Can You Paint Eggshell Over Semi-Gloss? (Find Out Now!)

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

We all want beautiful homes. But that means we have to choose the best paints. And since some interior decorators use eggshell paint for subtle shine, homeowners want to know one thing. Can you paint eggshell over semi-gloss or not? Find out now.

You can paint eggshell over semi-gloss, but you must sand and use a primer first. That way, you produce a flatter and cleaner surface for the stain. Apply a thick basecoat first, then wait for each layer to dry before applying more.

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What’s the Difference Between Semi-Gloss and Eggshell Paint?

It’s easy to tell the difference between eggshell paint and semi-gloss stain. First, semi-gloss paint usually has a hard finish when it dries. It also lasts longer because it’s more durable than flat stains. That means glossy paint is easy to clean as well. So, most homeowners choose it for their walls, doors, and furniture.

What Do You Use Eggshell Paint For?

If homeowners prefer semi-gloss and glossy paints, why use eggshell? It’s because eggshell paint looks good on your living room, bedroom, and basement walls. This type of stain is durable enough for active lifestyles yet affordable enough for frequent renovations as well. And while it’s not as easy to clean, eggshell still makes sense for high-traffic areas.

Living rooms are busy. Bedrooms sleep the whole family. And basements are best for utilities and entertaining. Meanwhile, eggshell paint is less expensive than semi-gloss. So, you can save money on future touch-ups and repairs.

TIP: Buy inexpensive eggshell paint and then protect it with polyurethane for a glossier finish.

What Does Eggshell Finish Look Like?

If you like walls with sheen, you’ll love eggshell paint. However, it’s not as glossy as semi-gloss colors. Instead, it looks flat but has a slight shine for some subtle dimension. It’s what many interior decorators call “low luster” paint. And the sheen doesn’t change with more layers either.

Low luster colors pull more of the natural hues than straight flat paint. An eggshell finish also provides a soft glow in the light. In turn, that helps homeowners create a cozy ambiance without breaking the bank. Therefore, eggshell paint is an economical choice when your room requires a cost-effective style.

NOTE: The price you pay depends on several factors, including the size of the paint can.

What Is the Best Way to Paint Over Semi-Gloss Paint?

Feel free to paint over semi-gloss, even if you use a flat color. You can find stains that cover glossy surfaces with one or two coats. Then, you can pour your paint into a pan and roll it onto your walls. Reuse old paint rollers or brushes if you have them to save some money. But follow these simple steps first:

  • Sand the Surface: Dull the sheen with fine sandpaper. Try to smooth the surface as well.
  • Apply the Primer: Perfect the surface even more with color-coordinated primer.
  • Check and Prep: Always try to fix imperfections before applying paint.
  • Trim the Edges: Start with the perimeter using an angled brush.
  • Paint the Pulp: Fill in the surface with an even coat of paint. Then apply another coat if you need it.

Don’t forget to let each coat dry before applying the next one. Expect a 2-3 hour wait for primer and 1-2 hours for paint. That’s because most colors have ingredients that help them dry faster. But always check the label to be sure.

Do You Have to Sand Semi-Gloss Before Painting?

You don’t always have to sand semi-gloss to paint eggshell over it. However, smoothing the surface can help reduce the sheen. So, the key is to lightly scruff your top layer before applying primer or stain. But buffing multiple layers or removing the color entirely isn’t necessary.

How Do You Dull a Glossy Finish?

Quickly dull semi-gloss or glossy paint with fine grain sandpaper. Use the “rub it out” method to remove some shine by hand. Or try an automatic sander to finish the job faster. Either way, sanding helps you control the look of your project while also fixing minor surface flaws.

TIP: Scuff your walls with 120-grit sandpaper for the best results.

Related Questions

Why Does My Eggshell Paint Look Shiny?

Eggshell paint features ingredients that reflect the light. Tiny particles in the paint capture rays and then bounce them back into the room. So, the more layers you apply, the shiner your surface will become. Check the label for more information. And know that you can return some paint brands if you don’t like the color.Your paint could look shiny because the painter did a poor job. If that’s the case, ask for your money back. Or try to cover the existing color with something you prefer. You can DIY your wall paint with simple supplies from your local hardware store.

Which Paint Is Better: Eggshell or Semi-Gloss?

Whether semi-gloss or eggshell paint is better depends on your taste. Satin finishes usually cost more because they spread faster and are easier to maintain. But eggshell stains are more affordable with a slight sheen and a modern finish. So, weigh the pros and cons or ask an expert for help.

Is Eggshell to Shiny for My Walls?

Eggshell paint is excellent for walls, although it offers much less luster than semi-gloss or satin colors. Instead, eggshell stain creates depth in the room without appearing too shiny. That means it’s a stylish and economical option for your primary walls in high-traffic areas.

Do You Need to Hire a Paint Contractor?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Eggshell Paint for the Win

You don’t have to endure a semi-gloss surface. Paint over it with eggshell stain for a flatter, more modern aesthetic. You might have to clean it more often or do touch-ups frequently. But at least you’ll create the look you want for less.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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