finishing touches to a room and stand out from emulsion paint that’s used on walls or ceilings. As with most paints, it’s available in a range of finishes and it can be applied with relative ease.

If you require further information regarding our gloss paint recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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