Can You Paint Over Eggshell Paint? (With Different Paints)

Eggshell paint is a low gloss finish used on interior walls and furniture. However, sometimes you want to paint over eggshell paint. So, can you?

You can paint over eggshell paint with other paints. But you must sand the eggshell paint with fine-grit sandpaper before painting over it.

This is because eggshell paint has some sheen and gloss in the formula. So if you paint over eggshell paint directly, the gloss on the eggshell finish will repel the new paint, eventually causing it to fall off.

Sanding helps to remove the gloss on the eggshell paint so the new paint can stick. The eggshell paint should also be smooth, clean, and dry for the paint to stick.

Does Paint Stick To Eggshell Paint?

Paints don’t stick to eggshell paint properly because of the presence of gloss in the paint. To make paints stick to eggshell paint, you must either strip or sand the eggshell paint. Sanding and striping remove the glossy finish of the eggshell paint and allow new paint to stick. 

Eggshell isn’t a high-gloss finish, but it still contains more sheen than flat, milk, or matte paint. When dry, eggshell paint forms a hard and glossy layer that repels any liquid (including paint). This glossy finish makes it difficult for paint to penetrate or stick. 

If you put paint over eggshell paint directly, the paint will peel off within weeks. You must first sand or strip the glossy finish to allow paint to stick.

However, topical paints, stains, or sealers can stick to eggshell paint directly. Topical paints don’t need to penetrate the surface to stick; they can stick over the top layer. Some topical sealers are; gel stain, polyurethane, and some varnishes.

But, if the eggshell paint is damaged, wet, or chipped, paint won’t stick to it. Also, if the eggshell paint is sealed with a topcoat or sealant, no paint will stick to it. 

Eggshell Paint is Easy To Paint Over

Eggshell paint is easy to paint over only if you follow the right steps. To paint over eggshell paint, you must clean, sand, and prime the eggshell paint before the new paint is applied.

This allows the new paint to stick well to the existing eggshell paint. As long as you do all these, the task will be easy but can be time-consuming.

However, if the eggshell is sealed, it can be difficult to paint over. Sealants are water-resistant, hard, and prevent moisture from penetrating, so paint won’t stick without removing it. To remove sealants, you must use a paint-removing solvent or chemical-based stripper.

Painting over damaged or wet eggshell paint is hard because you must repair the eggshell paint first before applying the paint. 

Painting Over Eggshell Paint Without Sanding or Priming

Can You Paint Over Eggshell Paint Without Sanding or Priming?

You shouldn’t paint over eggshell paint without sanding. That’s because eggshell has a glossy finish that needs to be sanded off to allow new paint to stick. If you sand, the new paint won’t adhere properly to eggshell paint. 

However, priming before painting eggshell paint isn’t necessary. Priming is necessary only if you want to change the color shade of color. For instance, if you want to go from a dark-color finish to a light-color finish. Or if the eggshell paint is damaged or stained.

Here’s when you should prime before painting over eggshell paint:

  • Use a primer if the eggshell is damaged. 
  • If the eggshell paint is stained, use a stain-blocking primer.
  • Use moisture-resistant primer if the eggshell paint is wet. 
  • If you want to change from dark eggshell paint to light paint, you need a primer coating to prevent the dark eggshell paint from showing through the new light paint.
  • If the eggshell paint is filthy, you need a primer coating over it.

Even though priming isn’t necessary, it can help the new paint stick better.

However, sanding is necessary. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand eggshell paint before painting over it.

How To Paint Over Eggshell Paint?

Painting over eggshell paint can be difficult, especially if you don’t follow the right steps. Not to worry, though; this guide will show you how to do this in 4 simple steps. But first, here are the tools you need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Clean rags
  • Paint primer
  • A gallon of paint
  • Rubbing alcohol or TSD
  • A paint bucket
  • Lacquer thinner

1. Prep The Eggshell Paint

Prep The Eggshell Paint

First, you must clean, degrease, and wipe the eggshell before painting over it.

If the eggshell paint is filthy, the new paint won’t stick because filth will prevent paint adhesion between eggshell paint and the new paint. 

To clean the eggshell paint:

  1. Use a solvent. You can use rubbing alcohol or a degreaser (such as TSD) to clean the paint. 
  2. Pour the solvent into a clean rag. 
  3. Use the dampened rag to wipe off the stains and grease from the surface. 
  4. Once the eggshell paint is clean, let it dry for a few hours. 

2. Sand The Eggshell Paint

Sand The Eggshell Paint

Once the eggshell is clean, you must sand it. Sanding removes the glossy layer of eggshell paint and creates a textured finish for the new paint to stick to. 

Before you sand, you need to know if the eggshell is sealed or not. If the eggshell paint is sealed, you must use a chemical-based paint stripper to remove it, then sand it. 

To know if the paint is sealed, flash a bright light into the finish. If the finish is shiny or reflective, the paint is sealed. If the finish isn’t reflective or appears dull, the paint isn’t sealed. 

To sand eggshell paint, use 220-grit sandpaper. After sanding, there will be dust nibs and paint particles on the surface. You must wipe these off so they don’t cause bumps and pimples in the new paint. You can do this using a clean rag or a soft brush.

3. Prime The Eggshell Paint

Prime The Eggshell Paint

Priming before painting over eggshell paint is optional, but it can help with paint adhesion. However, if the eggshell paint is damaged, chipped off, or has holes, priming with a stain-blocking primer is necessary. 

Also, if the eggshell paint finish is wet, you must apply a moisture-blocking primer. The primer will prevent moisture and stains from bleeding through the new paint. 

To apply primer, use a paintbrush and apply 2 coats. Wait until the first coat dries before applying the next one. 

4. Apply The New Paint

Apply The New Paint

Once the second coat of primer is dry, apply the new paint. 

If you used a stain-blocking primer, you can use oil or water-based paint over eggshell paint. If you didn’t use a primer, you must only use water-based paints over eggshell paint. 

To apply paint over eggshell paint, use a paintbrush and apply 3 coats of paint. Wait for each coat to dry, sand the coat, then apply the next one. You must sand between coats, except for the final coat. 

Once the final coat of paint dries, seal it with polyurethane, lacquer, or varnish. A sealer will protect the new paint from damage and help it last longer. 

Types of Paint You Can Apply Over Eggshell Paint?

Types of Paint You Can Apply Over Eggshell Paint

Next, let’s check out some common paint types and see if they can be used over eggshell paint.

Flat Paint

You can’t apply flat paint over eggshell paint because of the glossy finish eggshell paint has. You must sand or remove the eggshell first before applying flat paint. 

The gloss in the eggshell paint is moisture-resistant and will prevent flat paint from sticking. Also, the gloss is oil-based and flat paints are water-based.

Since water-based paints aren’t compatible with oils, flat paints aren’t compatible with the eggshell paint unless you sand or strip the eggshell paint first.

Chalk Paint

You can use chalk paint over eggshell paint, but you must sand the eggshell paint first.

Chalk paint has impressive adhesive qualities, so you don’t need to sand eggshell paint that much. Instead, just graze some parts of the eggshell paint finish, and chalk paint will stick.

However, chalk paints are thick, dry fast, and don’t offer great protection to the surface. So, you must seal chalk paint.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Semi-gloss paint doesn’t stick well to eggshell paint. That’s because semi-gloss paint only sticks to textured surfaces, and eggshell paint isn’t textured. 

To make semi-gloss paint stick to eggshell paint, you must sand first. 

Also, you can only apply 1 coat of semi-gloss paint over eggshell paint. If you want to apply more coats, you must sand between coats. 

Satin Paint

Satin paint won’t stick to eggshell paint if you don’t remove the glossy sheen first. Depending on the type of semi-gloss paint you use, you might also need to apply a primer.

High-Gloss Paint

You can use high-gloss paint over eggshell paint, but it’s best to strip the eggshell paint first. This is because high-gloss paints are reflective and will reveal the texture of the surface underneath. So the imperfections in the eggshell paint will be revealed when the high-gloss paint dries.

Aside from this, it’s time-consuming and difficult to prep eggshell paint for high gloss. To do this, you’ll need to clean, degrease, sand, and prime the eggshell paint. So if you think of the workload, it’s better to apply the high-gloss finish alone.

Wax

Wax can be applied over eggshell paint. However, wax can be thick and selective when it comes to surfaces. So it’s best to test out the wax on a part of the eggshell paint before applying it over the whole surface.

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paints can go over eggshell paint, but you must sand the eggshell paint first. That’s because oil-based paints can’t stay over eggshell paint’s slick or glossy finish.

Also, the eggshell paint must be grease-free before applying oil-based paint because oil-based paints don’t stick over a filthy or greased surface. 

Water-based Paint

You can use water-based paints over eggshell paints. That’s because water-based paints are easy to apply, dry fast, and have a bright color finish that hides the imperfections in the eggshell paint. 

However, water-based paints don’t offer good protection, so you must seal the water-based paint if it will be used in a high-traffic area.

Final Words

In summary, you can paint over eggshell paint. You just need to pick the right paint to use and follow the right steps.

You also must clean, sand, and prime the eggshell paint before painting over it. This allows the new paint to stick better. You can also seal the new paint to make it last longer. 

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