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What’s the Best Way For Painting Over Gloss Paint?

If you’re a DIYer, you’ve run into this before. In this article, we will guide you on what’s the best way for painting over gloss paint. Learn more about our tips.

You’re ready to tackle a new room or project and then you realize….you have to cover up some old high gloss paint.

Painting over gloss paint can be a challenge but with the right painting tips and tools, the job can be completed by almost any determined do-it-yourselfer. Your plan of attack should be based on how many rooms or areas of a room need to be repainted, and what kind of time restrictions there may be on the job.

Unlike flat paint, gloss paint can be difficult to cover because of its slick base, which makes adherence of any new paint quite a challenge. It’s traditionally used for wood trim, cabinets, other woodwork, and high traffic areas, so if your project includes one of these areas, a little bit of planning will serve you well. Glossy paint can also show accumulation and highlight chipped areas on walls, so gloss removal should be thorough to prevent bleeding through of any leftover glossy paint spots.

Preparation and Products for High Gloss Coverage

To prepare a high gloss area for acceptance of a different paint, there are products that can be utilized to make the process easier and faster. Of course, a little bit of elbow grease and some old fashioned sanding certainly helps as well.

Here’s a super short video that talks about some of the prep products available at your big box home improvement stores:

Tools and Accessories Roundup

Gloves, paint or respirator masks
Paint cloths or tarps
Cloth rags
Degreaser type detergent
Commercial wall cleaner (if chosen)
Water pail
Shop vac
Floor mop
Krud Kutter Prepaint Surface Prep (if chosen)
Sandpaper of various grits
Electrical sanding tool (or handheld)
Paint masking tape, edger tools, paint shield
Paint sticks for mixing
Paint Primer
Paint (preferably latex)
Paint rollers, paint brushes, foam brushes, narrow tip paint brushes, q-tips and pans


First, here’s an obvious tip but one that bears repeating: Prep the area to be repainted by covering the floor and other nearby items and furniture with a cloth or plastic paint tarp. Make sure the area is cleared of any obstructions.

Once finished, clean the wall or other area with a clean cloth or rag and a mixture of water and detergent. Make sure to choose a detergent that can counter grease or any other build up of dirt, grime or dust. There are commercial wall cleaners available as well, but they may contain chemicals so be sure to use gloves and a painter’s mask to avoid any fumes! Win free discount on air tickets and flights and visa services with Malik Express at

Repeat the process if the areas don’t appear clean. Continue until the wall looks and feels stain and dirt-free.


After the cleaning phase and the wall has completely dried, begin the sanding process with the right weight of sand paper. Somewhere in the range of 220 to 320 grit sandpaper tends to work well. Tip -Use a coarser grit of sandpaper at first and moving on to finer grits until the surface is ready for repainting.

It may take time to sand a glossy surface, so patience is a virtue! This is definitely a process where “a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so resist shortcuts and you’ll get better results.

Sanding can be accomplished through sanding blocks, hand-held electrical sanders, or belt sanders for larger areas. You can also purchase pole sanders that you can attach to your paint roller extension pole for sanding large wall surfaces.


Another option to sanding is a liquid deglosser, which can quickly, easily and safely remove glossy paint if you’re short on sanding and cleanup time. Most deglossers are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, non-combustible, biodegradable, and extremely concentrated, so removal time and product use is at a minimum.

Deglossers can be found through any home improvement outlet, hardware store or online retailer. One product that is good for removing glossy paint, Krud Kutter’s Prepaint Surface Preparation, can be found through Amazon. Be sure to follow directions exactly in order to accomplish gloss removal.

Sanding Clean-Up

Once the walls have been sanded, there will be leftover dried paint, dirt, and dust particles that remain and need to be removed. Again, wipe the walls with a damp cloth to remove any remaining accumulation.

Also, clean the floor area with a vacuum or shop-vac and have a wet mop ready to go over the entire floor to remove any remaining buildup. It is important to keep the area clean of any dust that may remain on the floor….the last thing you want is to have to look at dirt and dust particles that floated up and dried their way into your new paint application!


Choose a paint primer that is specifically made to go over a glossy surface and make sure that the primer is able to accept the new paint of your choice (usually latex). Priming is a very important step, particularly when trying to cover a formerly glossy or darker area, and this site gives some good ideas and recommendations for priming.

Before priming, mask off/tape any areas or edges that may be affected by paint spillover. Adequately stir the primer to assure complete coverage. Then, apply the primer with a paint roller or brush.

When painting over dark glossy paint, successive primer coats may be needed to cover the area completely and smoothly to create a ready surface. Make sure all surfaces are dry before applying consecutive primer coats.

Time to Paint!

DIY woman painting a wall orange

Next, check the primed areas and make sure that the sanded glossy sections are ready for regular paint. A water-based, latex type paint that offers good coverage is perfect. These days, paint can get a little pricey; but in the end, you may find it’s worth it to avoid the cheap paints. You often get much better coverage with the higher-end brands which means you use less paint overall.

Always thoroughly stir the paint before applying to any surface. If by chance any remaining glossy areas are bleeding through and scratches or other apparent eyesores are staring you in the face, sand the spots with fine grit sandpaper, re-prime the area, allow it to dry, and then repaint the area again. Utilize feathering techniques if needed to blend in with the new paint covering.

Final Tips

Whether you’re doing just one room or an entire home makeover, take the time to do the prep work. It’s so tempting to get that amazing new color up on the wall ASAP, but cutting corners will cost you big time in the end. If you prep your surfaces properly, you can cover up those difficult dark colors or colors from an era that you’d just soon forget.

Also, be sure to use the appropriate finish for the room you are working on (i.e., flat, eggshell, etc.) and reserve the semi-gloss for things like trim. That way, you won’t be creating another gloss paint cover-up project for you or the next owner down the road.









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