Can You Paint Satinwood Over Gloss?

If you want to paint satinwood over gloss, there are some factors to consider, but we walk you through how to achieve a perfect finish.
Written By: Edward Bailey | Updated:
Can You Paint Satinwood Over Gloss
Edward Bailey/DIY Works

Before getting into whether you can paint satinwood over gloss, it’s important that you understand the differences.

Satinwood is a type of paint that’s often used on woodwork and it has a slight sheen but is not as shiny as gloss paint. Instead, its finish is smooth, which is very desirable for certain surfaces. Gloss paint, on the other hand, provides a high-shine finish that’s often used on woodwork as well as metal surfaces.

Gloss paint is certainly the more common of the two paints, but if you wish to have a less reflective shine, you may wonder if you can paint satinwood over gloss.

Therefore, below we discuss the potential problems that may arise as well as how you can successfully paint satinwood over gloss with a few extra steps.

The Potential Complications

Painting satinwood over gloss can be a bit tricky, and it comes with a few complications.

One of the main issues is that gloss paint is highly reflective and smooth, making it difficult for the satinwood to adhere properly.

Another issue is that the gloss paint may need to be sanded or “deglossed” before applying the satinwood. This can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, and if it isn’t done correctly, it can result in an uneven surface.

How To Paint Satinwood Over Gloss

While painting satinwood over gloss can be challenging, it’s certainly possible with the right preparation and technique. Below is our step-by-step guide on how to paint satinwood over gloss based on my own experience:

  1. Clean the surface using a mild detergent and water or a sugar soap solution.
  2. Take your time to thoroughly sand the gloss to roughen it up and create a surface to which the satinwood can adhere. To sand the gloss, use fine-grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the wood grain.
  3. Wipe down the surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust from sanding.
  4. Apply a coat of primer to seal the surface and provide a better surface for the satinwood to adhere to.
  5. Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the satinwood.
  6. Apply two coats of satinwood, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

The most important part of the process is sanding down the gloss, which helps the satinwood adhere. Failing to take your time sanding down the gloss can ruin the overall finish, and it’s for this reason that we state that you should take your time and use high-quality fine-grit sandpaper.

What Other Paints Can You Use Over Gloss?

If you’re looking for an alternative to satinwood when painting over gloss, we recommend two other paints. The first is a high-quality chalk paint that dries to a matte finish and can be sealed for further durability. The second paint is an eggshell, which dries to a slightly lower sheen than satinwood.

However, as great as eggshell and chalk paint are, we personally much prefer the finish satinwood provides.


Painting satinwood over gloss can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right preparation and technique, it’s certainly possible. As long as you remember that the gloss paint needs to be “deglossed” or sanded before applying the satinwood, you can still achieve a great finish. If you require further information regarding painting satinwood over gloss, feel free to get in touch, and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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