Flip through current home design magazines, and you’ll likely see spaces that feature bright and glossy surface finishes. A front door, ceiling, or bookcase topped with a high gloss paint attracts attention and becomes the best kind of talking point, one that leaves visitors impressed and you happy with your investment.

When it comes to selecting paint for your project, it’s important to be educated about the options.

Wood furniture and cabinets are often finished with a pigmented, solvent-based coating that’s called lacquer. A lacquered surface is hard, can be any sheen (or shine) level, and resists scuffs and damage. Some design professionals will use the term lacquer to refer to high gloss paint, which is different.

H.J. Holtz & Son offers two different types of high gloss paint finishes: Fine Paints of Europe’s Hollandlac Brilliant – which is oil-based – and Benjamin Moore’s Advance – which is a high gloss alkyd enamel that is water-soluble. The differences between the two matter when it comes to pricing, says Patrick Picchi, H.J. Holtz & Son project manager for painting.

“When we’re using FPE’s Hollandlac, we have to essentially build a room in a person’s home to control the smell and dust,” Picchi says. “We use plastic to separate the room [from other areas] and then use fans to keep the space clean, so dust doesn’t get onto surfaces.”

Additionally, Hollandlac requires more drying time than with waterborne paints.

“You can only do one step a day with Hollandlac, because it takes all day to dry,” Picchi says. “People want to use their kitchens, but if we’re using Fine Paints, they can’t use the kitchen at all. If we’re using waterborne paint, by the end of the day, we can clean up the kitchen, it can be used at night, and the next day, we can start all over.”

Looking for a high-impact finish, customers will often ask for high gloss lacquer paint, not realizing the challenges and cost it entails, Picchi says. “If you want a mirror-like finish, use Fine Paints Hollandlac,” Picchi says. “But for a lesser price, you can do a high gloss finish.”

In a kitchen, for example, built-in cabinets can be painted with a high gloss finish, while a freestanding island can be transported to the Holtz shop, where it can be painted with Hollandlac in a sealed, climate-controlled room. Another way to add impact is with custom furniture crafted by the Holtz carpentry division – cabinets, beverage bars, bookcases, etc. These are made in the Holtz carpentry studio and painted in the spray room before they are delivered, so there’s no disruption in the home.

In the end, it’s all about creating a look the client wants.

“Our goal is to make sure our customers are happy with the finished project,” Picchi says.