The question : Are gloss finish labels more resistant to water and honey than economy matt labels ?

I have been asked this a few times and have also wondered it myself but up until a couple of days ago hadn’t tried to find out.  After another inquiry I decided to perform a test.

The test : a colour block was printed onto both matt white and gloss white label stationery. The labels were then stuck to a glass jar. Then using my finger :

  1. water was smeared onto each label;
  2. water was rubbed onto each label, and
  3. honey was smeared onto each label.

The labels were left overnight and then examined and photographed.


Observations :

  1. The water smear test : left no noticeable mark on either label.
  2. The rubbed water test : had no impact on the gloss label but the surface of the matt label was eroded and with it the toner – which itself is waterproof.
  3. The honey smear test : the honey was lying on the surface of the gloss label with no sign of penetration while the matt label showed clear signs of penetration. After taking the photographs I used a damp cloth to wipe off the honey.  This came clean off the gloss label leaving no marking or damage while the matt label was damaged.

Conclusion : Gloss labels are highly resistant to water and honey and are recommended where resilience is important to you and your customers.


The Gloss labels cost 10p more a sheet but if appearance and durability is important to your customers it is worth it.

(post edited 12 Dec 2017)