The Best Gloss Paint

Choosing the best gloss paint for your next project hasn’t got any easier lately due to advances in water based products.

Do you have areas of metalwork or wood in the home that could use a new lease of life?

Gloss paints are used to provide a shinier finish to internal and external areas. Gloss is available in water based and oil-based products.

Oil based options have been used for decades whereas water-based alternatives have only really entered the UK market within the last ten to fifteen years.

We look at the best water and oil based gloss paint.

The No. 1 Gloss Paint

The best overall wb gloss that we used was Leyland Fast Drying Waterbased Gloss.

Although not as glossier as some of the other products on offer we liked how easily it is to apply, the drying time and low odour when applying.

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Gloss Comparison

Gloss PaintCoverage Rate m2/LOil Based or Water Based
Leyland Fast Drying Gloss15Water Based
Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss9Oil Based
Dulux Once Gloss12Oil Based
Zinsser Allcoat Exterior Gloss12Water Based
Johnstone's Interior Gloss14Oil Based

1. Leyland Fast Drying Waterbased Gloss

Leyland Trade paints are designed for professional painters so we expecting this brand to offer good results.

We applied it to some skirting board and the results didn’t disappoint. Water-based can be a bit trickier than oil base to apply because it feels thinner on the brush but this paint didn’t disapoint.

The Main benefits of the Leyland WB Gloss:

  • Very quick drying time
  • Low odour and safer to use
  • Easy to apply for a waterbased
  • Great coverage rate
  • Brilliant white finish

This paint is ideal to use in a wide variety of situations inside and out.

There is no need to kick kids out of the house for a couple of days when glossing with this product owing to the waterbed formula and low odours.

This paint stays white for longer than most products as well.

We have spoken to fellow decorators who applied this quality product three years ago and it remains bright white until now.

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2. Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss Paint

Rust-oleum offer this all surface paint in a gloss finish.

As it is all surface it can be used on a wide variety of object including radiators, skirting boards and architrave, railings, laminates, wood, metals, plastics.

The main features of the Universal Gloss Paint are:

  • Get good coverage rate
  • Can be used internally and externally of the home
  • Normally only one coat is required
  • Primer coat and top coat in one paint
  • Outstanding finish

We found this paint was excellent to apply.Not too thick or too thin. It only required one coat when we applied to already coated skirting, which was prepped first.

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3. Dulux Once Gloss

Dulux provide an oil based paint which has been manufactured to go on in one coat.

The main features of Dulux Once gloss are:

  • Designed to go on in one coat but this depends on colour and existing surface
  • A bright glossy finish when it dries back
  • Easy to apply, good consistency
  • Designed for internal areas

As it is oil based the paint takes a long to dry back but if a pure glossy finish is required then this a good product to use.

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4. Zinsser ALLCOAT Exterior Gloss

Zinnser make quality products for internal and external use.

They often make the same products in a waterbased and solvent option. This is their waterbased exterior gloss

The main features of Zinsser ALLCOAT exterior gloss are:

  • A High Performance Coating designed to last
  • Can be applied to different materials such as timber, metal and masonry
  • It is a self priming coating
  • It has added biocide which help protect against fungal attack.
  • Quick drying time

This isn’t the glossiest of paints but the other benefits still make this an excellent choice for exterior areas. It may require 2-3 coats to get the desired look.

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5. Johnstone’s Non Drip Interior Gloss

The gloss by Johnstone’s is suitable for interior application.

Main features of Johnstone’s Interior Gloss are:

  • A thick non drip consistency
  • Makes it is easy to apply
  • Dries fast
  • Good gloss finish
  • Dries to a flat finish, minimising brush marks

This gloss is an interior product.

It can be used on internal metal and wood areas.

Owing to the consistency of the paint is does make it tough for the paint to drip but it doesn’t eliminate them altogether.

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Water based gloss paints have improved significantly since they were first introduced.

Oil based products still have their place and a lot of decorators are reluctant to come away from them due to previous concerns.

Paint manufacturers are constantly tinkering with the ingredients of the paint to enhance the paint and appeal to more users.

Like all paints each user has their favourite preference and this is the same with gloss.

The oil based vs water based gloss debate has raged on for years between decorators and DIYers.

It simply is best to choose a few products and see which on appeals to you most based on the most important features like application, coverage and finish.

Related Reading

Why Does Gloss Yellow?

Trade Paint Vs Retail Paints

Best Emulsion Paint

Leyland Trade Fast Drying Water Based Gloss Data Sheet

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