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Image of burnished, shiny paint.

Burnishing occurs if the gloss or sheen of paint film increases when subjected to rubbing or brushing.

What Causes It?
Burnishing may be caused by the use of a flat paint in highly trafficked areas, where a higher sheen level would be desirable. In addition to the paint, frequent washing and spot cleaning may also lead to burnishing.

Sometimes, objects rubbing against the paint can cause this problem (furniture, for example). Finally, using lower grades of paint with poor stain and scrub resistance can lead to this condition.

How to Solve It
Paint heavy-wear areas that require regular cleaning (e.g., doors, window sills, and trim) with a top-quality latex paint. This type of paint offers both durability and easier cleaning capability.

In high-traffic areas, choose a semi-gloss or gloss rather than a flat sheen level. Clean painted surfaces with a soft cloth or sponge and non-abrasive cleansers; rinse with clean water.

Note: Images provided by The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute.

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