Can You Paint Over Satin Paint? (Different Types of Paint)

You can’t paint over specific paints. So, can you paint over satin paint?

You can paint over satin paint. But, you must sand, degrease, and prime the satin paint before applying the new paint.

Satin paint is a medium-gloss finish, so paint won’t stick over the glossy top layer. So, you must sand the top layer of satin to create tiny holes where the new paint can stick.

This post reveals more about painting over satin paint, including an expert guide that reveals all you need to know to complete the task. So, let’s dive in.

Does Paint Stick To Satin Paint?

Does Paint Stick To Satin Paint?

Paint doesn’t stick well to satin paint. If you put paint directly over satin paint, the paint will peel off after a few days. This is because satin paint has a higher level of sheen than regular paints. As such, satin paint dries to a hard and glossy finish that doesn’t absorb paint.

However, if you sand the top glossy layer and apply a coat of prime, the paint will stick to satin paint.

There are five classes of paints based on sheen; flat or matte paint, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss paint. Flat and eggshell paint have a small amount of sheen in their formula. Satin and semi-gloss paint are medium-gloss because their finishes are glossy. High-gloss paints have the highest level of sheen and are glossier than satin paint.

The glossy paints (satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss) prevent paint from sticking. That’s because these paints have a glossy and hard finish when dry. 

The glossy finish of satin paint is slick and moisture-resistant, meaning it doesn’t allow liquid to penetrate. Since all paints are liquid, the paint will not stick well to satin paint. The slick texture doesn’t give the paint much chance of sticking since paints have to stick to textured or grazed surfaces.

The only type of paint that will stick to satin paint is a sealant. Sealants like polyurethane stick to satin paint because these paints don’t need a textured surface to stick. Also, these paints are designed to go over other paints like semi-gloss paint. So sealants will stick to a satin finish. For other types of paint to stick, you must sand or strip the satin paint first.

Things To Know

Sanding Before Applying Paint Over Satin Paint

Should You Sand Before Applying Paint Over Satin Paint?

To allow paint to stick better, you must sand before applying paint over satin paint. Sanding removes the glossy top layer of the paint and creates tiny ridges for the new paint to stick to.

However, sanding is unnecessary if you apply a sealant over satin paint. This is because sealants stick to satin paint as long as the finish coat is clean and dry. But, sanding can also improve the sealant adhesion.

Prime Before Applying Paint Over Satin Paint

You don’t have to prime before painting over satin paint. If the satin paint coating is clean and sanded, the new paint will stick to it without priming. 

However, priming is needed if the satin paint is damaged or if you want to change the color shades. For instance, if you want to apply light-colored paint over dark-colored satin paint, you must apply a coat of grey primer to prevent the dark color from bleeding through. 

Here’s when you have to prime satin paint:

  • If the satin paint is wet, you need stain-blocking or moisture-resistant primer.
  • If the satin paint is chipping or peeling, you need a primer coating before applying the paint.
  • If you want to switch color shades, a primer coating will cover the existing color.
  • If the painted surface was patched.
  • If you want to apply thin paint, you should prime it first.

How To Paint Over Satin Paint?

Painting over satin paint is not difficult, but you might encounter a few problems if you don’t know the proper steps. Don’t fret though, because this guide will show you how to do this in 5 simple steps. But first, you’ll need a few tools and supplies:

  • Sandpaper
  • A gallon of paint
  • A solvent or degreaser
  • Wire brush
  • Primer paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clean rags

1. Clean and Degrease The Satin Paint

Clean and Degrease The Satin Paint

First, clean and remove grease and oils from the satin paint. The new paint coating will not stick properly if the satin paint is filthy. Also, you can’t sand filthy surfaces because the sandpaper might get clogged by the filth.

Use a clean rag to wipe the satin paint. Then, dampen the rag with a degreaser or cleaning solvent and use the damp rag to wipe the satin paint. This removes oils and grease on the satin paint. After cleaning and wiping the satin paint, leave it to dry.

2. Sand The Satin Paint

Sand The Satin Paint

When the satin paint is clean, sand it with fine-grit sandpaper. This removes bumps, imperfections, and the glossy sheen so the new paint can stick better. You don’t need to sand the entire paint off, you just need to create tiny holes for the next paint to stick. 

After sanding, remove the dust nibs around the surface. If you don’t remove the dust, there will be dust bumps in the new paint when it gets dry. You can remove dust by wiping it off, using a brush, or a vacuum.

3. Apply Primer Paint

Apply Primer Paint

This step is optional. You don’t have to prime to paint over satin paint unless the satin paint is damaged, patched, or you want to switch color shades.

For instance, if you want to apply yellow paint over black satin paint, you should prime to cover the black paint. This will prevent the yellow shade of the new paint from turning dark.

Use a primer that is compatible with the paint you want to apply. If you use the wrong type of primer, the paint won’t stick. Use a water-based primer for water-based paint and an oil-based primer for oil-based paint. Apply one coat of primer using a paintbrush. 

4. Apply The New Paint

Apply The New Paint

Apply the new paint over the satin paint. You can apply up to 3 coats of the paint over satin paint, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Also, allow each coat to dry enough before applying the next coat. Then, when the paint is dry, you can apply a sealant over it to make it last longer.

Types of Paint You Can Apply Over Satin Paint?

Types of Paint You Can Apply Over Satin Paint

Here’s a list of the paints you can or can’t apply over satin. Let’s check them:

Eggshell Paint

You can apply eggshell paint over satin paint. But, you must sand the satin paint first. Also, if the satin paint is oil-based, you’ll need a coat of primer over it before applying the eggshell.

This is because eggshell paint is water-based and isn’t compatible with oil-based satin paint. The good news with eggshell paint is that you can apply multiple coats.

Chalk Paint

You can apply chalk paint over satin paint. Chalk paint has good adhesive qualities so it will stick to satin paint. You also don’t have the sand much to apply chalk paint. You just need to lightly sand and the chalk paint will stick. 

However, chalk paint is thick, so you need to thin it with water to make it easier to apply. 

Semi-Gloss Paint

You can use semi-gloss paint over satin paint, but you will have to sand the satin paint properly. This is because satin and semi-gloss paints are both medium-gloss finishes and medium-gloss paint will not stick to another medium-gloss paint unless you sand first. You might also need a coat of primer on the satin paint especially if the satin paint is oil-based.

Oil-Based Paint

You shouldn’t put oil-based paint over satin paint directly. This is because oil-based paints have to be applied on a textured surface and not a glossy one.

If you apply oil-based paint directly over satin without sanding or priming first, the paint will fall off in days. It’s better to use a water-based primer over the satin paint before putting the oil-based paint.

Water-Based Paint

Since water-based paints have good adhesion qualities, you can apply a water-based paint over satin paint. 

However, water-based paint won’t stick to oil-based satin. You need to sand and prime the satin to allow the water-based paint to stick. 

Varnish

You can apply varnish over satin paint without sanding too much. Varnish is a topical stain that sticks to the top layer. 

However, you have to partially sand the satin paint. This means you have to sand only parts of satin paint and not the entire coating. The satin paint should be dry and clean before varnish because the varnish coating will highlight imperfections and dirt. 

Emulsion Paint

Emulsion paints are not commonly used over satin paint. This is because emulsion paints contain a large volume of water. Being water-based, emulsion paint will not stick to a glossy or slick surface like satin paint. To make an emulsion paint stick, you might have to remove the satin paint completely.

Polyurethane

You can apply polyurethane over satin paint as long as you sand lightly. This is to allow the polyurethane to stick to the satin paint properly. However, if the satin paint is damaged or cracked, you’ll need to apply primer paint. This is because polyurethane is a clear film and as such, any imperfection or damage in the satin paint will be revealed.

So if the satin paint is damaged, the primer will cover the imperfections so they don’t show through the polyurethane clear coat. It’s recommended to apply water-based polyurethane over water-based satin paint and oil-based polyurethane over oil-based satin paint.

Matte Paint

Matte or flat paint can go over satin paint, but you need to sand the satin paint to allow the matte paint to stick better.

If the satin paint is oil-based, you need a primer coating before applying matte paint over it. This is because matte paints are usually water-based and water-based paints don’t stick well to oil-based satin paints.

Matte paint doesn’t offer good protection. So you will need to seal the matte paint with a sealant to make it stronger and more durable.

Satin Paint

You can apply satin paint over satin paint, but you must first sand the old coating. Satin paint has a glossy finish that prevents the new coat to stick. If you don’t sand the old satin paint, the new coat will peel off after a few days. You don’t have to sand the entire coating, you just have to stress sand parts of the old coating.

However, the new coat of satin paint should have the same base (oil or water) as the old coat. You shouldn’t apply oil-based satin paint over water-based paint, or vice versa. 

Gloss Paint

You can apply gloss paint over satin paint, but you must sand and prime the satin paint. Also, if you apply two coats of gloss paint, you must sand between coats. 

Final Words

In summary, you can apply paint over satin paint. Before applying, you just need to ensure that the paint is compatible with the satin paint. Also, you need to know if satin paint is oil or water-based to know how to prep it for the paint.

Finally, always sand and prime before painting over satin paint. Sanding and priming will guarantee better adhesion between the new and existing satin paint coating.

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