Poor Gloss Retention

Deterioration of the paint film, resulting in excessive or rapid loss of luster of the top coat.

Possible Causes

  • Use of an interior paint outdoors.
  • Use of a lower quality paint.
  • Use of a gloss alkyd or oil-based paint in areas of direct sunlight.


  • Direct sunshine can degrade the binder and pigment of a paint, causing it to chalk and lose its gloss. While all types of paint will lose some degree of luster over time, lower quality paints will generally lose gloss much earlier than better grades. The binder in top quality acrylic latex paints is especially resistance to UV radiation, while oil and alkyd binders actually absorb the radiation, causing the binders to break down. Surface preparation for a coating showing poor gloss retention should be similar to that used for chalking surfaces (see Chalking).