How to Paint Over High Gloss Paint Without Sanding?

Have you ever tried to paint over high gloss paint and failed miserably? High gloss paint is durable and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. It is said that glossy paint can be difficult to paint over without sanding first. It’s a common issue that many people face when trying to DIY their home projects.

The good news is that with the right technique, you can paint over high gloss paint without having to do any sanding.! Here’s a step-by-step guide on achieving a beautiful, smooth finish.

What is high gloss paint and why is it difficult to paint over?

What is high gloss paint and why is it difficult to paint over

High gloss paint is a type of paint that has a very shiny finish. It is typically used on trims and cabinets, as well as on high-use surfaces like countertops and floors.

There are several reasons why you might want to paint over high gloss paint. Maybe you are redecorating and want to change the color of your cabinets or trim. Or perhaps the high gloss paint is starting to show wear and tear, and you want to give it a fresh new look. Whatever the reason, painting over high gloss paint can be a bit tricky because it is so slippery.

The paint can easily come off in sheets, and it is hard to get a good grip on the surface and even on the paintbrush. This can make it difficult to apply a new layer of paint evenly.

Moreover, glossy paint is very shiny and reflective, making it difficult to get an even coat of paint.

Lastly, glossy paint can be very thick and hard to work with, and it can also be very difficult to remove shiny paint from surfaces without sanding.

How to paint over high gloss paint without sanding?

High gloss paint is typically used on surfaces that need to be washed often, such as cabinets, trim, and doors. Because it has a smooth, sleek finish, it’s easy to clean and maintain. However, high gloss paint can be difficult to paint over because it doesn’t adhere well to other paints.

If you’re planning to change the color of your high-shine paint, you don’t necessarily need to sand the surface first. Instead, there are ways to paint over high-gloss paint that don’t require sanding. Here are some easy methods for doing it:

Method 1: Use a bonding primer

Bonding primers are made to adhere to slick surfaces like high-gloss paint. They will help the new paint to stick to the old paint and will also help to fill in any imperfections on the surface.

To use a bonding primer, apply it to the surface with a paintbrush or roller and then paint over it with your new color.

Method 2: Use a latex paint

Latex paint is another good option for painting over high gloss paint. It is a water-based paint that is easier to work with than oil-based paints. Latex paint will also help to fill in any imperfections on the surface.

To use latex paint, apply it to the surface with a paintbrush or roller and then paint over it with your new color.

Method 3: Use a paint sprayer

If you want to avoid brushstrokes, use a paint sprayer to apply the new paint. Paint sprayers are especially helpful when painting large surfaces. To use a paint sprayer, put the new paint into the sprayer and then apply it to the surface. You may need to do multiple coats to get an even finish.

4 steps on how to paint over high gloss paint?

If you’re looking to paint over high gloss paint without sanding, here are four steps you can take to make sure your project turns out flawlessly:

1. Clean the surface

The first step is to clean the surface that you’re planning to paint. Make sure to remove any dirt, grease, or grime that might be on the surface. This will help the new paint adhere better and create a smooth finish.

2. Apply a primer

Once the surface is clean, apply a primer that’s specifically designed for high gloss surfaces. This will help the new paint to bond with the surface and create a more even finish so your paint job will last longer.

3. Paint as usual

After the primer has dried, you can start painting as usual. Use a paintbrush or a roller to apply the paint evenly over the surface. Start with thin coats and build up to thicker coats until you’ve achieved the desired coverage.

4. Let the paint dry

Once you’ve finished painting, let the paint dry completely before adding any additional finishes or coatings. This will ensure that your paint job lasts for many years to come. However, if you want to achieve a completely smooth and even finish, sanding the surface before painting is still the best option.

How to avoid common mistakes when painting over glossy wood?

How to avoid common mistakes when painting over glossy wood

Luckily, there are a few tricks that can make the process easier.  With a little preparation, painting over high gloss paint can be quick and easy.

Here’s what you need to know to paint over high gloss paint without sanding:

1. Choose the right paint.

Glossy surfaces are notoriously difficult to paint over, so it’s important to use quality paint specifically designed for glossy surfaces. A good option is oil-based paint, which will provide a smooth and even finish.

2. Prepare the surface.

Before you start painting, it’s important to prepare the surface properly. This means cleaning it thoroughly with a degreaser or TSP solution. Once the surface is clean, you’ll need to roughen it up with sandpaper so the new paint will have something to grip onto.

3. Use a primer.

Applying a primer before painting is always a good idea, but it’s especially important when painting over-painted. This will help to ensure an even and smooth finish.

4. Paint in thin coats.

When you’re ready to start painting, be sure to do so in thin coats. This will help to avoid any drips or runs in the paint.

5. Let the paint dry completely.

Before you add a second coat of paint, be sure to let the first coat dry completely. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the type of paint you’re using.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to paint over paint without any issues successfully. Just be sure to take your time and work in thin coats for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you paint directly over gloss paint?

While it is possible to apply gloss paint over matte paint, the opposite is not true – you cannot apply matte paint over gloss paint without first sanding down the glossy surface. This is because gloss paint creates a smooth, hard surface that is less likely to allow new paint to adhere properly.

What paint can you use to paint over gloss paint?

You can’t just use any paint to cover gloss paint. In order to get the best results, you’ll need to use a primer and then latex or oil-based paint. If you’re not sure what brand of paint to use, ask a professional at your local hardware store. They’ll be able to help you choose the right product for your project.

Can I paint flat paint over high gloss?

You can, but it’s not recommended. Flat paint is designed to cover up previous coats of paint, whereas high-gloss paint provides a shiny finish. If you try to apply flat paint over high gloss, you may have streaks or a patchy appearance. It’s best to completely remove the high-gloss paint before applying a new coat of flat paint.

Do I need to undercoat over old gloss?

Yes, you do – it’s the key to a long-lasting finish. The layers of paint will adhere better to each other when you start with a solid coat of primer, and your topcoat will be more durable, too.

Can you put Matt paint on top of gloss paint?

Yes, you can paint over gloss paint with matt paint. However, you will need to prepare the surface first. This involves sanding down the glossy surface and applying a primer. Once you have done this, you can apply your matt paint as normal.


High gloss paint is difficult to paint over because it doesn’t allow the new paint layer to adhere well. You can avoid this by sanding down the high-gloss surface before you start painting. 

However, if you don’t want to take that extra step or are halfway through your project and realize you need to cover up a high-gloss surface. Just make sure you work quickly so the old paint doesn’t start to chip off. We hope this article is useful, and you can continue reading our blog for more painting information.

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  1. […] as the paint thinner can be harmful to your skin. In my experience, if you are looking for a high gloss finish then enamel paints are the best […]

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