Can you paint gloss over satin?

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 07/06/2021

Maybe you’re fed up with how your satin door looks, or perhaps your satin skirting just can’t help but show up every muck mark. So you have decided to gloss over the satin, but is this possible? And if so how do I do it, what steps do I need to take? Well worry not, I got some MDF, painted it with a few coats of satin and then once fully dry I glossed it, so let’s see how I got on!

The Test

MDF test piece painted with satin

MDF test piece painted with satin

So here we have the MDF piece which has been painted with Leyland trade satin paint before being allowed to dry for a couple of days. I will then be painting over it with a Leyland trade gloss (water-based) to see if you can paint over satin with gloss, let’s see how I got on!

Painting over the satin

Applying the gloss over the satin was no trouble at all. The gloss paint went on just fine, exactly the same as you would expect if you are painting another coat of gloss on top of gloss.

So far so good, no real difference here and no signs at all to say you can’t paint gloss over satin, let’s see how it dries.

After drying

So I allowed the gloss piece to dry fully before examining it and taking the below picture.

MDF test piece with gloss over satin

MDF test piece with gloss over satin

The paint has applied perfectly, no problem there. There is one thing I have noticed though, the gloss is not as shiny as i would normally expect. This will be because of the satin underneath, however, I have only used one coat here and this Leyland water-based gloss is quite a thin paint. So I will add another coat of gloss and see how that improves things.

MDF test piece with second coat of gloss

MDF test piece with a second coat of gloss

Now you can see the shine in the gloss, so all it needed was another coat. This wouldn’t be as important if you were using thicker paint, but as I said, the gloss I was using was quite thin.

So in terms of coverage and generally looking like a gloss finish, it is a thumbs up, but let’s see if the paint has stuck to the satin underneath.

Scratch Test

So for the final test, which you may have seen before if you have read some of my other will it paint articles, I will run a rough piece of timber across the surface of the test piece. I will do this quite aggressively.

The purpose of this test is to check if the paint has thoroughly adhered to the surface of the object. This test is probably much more fierce than any contact that would happen in a real-world scenario. For this reason, if it works in this test then it is a pretty good bet that it will work in real life.

I’m happy to say that the gloss came through the scratch test with flying colours, no visible areas where the paint has chipped away, a great result.

So can you paint gloss over satin?

Yes, you can. Gloss can be used over satin paint, my test showed that you can get the shiny gloss finish when painting over satin. The adhesion test then also showed that gloss can stick well to satin paint, so you don’t need to worry about it chipping.

Similar Articles

If you are looking at glossing more items then we have a whole section of the website dedicated to gloss, find all of the articles below.

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Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!