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which absorbs more heat, flat black or high gloss black? Answered

Does flat black or high gloss black absorb more heat from the sun?


We have woodburners for Winter heat, and painted them with Rust-Oleum High Heat Flat Black paint. No gloss to speak of when paint dries! So I'd say matte/ flat black absorbs heat the best.  I wear and make leather hats, including shiny black. It still cooks your head on a warm day, so HOW reflective is a glossy black finish compared to matte? One to ponder...

FLAT BLACK!!! glossy black reflects light BACK thats not what you want when absorbing heat...

One caveat: Black also _radiates_ heat better than a polished surface -- which is why pots don't have black bottoms.

(If you want to understand why, websearch "black body radiation". Basically, if heat flows well one way, it also flows well the other way, and the result may not be optimal capture of energy.)

I would think flat
plainly thinking that the 'glossieness' is a reflection of light
and light = heat
with the flat one, no gloss = less light reflection, more absorption
thus more heat

Matt black (flat). The blacker it looks the better - it's clearly visible that light is being absorbed and very minimally reflective. High-gloss will be shiny, it'll reflect. Soot is very black, if you've the patience to cover something in soot (e.g. with a candle)...


You have to be a BIT careful, because it's possible to have an apparently flat black which doesn't actually absorb strongly in the IR end, and also a "high gloss" in the optical bands which ain't in the IR.

Yes that is true, could you comment on IR absorbence and paints? - this is out of my area of knowledge.


Not really, I've known it as a "gotcha" that's all.