How to Paint Over High Gloss Paint

female male couple painting a wall
What You'll Need
Detergent or pre-paint cleaner
Rag cloth
Masking tape
Sandpaper or liquid sandpaper (deglosser)
Vacuum cleaner
Face mask
Adequate ventilation in the work area

High gloss paint is a good choice for woodwork, trim, cabinetry, and high traffic areas. It is resistant to wear and tear and is also easy to clean. However, when it is time to repaint, there are a few preparatory steps you must take. This is because a new coat of paint will not adhere to the high gloss finish unless you prepare it thoroughly.

Step 1 – Clean the High Gloss Surface

Cover the floor and nearby objects in the room with sheets or rags. Keep the area around the painting surface free of obstructions so that you have plenty of space to work. Mix up a cleaning solution with mild detergent and water.

Apply the cleaning solution to the walls and let it sit for some time. Wipe it off and repeat if necessary so that the walls are completely free of dirt, dust, and grease. You could also purchase a commercial pre-paint cleaner, which is specially formulated to clean walls. Note that a commercial cleaner will likely be made with harsher chemicals, so ventilation and gloves are equally if not more important.

WARNING: Before you begin scrubbing the walls, put on a face mask and gloves, and open windows to create proper ventilation and to avoid breathing any fumes.

Step 2 – Sand the Surface

Once the wall is clean and dry, you can begin to sand it. Before sanding, it is important to ensure that all your surfaces have been painted with lead-free paint because paints that contain lead are highly toxic and can pollute your home if sanded. If you are unsure of the lead content in your old paint, contact a painting professional for advice.

Sanding removes the glossiness from the walls and ensures good adhesion for the paint that follows. You can use sandpaper or a liquid de-glosser, which makes the job quicker.

Step 3 – Clean Out the Room

After you have completed cleaning and sanding the walls, you will be left with a collection of grime and dust. Wipe down the walls thoroughly with a damp rag to remove any remnants. Clean the floors with a vacuum cleaner and follow up with a mop. Just like it was important to clean away the old high gloss paint, it is important to work in a clean, dust-free room before you apply your new paint. Any billowing dust will mar your paint job.

Step 4 – Apply Primer and Paint

A primer that is specially formulated to go on top of glossy surfaces will give you the best results. Also, be sure that the primer is suitable for latex paint if that is your choice. First, apply masking tape on all the boundaries. Apply the primer with the paint roller or brush.

If you are coloring over dark paint, you may need additional coatings to achieve the perfect painting surface. Ensure that the preceding coats are dry before you apply more primer. Once the primer is dry, you are ready to start painting. With the proper preparation, you can apply any type of paint over a high gloss surface.