Burnishing is the change in gloss of the paint film when subjected to rubbing, scrubbing or having an object brush up against it.

Possible cause

  • Use of flat or matt paint in highly trafficked areas, where a higher sheen level would be desirable
  • Frequent washing and spot cleaning
  • Objects (for example furniture) rubbing against the walls
  • Use of lower grades of paint with poor stain and scrub resistance (see Poor Stain Resistance and Poor Scrub Resistance)



Paint heavy wear areas that require regular cleaning (e.g. doors, window sills and trim) with a premium semi gloss or gloss acrylic enamel. This type of paint offers both durability and easier cleaning capability. In high traffic areas, choose a low sheen, semi-gloss or gloss rather than a flat sheen level. Clean painted surfaces with a soft damp cloth or sponge and non-abrasive cleansers; rinse with clean water. Dulux recommends Dulux Wash&Wear® +PLUS Super Tough which will offer ultimate abrasion resistance for areas with particularly high traffic.

More problem solving advice


Development of a yellow cast in aging paint solvent-based enamels