Can You Paint Flat Over Gloss?

Painting a flat surface over a glossy one is a common dilemma faced by many homeowners. It can be a challenging task, and if not done correctly, the results can be disappointing. So is it possible to paint flat over gloss?

With the right surface preparation, it is possible to paint flat over gloss. The key is to start with a clean surface and ensure the gloss layer is properly removed. Once the surface has been prepared, you can paint with flat paint as desired. You should also use an appropriate primer for the best results. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why painting over gloss can be challenging
  • How to paint over gloss with flat paint
  • 6 tips for achieving a smooth and even finish

Why Painting Flat Over Gloss Can Be Challenging

Painting over gloss can be challenging because the glossy surface of the existing paint doesn’t provide a suitable base for the flat paint to adhere to.

While it is possible to paint straight over gloss, it is not recommended, as the new coat of paint may peel or flake off over time.

Another challenge when painting flat over gloss is the potential for inconsistent sheen. Flat paint has a matte finish, whereas gloss has a shinier surface. The flat paint may appear uneven when painting over the gloss, creating a blotchy look. 

To achieve a successful result when painting flat over gloss, the glossy surface must be roughened up with sandpaper so that the new coat of paint has something to grip onto.

While it may be tempting to skip the preparation step, the result will not be as long-lasting. Therefore, taking the time to prepare the surface properly will ultimately ensure a better result.

How to Paint Over Gloss With Flat Paint

Tools and Materials

Step 1: Prepare and Clean the Surface

Remove any decorations or furniture from the room. Take down any curtains, blinds, frames, and other items. Thoroughly clean the wall and remove any grease, dust, or debris from the surface.

Wipe down the wall using an appropriate cleaning solution, and rinse it off afterward. Let the wall dry completely before proceeding.

Step 2: Protect Surrounding Areas

Lay down a drop cloth to protect floors, furniture, or other items from paint splatter. Tape off any edges or details that you don’t want to paint over. Cover up electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures with painter’s tape.

Step 3: Remove the Gloss Paint

The next step is to remove the existing gloss paint. You can choose from these options:

Option 1: Sandpaper

Begin by sanding the surface with 220-grit sandpaper until it has a rough texture. You may need to switch to a finer grit sandpaper to smooth the rough spots. However, be careful not to sand too much, or you could damage the surface underneath.

Option 2: Liquid Deglosser

A liquid deglosser is a great option for removing gloss paint. It is very easy to use and can effectively remove the gloss without causing any damage to the surface.

Simply saturate a rag or sponge with the liquid deglosser and wipe it over the surface you want to de-gloss. This will allow the liquid to break down the gloss and make it easier to remove.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and wear protective gear while using liquid deglosser.

Option 3: Paint Stripper

If the gloss paint is stubborn and refuses to come off even with the above methods, you can try using a paint stripper. Paint strippers break the bond between the paint particles and make it easier to remove.

Again, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and wear protective gear while using paint strippers. Once the gloss paint has been removed, wipe down the surface to remove any dust or residue.

Step 4: Repair Any Imperfections

If you notice any cracks, chips, or other imperfections on the wall, now is the time to repair them. Fill any cracks with spackle and allow it to dry before painting over it. Sand down any rough edges until they are smooth.

Step 5: Prime the Wall

To ensure a lasting finish, prime the wall with Zinsser’s B-I-N Primer Sealer before painting it. This will help the paint to adhere properly and provide a uniform surface for painting.

Use a roller or brush to apply an even coat of primer over the entire wall. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 6: Apply Your Paint

Now that your wall is ready, you can start applying your flat paint. Pour your paint into a paint tray and use a roller or brush to apply an even coat onto the wall.

Allow each coat of paint to dry before applying the next one. Depending on the thickness of your coats, you may need two or three coats for optimal coverage. Once satisfied with the result, allow the paint to dry completely before removing the painter’s tape.

6 Tips for Achieving a Smooth and Even Finish

  • Use long sweeping strokes to cover the surface evenly and avoid visible brush marks
  • Avoid overloading the paintbrush or roller with too much paint to prevent drips or runs
  • Use a high-quality brush or roller to ensure even coverage
  • Don’t apply paint too thickly. It is better to apply two thin coats than one thick coat
  • Always wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves when painting
  • Use sugar soap to clean the walls. Sugar soap is well-suited for preparing paintwork by enhancing adhesion prior to the application of fresh paint.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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