What substances make paints matte or glossy?

(Image credit: David Pisnoy)

Question from Rachel Sampson

Both types of paint contain matte powder pigments, but each has a different binder. Gloss paints contain long polymers called alkyd resins, which cover the pigments in a smooth, shiny film.  Emulsion paints contain acrylic resins that link together around the pigments, leaving some of the matte surfaces exposed

Answered by Laura Mears for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 123.

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