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My Two Favorite Glossy White Paints

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What is the best glossy white paint for painting furniture, interior doors, and trim?  I have two favorites – one is water-based the other oil-based. Both produce a high gloss sheen.

I have another furniture painting project to show that I did in my bedroom.

It is the mirror that is above my dresser. I painted it with glossy white paint. I wanted the mirror to “pop” against the flat paint finish on the wall.

The best glossy white paints for furniture

As you can see from the photo above, the white paint is very glossy and looks so nice against the flat grey-blue wall color.

The Story Behind The Glossy White Painted Mirror

Even though the mirror was a new purchase from Home Goods, it needed paint.  It has a little history…


Remember when Better Homes & Gardens came to my house to take photos of my home for their Christmas Ideas magazine last year?  Well, that is when the mirror came into my life as a “FIX”. See it hanging over the fireplace in the photo above?

The reason I bought it in the first place was because BHG asked me to find a way to hide the flat screen TV above the fireplace in my family room. Once the photoshoot was completed, the mirror came down and the TV went back up.

I was left with a nice white framed mirror with no place to call home.

Since I liked it, I took it from room to room around my house to find a permanent home for it.

Furniture before makeover

It became the replacement for an old, pitted, and tarnished mirror that was part of the dresser in my bedroom.

I propped the new mirror right up against the old one.


With the dresser newly painted, I wanted the mirror to be bright, white, and super shiny to add a contrast against the flat paint finish on the walls. The original rustic white finish on the mirror is nice, but didn’t add the contrast I was seeking.  I wanted a more bright and modern vibe.

What Are the Best Glossy White Paints?

Find out what the 2 best glossy white paints are to use when you want a super shiny paint finish | In My Own Style

I have two favorite glossy white paints. Each one dries to a super shiny finish. One is oil-based and the other latex.

The best glossy white paints to use on furniture


Oil-Based Glossy White Paint

I used the oil-based option on the mirror. I know you are going to ask why would I use oil-based when there is a high gloss latex on the market to use?

The reason is that the oil-based formula creates a glass-like shine with zero brush strokes. When painting large flat surfaces in gloss this is a good thing since many strokes of a paint brush are needed to cover the area.  Tabletops, counters, doors will be as smooth and shiny as glass with no brush marks in the finish.

I am not a fan of using oil-based paint, this is the only one I will ever use and I have only used it a few times. I first used Glidden Trim, Door, & Furniture paint on the desk in my studioffice a few years ago. That is when I became a fan of the paint.  It creates one amazing glass-like finish. On certain pieces where I want super high shine, I take the time to use it.

It is a gel-formula paint that I will admit is hard to get comfortable using.  It is thick and hard to spread the usual way, it just takes a little time to get adjusted. It self-levels which is the quality I like the most and the reason it dries to a glass-like shine.

I would not use this paint on a piece of furniture that does not get a lot of sunlight.  Oil-based paints will darken and yellow when they are in dark rooms. Both the rooms where I have used it get lots of light. It is a great paint for using on an exterior front door. It comes in only a few basic colors.

Water-Based Glossy White Paint

My other go-to gloss formula of paint is much easier to use. It is Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover. It also dries to a super shiny finish, but does not self-level. Even with that said, you will not be disappointed in the sheen of this paint.   I used it to paint the recessed lights in my house as well as the window trim. I like to see a high glossy shine around lights and windows. It makes them pop. This paint is the best for when you want high gloss and easy clean up.

When using either formula, make sure to use a high quality brush.  When you have a great paint brush, your painted finish will look like a pro did it.

DIY-TipPainting TIP: You may think the brush doesn’t matter and you are saving money buying a “cheap” brush for your painting projects, but your painted finish will show brush marks and stray bristles will end up in the finish.  Buy the best brush you can afford, clean it well after each use and you will have it for a long time saving you money in the long run. I use Purdy brushes exclusively.  (They are not a blog sponsor; they just make the best paint brushes :-) 

Another paint tip when using a gloss paint finish: Gloss paint will show every imperfection on the surface of the item you want to paint.  If there are any imperfections on the finish, gloss paint will magnify them. Make sure you sand the surface first. Use a hand sanding block to go over the surface to smooth out any ridges or paint drips from a previous paint job. Use a tack cloth to remove all the grit and then paint.

Blue Bedroom decorating ideas

You can see how shiny the paint is. The trim on the white doors to the right of the dresser have a semi-gloss finish.  The paint I used on these is Valspar Bistro White. I love the contrast, especially when using lots of white in a room or a monochromatic color scheme.  Having different textures and sheens of one color are what make a room look visually more appealing and add interest.

Have you ever painted with either of these brands of glossy white paints?

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  1. I like your finished dresser & mirror so much! The periwinkle is so pretty–one of my favs! Have you ever used BM Advance paint? It’s an alkyd that comes in waterborne version & I LOVE it! I dont love to paint & avoided gloss like the plague due to all the brush marks & application difficulties. But, this paint has changed my mind–we are methodically (read: slowly) changing all our interior trim & baseboards. I am the designated painter & the Advance has made me look like a Pro–self-leveling, smooth application & water cleanup, using both semi gloss & high gloss. I sound like a free commercial–but with all the wonderful rips & projects you share, wanted to reciprocate with one I love.

  2. Do you have a tutorial on painting the recessed lights? Never thought of it but it would definitely brighten spots of our home, great idea. Thanks.

  3. I wish I had asked you before buying the Behr Premium Plus….. Interior/Exterior Hi Gloss Enamel. I got the Ultra Pure White. But I am afraid to even try using it…… I can not get my baseboards smooth for anything…. too many layers of not properly applied paint I guess? The trim around the insuite bath…… just peeled off.. …… but of course not completely or smoothly……… SCREAM. I wish I could replace them, but no money and my BF says I will tear up the wall if I try removing them (thinking I would soak scrape or whatever and then put them back on)…….. he says NO……… and I am a coward.

    1. Hi Sheryll – Behr is a great brand to use. As you stated there are too many layers of previous paint for you to get a smooth finish. The baseboards can be stripped, but that is a huge job. If the paint came off on the trim around your in-suite bath, it could be that you used latex over a previous paint finish of oil-based paint. You need to use a primer first, then a latex when painting over oil and the peeling won’t happen. I use Glidden Gripper to do this. The builder of my house used all oil on the trim. I almost have it all repainted. It only took 20 years :-)

  4. I love this high gloss paint . I would love to try it .
    What color did you use on your door frame then ? What about the actual door?
    And the ceiling , what sheen is that ? And color . TIA :)
    I love your dresser too