How to Paint Over Semi Gloss Without Sanding

Image of a sander in use. You should know How to Paint Over Semi Gloss Without SandingSemi gloss finishes are beautiful, which explains why many painters, homeowners, and DIYers love them. You can use this finish on many surfaces, among them trim, bathroom, and kitchen walls. This formula is smooth, resists moisture, and lacks the texture needed for the new paint to adhere to, especially if you are not ready to sand. So you need to know how to paint over semi gloss without sanding.

It takes time to paint over semi gloss, given that it is bound to resist moisture. However, the surest way to paint over it without standing is by using a liquid deglosser. Just soak a rag in the deglosser, then rub it on your surface and wait for it to dry before painting. 

It’s wise to test the liquid deglosser in an inconspicuous spot before starting your project. 

How Do You Paint Over Semi Gloss Paint? 

Semi gloss paint is illustriously known for its attractive shine and is relatively easy to wipe clean. However, its ability to be wiped clean can hinder painting over it as its smooth surface won’t bond with new paint. 

So, to paint over surfaces that have semi gloss paint, you will need thorough preparation. The steps highlighted in this guide should make your work easier. Check out below: 

Things You Will Need

  • Rags.
  • 150 grit sandpaper.
  • Primer.
  • Paint dish or pail.
  • Paintbrush or rollers.
  • Eye goggles and work gloves. 
  • Wooden stick. 
  • Paint. 
  • Screwdriver.

Step One

Here, wear your goggles to protect your eyes. Also, have a dust mask on to prevent the likelihood of respiratory infections. 

Step Two

Considering that semi gloss paint is relatively smooth, it repels liquids. That means you will need a pole sander with 150 grit sandpaper to rub the surface lightly. 

Still, you will want to keep the floor safe with a drop cloth. Before that, remove any nearby furniture from the working surface. Then position a drop cloth over the items you can’t move. Then follow with sanding the surfaces using minimal pressure as you work in one direction. 

This way, the surface gets scraped fairly and brings about the desired surface that the new paint will stick onto with ease. 

After sanding the entire surface, take your tack cloth and begin to wipe down the lingering sanding dust. Wiping down the dust gets your semi gloss ready for priming. 

Step Three

Now get ready to prime. Take your painter’s tape and roll it around the wall’s edges to prevent paint from mistakenly reaching the floor or ceiling. You will want to use a screwdriver to uninstall light switches, fixtures, or other outlets present on your walls. 

Step Four

Next, reach for your primer, shake it properly, take a roller, and start applying primer on the edges and all through the deglossed surface.

Better still, you can choose to apply the primer with a paintbrush or spray it directly to the surface. 


For improved adherence, give the initial coats ample time to dry before putting in another coat. 

Step Five

After priming, it’s now the right time to paint your semi gloss. Considering the old semi gloss base nature, you will need no special precautions to install the new paint. 

Just open the tin, stir the paint thoroughly using a wooden stick to enclose its components. Then pour a little paint in your paint dish, saturate the roller and begin to distribute even strokes up and down the walls. 

Once you are done with the initial coat, let it dry to the touch before proceeding. In the second coat, you will want to use side-to-side strokes to balance the imperfections made in the previous coat. 

Keep going with light strokes until the area looks even. 

Can You Paint Over Gloss Without Sanding? 

Yes, it’s possible to paint over gloss without sanding, but you will be risking future peeling issues. Since gloss is a smooth surface, it needs to be roughened up for paint to clasp onto it easily. 

If not, you will want to use a deglosser to wipe down the surface before painting.

How to Paint Over Semi Gloss Without Sanding

Whenever you want your room sizzling with vibrant colors, then semi-gloss paint will do the trick. But are you planning to put in a new color on your wall, for example, that’s covered with glossy paint? Well, don’t worry, as I have covered the process step by step, as seen below.

Before looking at the process, let’s walk through the essentials you need to get the job done with ease. 

Things needed

  • Sugar soap.
  • Primer.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Paint.
  • Wooden stick. 
  • Paint dish.
  • Roller. 

With the items mentioned above at hand, you are set to go.

Step 1: Wash the Walls With Sugar Soap. 

First, start by wiping down the walls with sugar soap. This chemical cleaner will eliminate dust and dirt on walls to create space for better paint adherence. Wipe it across the walls and all around the edges until the impurities disappear. 

Step 2: Apply a Coat of Primer Over the Wall. 

What follows is to put a layer of primer onto the wall. Ensure that the primer you go for is approved to offer a good grip for the paint. If not, the new paint won’t stick to the surface as expected. 

Use a roller to spread the primer on all edges, assuming you masked all areas you don’t want the paint primer to spill. After that, wait for the first coat to dry, then proceed with a second one. 

If you use a latex-based primer, your wall will dry shortly. But if you settle for an oil-based primer, you will want to wait for 24 hours before painting on your semi-gloss paint.

Step 3: Apply Your Desired Paint.

At this point, you should be ready to paint. Take your paint and give it a thorough shaking for nearly a minute. After that, please open it and stir it gently with a wooden stick to form an even solution. 

Next, reach for your roller, moisten it with paint and start to spread your first coat following the instructions printed on the tin. You can also use a paintbrush to reach the restricted areas of your walls since a roller can’t access all the confined edges. 

Allowing the first coat to dry before proceeding will result in a good paint job. 

Can You Paint Over Gloss Without an Undercoat?

No, it’s impossible to paint over gloss without an undercoat since gloss needs a base to grab onto the paint. In addition, the undercoat offers a sticky surface for the paint to hold up well.

What Paint Can Go Over Semi Gloss? 

Almost all of today’s paints can go over semi gloss. But you need first to determine whether the semi gloss finish on the surface is oil-based or latex. If the existing semi gloss is oil-based, then use oil-based paints. 

Suppose it’s latex, then go for latex-based paint. 

Do You Have to Prime Over Semi Gloss Paint? 

Yes, priming over semi-gloss paint is very critical as it helps to address the shiny surface. So, in any case, whichever type of paint you use on semi gloss, you should prime the surface before painting. 

The essence of the primer is to provide a surface where the paint will stick on with ease. 

Why Does Semi Gloss Look Patchy? 

Failure to apply enough coats to your surface leads to patchiness.

Regardless of how experienced you are with painting, some mistakes are inevitable. For instance, if you fail to apply sufficient coats, your surface might look patchy after painting. And for that reason, numerous bits of color will show through the surface from the old finish. 

Luckily, you can correct such common mistakes by allowing each coat to dry entirely and then apply multiple coats for a polished result. 

Is Deglosser Better than Sanding? 

Sometimes, it’s tempting to paint over old finishes without preparing the surface. However, dirt, dust, and other contaminants can hinder the paint from holding up to the surface. 

That said, you should consider buffing, roughening, or treating the old finish for better paint adherence. To achieve that, you have two choices: sanding or deglossing. But which option is better? 

Both sanding and deglossing brag endless benefits, but sanding takes time and requires too much effort. Even if you go for tools like an orbital sander, it still takes you hours to sand down an entire surface. 

On the other hand, deglossing takes less time. You can apply it using a soft cloth and let the surface dry for 30 minutes before painting. However, this option calls for an extra level of precaution. 

It’s rated harmful to your health, so it’s wise to wear goggles and protective gloves before handling this medium. 

Sanding also parades its health issues. Its dust can harm your respiratory system. So it’s better to put on your dust mask to be safe while sanding. 

If you were to choose between the two, deglossing would have an edge as it does not consume the most time.

Can You Paint Eggshell Over Semi Gloss Without Sanding? 

Suppose you intend to upgrade semi gloss painted surface with eggshell; the most appropriate way is to sand down the wall. But can you use eggshell over semi gloss without sanding? 

Yes, it is possible to paint eggshell over semi-gloss without sanding. However, the process calls for thorough preparations. 

Is Semi Gloss Better than Eggshell? 

Yes, semi gloss is rated better than eggshell as it delivers a striking finish on many surfaces. In addition, this medium dries harder, lasts longer, plus it’s much more durable than eggshell paint. 

Can You Paint Semi Gloss Over Flat Paint? 

Flat paints are common in low-traffic areas like ceilings or closets. These options are strenuous to clean, plus they stain easily, which fosters the argument, can you paint semi-gloss over flat paint? 

Yes, semi gloss can go over flat paint, provided you repair any deformities before painting. Here is how to go about it;

Step One

First, you will want to mend the visible deformities in the paint, such as deep scratches or holes from the wall hangings. 

Next, use your fingers to apply spackle on shattered areas assuming you have worn your latex gloves. Keep smoothing the spackle to the ravaged parts, and be sure to wipe off any excess. 

Then allow it to dry before moving forward. 

Step Two

Next, sand down the high points to appear smooth and uniform with the painting area after the spackle dries. 

After that, you can test for smoothness by running your fingers across the surface. The result should be flat and smooth. If not, continue sanding the area.

Step Three

After sanding, clean the area with soap and water. 

Step Four 

Next, take your primer and paintbrush and begin to prime on the spackled area. Doing this delivers an even look on the area you intend to paint. After that, let the primer dry according to the instructions pointed up on the tin. 

Step Five

In this step, you will want to use a paintbrush to access the hard to reach areas. Now take your paint and start to distribute even strokes up and down. Then proceed with a roller to paint the larger surfaces. 

Note; ensure that the paint is dry before handling the surface. 

How Much Do You Have to Sand? 

Semi gloss doesn’t adhere well to new paint due to its sleek nature. As such, you have to sand it for the paint to clasp onto it effortlessly. But how much do you have to sand it? 

Experts assert that barely a little scrub is enough. You don’t have to overdo the process as you will mess with the costly project. 

Why Is My Semi Gloss Paint Peeling? 

There exist several reasons for the peeling of semi gloss surfaces. For instance, your semi gloss paint can start to peel off due to poor adherence. The poor adhesion might be caused by painting on a dirty surface. 

The other potential reason for semi gloss paint peeling off is applying thick coats to lessen the work time. It’s much better to go with thinner coats as it speeds up the drying time and eliminates the chances of paint peeling off. 

Can You Paint Over Semi Gloss that Is Peeling? 

Outdated semi gloss paint can flake, peel, or chip, leaving small holes and cracks. Attempting to paint over such surface conditions can result in future problems. 

So the best way to handle such conditions is to scrape off the peeling paint with a wire brush, then take medium grit sandpaper to sand the surface lightly. Afterward, put a coat of primer to prepare the surface for great adherence. 

Can You Use Water-based Paint on Semi Gloss Paint? 

Water-based paint can go over semi gloss paint, provided you do much surface preparation. Since water-based paint doesn’t blend well with semi gloss, you will want to remove a considerable amount of gloss from the surface before painting. 

Pass over the gloss surface with 180 grit sandpaper to make it level and no longer sleek. After that, wipe down the surface with a clean cloth to pick up the lingering sanding dust. 

After sanding, deep clean the surface with TSP to pick up grime, dirt, and debris, after that, make another pass over the cleaned surface with a clean sponge saturated in freshwater, then allow the surface to dry. 

Once the surface dries, select a bonding primer formulated to hold up to sleek and other hard-to-paint surfaces. This way, you will promote optimal paint adherence. 


You will realize that the surface is well-primed when the existing paint color stains, whereas other surface deformities disappear. 

After the primer dries, you can now go on with multiple coats of the water-based paint, allowing ample dry time between coats. 

Should I Sand Between Coats of Semi-gloss Paint? 

Sanding between coats of semi-gloss paint is only necessary if there exist apparent defects in the initial coat. Sanding the visible imperfections means they’ll not show under the second coat. So it’s wise to handle the initial coat with utmost care to avoid sanding entirely. 


It’s better to sand with the right grade of sandpaper. Using too fine sandpaper will take a while, primarily if the previous coat brags many major defects. 

On the other hand, too coarse sandpaper is bound to leave sanding marks that need additional layers of paint. So it pays to use appropriate sandpaper, which can scuff the surface enough to peel off the shine. 

What Is the Difference Between Semi Gloss and Satin Paint? 

Both satin and semi gloss paint are good choices of paint. However, they have distinct qualities that create the difference between them. 

The main difference is that semi gloss paint has more sheen than satin. In addition, it is rated more resistant to moisture as opposed to satin paint and other finishes. 

Not to forget, semi-gloss paint is also a great choice for trim and molding, given that it stands out against surfaces with satin or eggshell finishes. However, experts claim that semi gloss paint exhibits blemishes on most surfaces, plus it requires too many coats, unlike satin paint. 

If you familiarize yourself with the individual traits of each paint, you will easily determine which option meets your preferences. 

Is Semi Gloss More Durable than Satin? 

Semi gloss paint brags more reflective qualities compared to satin paint. It is great for use in high traffic areas, making it slightly durable than satin paint. 

So if you want an option that is easy to wipe down clean without coming off with the grime and at the same time withstand years of ill-use, go for semi-gloss. 

How Do You Prepare Gloss Walls for Painting? 

Gloss walls can have adherence issues while painting due to their sleek surface. So to help you prepare the surface well before painting, let’s walk through the preparatory steps below; 

First, it is integral to clean the area you are going to undertake your project. Begin by covering the floor and close objects in the room with rags and sheets. Then keep the painting area free from obstructions to create plenty of workspaces. 

Next, blend a cleaning solvent with water and mild detergent. Then apply the resulting solution to the walls and allow it to sit for a while. Afterward, wipe it off and, if necessary, reiterate the process until the walls are entirely free of grease, dirt, and dust. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a commercial paint cleaner that is designed to clean walls. But note that the cleaner encompasses harsh chemicals. So proper ventilation and protective gloves are essential in the process. 

After the walls dry, sand them to guarantee optimal adhesion for the paint that follows. You can either use rated sandpaper or a liquid deglosser, which catalyzes the whole process. After that, you can proceed to paint your glass walls. 

How Long Should Semi Gloss Paint Dry Between Coats? 

The time taken by semi-gloss paint to dry is dependent on several factors. But the most common one is the mode of application you use. 

If you opt for thicker coats, they will eventually take forever to dry. But thinner coats can dry in merely an hour before you apply an additional coat. 

Temperature is another major issue that affects the drying time. So it’s wise to paint within the temperature ranges printed on the paint tin. Doing this promises optimal outcomes. 

Should I Paint Semi Gloss or Satin Door? 

Most interior doors are made of rigid materials. So protecting such surfaces needs semi-gloss paint, considering that it’s designed to endure high traffic. Here are some facts why semi-gloss is better than satin paint on doors. 

  • Semi gloss endures more scrubs without peeling off. 
  • Semi gloss allows waxes and polishes. 
  • All doors require harder paint protection and semi-gloss paint is not an exception. 

Ideally, semi gloss paint offers the liberty of rigorous cleaning with a damp cloth, and that’s why it’s best for doors. 

Can You Paint Gloss Over Matt? 

Yes, painting gloss over matt is possible, but you need to watch out for the color underneath. If the color appears light green, it’s okay. But suppose it turns out dark, you will have to sand down and put an undercoat first. 


Should you not like the outcome, the other thing you can do is repaint the matt paint. Then wait for a week before sanding and bedding in a coat of gloss paint. 

Also, ascertain that the walls have good adhesion to avoid the paint from slipping down everywhere. 

Does the Second Coat Use Less Paint? 

As with many paint projects, two coats of paint are far more durable than a single coat. 

Additionally, using two coats of paint helps to hide the imperfections made in the first coat, which might alter the natural shade of the paint. But does the second coat utilize less paint? 

The second coat will indeed consume less paint because the first coat is meant to cover almost all deformities. The second coat mainly comes in handy to lessen the chances of disregarding any spots left out on the first coat. 

How Do You Paint Over Gloss Enamel With Acrylics? 

Even though gloss enamel is restricted in color variation, it’s still a better pick over other finishes. Ideally, it is more immune to cracks and rarely fades, unlike other paints. 

In this guide, we are going to illuminate how you can paint over this medium with acrylics. Check out below: 

The first step is cleaning the surface with a cleaning detergent and a soft cloth. You do this because you can’t paint acrylic over gloss enamel without proper surface preparation. If not, there will be minimal adherence, plus the color will fade quickly. 

So after cleaning the surface, take your medium grit sandpaper and start to peel off the glossy top coat to establish a conducive surface for painting. 

After that, pour the latex primer into your paint dish. Then take your roller, saturate it in the primer, and begin to lay even strokes over the enamel paint. 

You will want to do multiple thin layers but ensure that each coat dries entirely before shifting to the next coat. After the coat of primer dries, you can paint over the surface with your acrylic paint. 

Final Thoughts

We have seen that semi gloss paint is formulated to stave off the water; therefore, dabbing it down clean is relatively easy. However, getting new paint to stick onto it can be an issue, given that its surface boasts poor adherence qualities. 

The best way to address such surface conditions is by lightly sanding the surface before painting. Besides that, you also need to know…

How to Paint Over Semi-gloss Without Sanding

The process of painting over semi-gloss without sanding is overly easy, assuming you follow the steps provided. Firstly, you will want to prepare the walls by washing them with a chemical cleaner. After that, prime the walls as instructed in the user’s guide. Then follow with painting over your semi-gloss finish. 

At this point, I believe you have gathered enough information to help you paint over your semi gloss finished surfaces. If you have a question, you can reach out to me through the comment section below.