The Great Debate: Can You Paint Eggshell over Semi Gloss?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to change the paint of a room? And with that, this question comes in your mind frequently – can you paint eggshell over semi gloss?

Note that you can apply eggshell paint over semi-gloss surfaces, but the paint will not be as smooth as semi-gloss. Moreover, eggshell will provide a little bit textured appearance.

In this topic, we will explore the compatibility of eggshell and semi-gloss paints. Additionally, we will provide you with some handy tips to achieve a successful paint job.

Is Semi Gloss the Same as an Eggshell?

Semi-gloss is a high-sheen finish that reflects a lot of light, making it very shiny. It is often used for high-traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens because it is durable and easy to clean. It is also commonly used for trim and doors because it provides a glossy contrast to the flatter finish of the walls.

Eggshell, on the other hand, is a low-sheen finish that has a soft, velvety appearance. It has a slight sheen, but much less than semi-gloss. It is often used for interior walls because it provides a subtle shine and is easy to clean. It is a popular choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms as it creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.

In a nutshell, semi-gloss is a high-shine finish, while eggshell is a low-shine finish. They are both popular choices for interior paint, but they have different aesthetic and practical characteristics.

Why to Paint Eggshell over Semi-gloss?

When it comes to painting your home, there are two popular options: eggshell and semi-gloss. While both have their benefits, there are several reasons why people may choose to paint eggshell over semi-gloss.

Hides Imperfections Better: Eggshell finishes have a slight sheen that can help to hide imperfections on walls, such as dents and uneven textures. In contrast, semi-gloss finishes tend to highlight imperfections, making them more noticeable.

More Subtle Shine: Eggshell paints have a subtle shine that gives walls a bit of a glow without being too shiny. This can be especially beneficial in rooms where you want a more muted look, such as bedrooms or living rooms.

Easier to Touch Up: Eggshell finishes are easier to touch up than semi-gloss finishes because they don’t have as much of a sheen. This means that if you need to touch up a small area of your wall, it will be less noticeable than if you were trying to touch up a semi-gloss finish.

Less Reflective: Eggshell paints are less reflective than semi-gloss paints, which can be helpful in rooms with a lot of natural light or where you want to avoid glare, such as in a home office or media room.

More Forgiving: Eggshell finishes are more forgiving when it comes to brush or roller marks. Because the finish is more matte, any marks or imperfections left behind during application are less noticeable.

Can You Paint Eggshell over Semi Gloss?

Yes, you can paint eggshell over semi gloss.

Eggshell paint is a versatile option that can be used for both interior and exterior applications. It is possible to apply eggshell paint over semi-gloss surfaces, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind for a successful outcome.

One of the primary benefits of eggshell paint is its ability to adhere well to a variety of surfaces. Its broad surface coverage allows it to stick to almost any surface, including those previously painted with semi-gloss.

However, the finish of eggshell paint will not be equally smooth like semi-gloss. This is because eggshell paint has a slightly textured appearance that can help to hide imperfections and provide a more durable finish.

How to Paint Eggshell over Semi Gloss?

Painting eggshell over semi-gloss can be challenging as the two finishes have different levels of sheen. However, it can be done successfully by following these steps.

Materials You Need:

  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent
  • Sandpaper (220-grit)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Primer
  • Eggshell paint
  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Clean, dry cloth

Step 1: Prepare the surface

Start by preparing the surface to be painted. This includes cleaning the surface thoroughly and sanding it lightly. Here’s how to do it.

Clean the surface: Use warm water and mild detergent to clean the surface, and then rinse it with clean water. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any excess moisture.

Sand the surface: Use sandpaper with a fine grit (220-grit) to lightly sand the entire surface. This will help the eggshell paint adhere better. Make sure to remove any dust and debris from the sanding process with a clean, dry cloth.

Protect areas you don’t want to paint: Use painter’s tape to protect areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim or windowsills. Also, lay a drop cloth on the floor to catch any drips or spills.

Step 2: Apply a primer

Before applying the eggshell paint, you need to apply a primer to the surface.

Stir the primer: Open the primer can and stir the paint thoroughly. Use a paint stirrer or a clean stick.

Apply the primer: Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the primer evenly, working in small sections at a time. Don’t forget to apply smooth and even strokes, avoiding overlapping the paint.

Step 3: Apply the eggshell paint

Once the primer is completely dry, it’s time to apply the eggshell paint. Follow the steps below.

Stir the paint: To prepare the paint, open the paint can and thoroughly stir the contents using either a paint stirrer.

Apply the paint: Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the paint evenly. To avoid overworking the paint, make sure smooth strokes. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat if necessary.

Let the paint cure: After applying the eggshell paint, it’s essential to wait for it to dry thoroughly and cure as per the guidelines of the manufacturer. The duration for curing may vary from a few minutes to a few hours, relying on the surrounding humidity and temperature. Thus, it’s crucial to ensure that the environment is conducive to the paint’s curing process.

Additional Tips to Follow

  • Make sure the surface is completely dry and free of dust before applying the primer and paint.
  • Use a high-quality paintbrush or roller to achieve an even finish.
  • Apply the primer and paint in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Follow the brand’s instructions for the primer and paint regarding the number of coats and drying time.

Can You Paint Eggshell over Semi-gloss without Sanding?

In most cases, it is not ideal to paint eggshell over semi-gloss without sanding. Sanding the surface beforehand helps to create a smooth and even surface for the new coat of paint to bond better with the underlying surface.

If you apply eggshell paint directly without sanding, the eggshell paint may not adhere properly. As a result, you will achieve an uneven and unattractive finish. Additionally, the paint may flake off over time because of poor adhesion.

Do You Need an Undercoat with Eggshell Paint?

Low sheen finish and durability make eggshell paint a unique choice. However, whether or not you need an undercoat with eggshell depends on the condition and color of the surface you are painting on.

If the surface is new, unpainted, or has been previously painted with a similar or lighter color, an undercoat is not necessary. The eggshell paint can be applied directly to the surface after it has been cleaned, sanded, and primed. The primer serves as a base coat and helps the eggshell paint adhere well to the surface.

On the other hand, if the surface has been previously painted with a darker color, is stained, or has an uneven texture, it is recommended to apply an undercoat. The undercoat will help to block out the previous color or stains and create a uniform surface for the new paint. The undercoat should be allowed to dry completely before applying the eggshell paint.

Keep in mind that using an undercoat will provide a better finish and increase the durability of the paint. It also helps to prevent the color of the previous paint from showing through the new paint, which can affect the overall appearance of the finished product.

Does Primer Stick to Semi-gloss Paint?

Primer typically sticks well to semi-gloss paint, as long as the paint has been properly prepared. Also, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and dirt-free before applying primer.

If the semi-gloss paint is in good condition, a light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper can help improve the adhesion of the primer. Additionally, choosing a high-quality primer that is specifically designed for use on glossy or semi-gloss surfaces can also help ensure good adhesion.

What Does Eggshell Finish Look Like?

Eggshell finish is a type of paint finish that is characterized by its low sheen or luster. It is named after the surface texture and appearance of an eggshell, which has a slight sheen but is not reflective like a high-gloss surface.

Eggshell finish has a soft, velvety texture that is often described as having a subtle glow or radiance. It is a popular choice for interior walls and trim because it offers a little more shine than a flat or matte finish, while still maintaining a low profile.

Eggshell finish is less shiny than a satin finish, but more lustrous than a matte finish. It provides a smooth and even coverage, and can help to hide minor imperfections or flaws on the surface of the painted area.

Final Thoughts

Painting eggshell over semi-gloss is definitely possible, but it requires proper preparation and technique to achieve a smooth and durable finish.

While the eggshell finish can tone down the shine of semi-gloss, it won’t completely hide imperfections on the surface. It’s significant to remember that the success of this project largely depends on the condition of the semi-gloss surface and the quality of the paint used.

About the Author

Ivan McCloud