Painting Satin Over Semi-Gloss? (Things You Need to Know)

painting over semi gloss with satin

When you go to the paint store, you will see many different types of colors, types, and finishes that might be confusing at first.

This includes different amounts of gloss which mean that the finish may range from almost matte to very bright and reflective.

It’s not surprising that semi-gloss (between high gloss and matte) is one of the most popular types of finishes for paints you can find.

Semi-gloss strikes the balance of being easy to clean while not being so reflective that it is unattractive or overwhelming.

In fact, when it’s doubtful most people choose semi-gloss and they are happy with the results they get.

But for those who are not happy with the glossiness and prefer somewhat flatter results, they think of adding a coat of satin over semi-gloss.

Can You Paint Satin Over Semi-Gloss?

There are few paints that can match the luster and shine of satin.

Satin offers other advantages as well which include being easier to clean compared to flat paint, hiding surface imperfections, and even not showing dirt to the same degree as semi-gloss.

For those who want to give their current semi-gloss paint a once-over, adding a couple of coats of satin paint may do the trick.

This is particularly true if you do not want to sand away the old semi-gloss. Or, if the semi-gloss present may contain lead.

Either way, adding a coat of satin paint may save you considerable time and effort compared to preparing the surface for fixing up the semi-gloss.

How to Paint Over Semi-Gloss with Satin?

When painting over semi-gloss with satin, you’ll need to know if the semi-gloss paint that currently covers the walls or ceiling is either oil or water-based.

You will want to choose a satin paint that uses the same base and color.

If you are not sure, test a small area of the paint with a cotton ball you have soaked with rubbing alcohol.

Rub the cotton ball against the paint in that one spot and if you see color on the ball, it is water-based.

Oil-based paints will not transfer to the cotton ball.

Step 1- Clean

Before covering with satin paint, you will need to clean the walls using the following solution.

  • ½ Cup of Ammonia per Gallon of Warm Water

Use a clean rag to dip into the solution and wipe the walls clean.

Although highly diluted, you may want to wear rubber or latex gloves and keep the room well ventilated.

If you are in the kitchen, then focus on getting rid of any grease or grime buildup.

After you clean with the solution, wipe the walls again with warm water only to remove any ammonia residue.

Step 2- Prepare the Surface

Now, remove all objects including hooks, plates, handles, and the like from the walls.

Remember that if you have chosen the color of satin paint that closely matches the semi-gloss paint on the walls, you will not have to do any further preparation.

But if the colors are significantly different, then you will need to sand and prime the walls.

  • Use drop cloths on the floors and furnishings to catch drips
  • Secure edges of the drop cloths with painter’s tape
  • Improve paint adhesion by etching with stiff-bristle brush, especially around door and window edges.
  • Open can and stir paint with wooden stick
  • Use two-inch brush to apply paint to door and window edges

Step 3- Painting Satin Paint Over Semi-Gloss

Once the edges are completed, use a paint roller to cover the rest of the walls. Paint in sections of four to six feet with a single coat.

Keep going until all the surfaces are covered with the first coat of paint.

Paint the second coat using a side-to-side method. Paint all the walls until it looks even.

After the paint dries, touch up any areas that are needed. And that is how you can put satin paint over semi-gloss.

If you need more assistance, you can work with a professional house painter.

They can help you get the work done with all professionalism and with little to no mess.

painting over semi gloss with satin finish

Is It A Good Idea to Change Semigloss Paint into Satin?

It’s certainly possible to turn semigloss paint into satin.

However, IMO, there are a few reasons you should not do it in the first place.

The first and the most obvious is, that semigloss paint is comparatively expensive and comes with a better finish than satin.

Secondly, the problem with making semi-gloss paint into satin is you cannot exactly know how shiny or flat the finish will turn out to be.

Plus, you will also require mixing some flat paint (of the same shade) to mix with the semigloss for making it satin.

This will again be messy to recreate if you happen to finish the prepared paint early without completing the entire project.

However, if you want to change semigloss paint into satin for a fairly small project it will not be an issue.

You can follow the steps below for making this up;

Step 1 – Add semigloss paint

Pour some of the semigloss paint into a bucket while keeping the other remaining part aside.

Step 2 – Add flat paint

Add the same amount of matching flat paint to the bucket.

Step 3 – Mix both paints

Mix them well.

You can use a stirrer or a drill and an attachment tool for mixing the paints evenly.

Step 4 – Test on a small surface

Apply a sample of paint by dabbing a bit of prepared paint to the small surface you intend to paint.

After it has dried, look at the applied paint from different angles to examine the finish.

Step 5 – Add more if required

Since you are getting the customized sheen this way, you can add a bit more paint according to the finish you want to have.

Add some semigloss for more sheen OR add more flat paint for less sheen, until you get the satisfactory gloss and sheen.

Re-test by applying the paint to a small area until you get the desired look.

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