It's potent in moderation.
"If you use it on a ceiling or in a small area, it works well," says Showers. Lacquering a large space can be expensive, but clever designers have found alternatives. In this kitchen, multiple coats of red high-gloss exterior paint did the trick. In her dining room, Rheinstein layered a simple paint glaze for a comparable effect. "And, there are vinyl wallpapers out there that give you a similar sheen," she says.