How to Make Glossy Paint Flat?

Have glossy paint but need to make it flat? We know how to do it!

Glossy paint looks lovely on almost any surface, but sometimes we may need it to be flat. However, we can’t always just go to the nearest store and buy a can of flat paint. What shall we do if we only have a glossy one but we need it to be flat badly?

In this case, the only way out is deglossing your paint. Fortunately, even though it may sound complicated, it is not like that. You can relatively easily turn your glossy paint flat on your own, and we are going to explain how it can be done.

How to Make Glossy Paint Look Flat?

There are several ways you can use to turn your glossy paint into a flat one. One of them implies adding more pigment into the paint that needs to be transformed. However, such a method will require quite a lot of pigment. Besides, if you do this, it will influence the color and the quality of paint. So not everyone may find such an approach useful.

This is why, if adding extra pigment is not an option for you for any of these reasons, feel free to try out a couple of alternative variants.

  • topcoat your paint with flat varnish
  • degloss the finish

And now let us explain in detail how each of these procedures can be done. So the first alternative method we mentioned is to topcoat your glossy paint with flat varnish. To do this, you need to apply your glossy paint as usual, as it is. If necessary, feel free to paint more than one coat of it. And then, apply a top coat of flat varnish.

How to Make Glossy Paint Look Flat
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As for the deglossing alternative, it can be done in several different ways. But each of them must be performed only after the paint is dry!

  1. Wash your paint with a strong mixture of trisodium phosphate and water
  2. Work on your glossy painted surface with a 220-grit sandpaper.

If you decide to opt for the first method, you will need to mix a solution of one cup TSP per gallon of water in a bucket. Then wash your glossy surface with it using a sponge, and remember to put on protective gloves and goggles. End the process with clear water rinsing.

Sandpaper, on the other hand, is way simpler. You just need to scuff your painted surface lightly by hand, no machines are needed! Afterward, simply wipe away the sanding dust with a damp rag.

These are the most common ways of turning glossy paint flat easily with no additional instruments.

How to Make Glossy Paint Look Flat
Credits: wragg, via Canva.com

Extra Ways Of Deglossing Your Paint’s Sheen

Using sandpaper or adding more pigment are the simplest ways you can opt for to turn your glossy paint into a flat one. However, we know a few more methods that can be successfully used in case these two can not be helpful for any reason.

  • Spray if from farther distance
  • Use fillers and pigment extenders

In the first case, if you are using a spraying can or a spray gun to apply the finishing product, you can simply hold it farther from the surface that is being painted. Like this, you will get at least satin (if not matte) finish!

Why does it happen? Well, if you apply the paint like this, it will partially dry even before reaching the surface with either little or no flow at all. This is how an uneven finish is produced.

As for the fillers and extenders, this method is the best for the ready-made paint products. You can opt for such matting agents as talc, baryte, silica, and others. Simply mix one of these powders with the clear medium (take any you like), and then mix the resulting substance into your paint. Like this, it will be simpler for you to control the process and the level of flatness.

Extra Ways Of Deglossing Your Paint’s Sheen
Credits: efetova, via Canva.com

How to Make Glossy Spray Paint Look Flat

If you used gloss spray paint on a surface and now you want it to be flat instead, you might be wondering how you can do this effectively and without damaging the surface.

Well, the simplest way in this case is to apply your spray paint from a farther distance when you are painting your surface. Simply hold the spray gun far enough from the surface that is being painted, and you can end up with a matte (or at least satin) sort of finish!

Can You Mix Semi-Gloss & Flat Paint?Can You Mix Semi-Gloss & Flat Paint?

How to Make Glossy Latex Paint Flat

If you need to make your gloss latex paint look flat on a surface you applied it to, you may find it to be rather challenging. Most gloss paints contain quite a significant amount of varnishes which makes it difficult to render them completely glossy.

However, you can try to work with a 300-grit sandpaper (or finer) on such a painted surface. It will require some manual work but the effect will be very close to what you need.

How to Make Glossy Latex Paint Flat
Credits: poweveroffever, via Canva.com

How to Make Semi Gloss Paint Look Flat?

All right, it is all clear with gloss paints. But is it possible to dull the paint that is semi-gloss? In fact, it is! And you will be surprised, but the methods are basically all the same as those used for making the gloss paint duller!

The most useful and well-working approach is to use fine sandpaper. You just need to find a piece of 300-grit sandpaper or finer, and work with it on your painted surface lightly and slowly. Move up and down and side to side to be sure you will not miss any corner! Keep on working like this until you see that the shine is gone and a dull luster you need appeared.

How to Make Semi Gloss Paint Look Flat
Credits: abramovaa, via Canva.com

What Makes Paint Flat Or Glossy?

If you have ever wondered why certain paints are glossy while others are flat, here you can find the answer. See, these two types of paint differ in their concentration of pigment relative to binder. What are those pigments and binders, you may ask?

Well, pigment is the component in paint that gives it the color. At the same time, the binder is the sort of glue that holds this paint together and helps it hold to the surface you apply it to. Pigments tend to absorb light whilst binders, on the contrary, are more into reflecting it.

This is why, as you could already guess, the simplest and the most obvious way of making glossy paint flat is to add more pigment.

As for the sheen the paint has, it is measured by the amount of light this paint is able to reflect. It is determined by the pigment volume concentration (PVC) or, in other words, the ratio of pigment to other paint components. Respectfully, the higher the PVC rate the flatter the paint, and vice versa.

Flat paints usually have a PVC rate equal to 40 percent whilst glossy paints have it equal to fifteen percent. This is the reason why, if you need to turn glossy paint into flat, you will have to add enough pigment which is usually a quart of pigment per one gallon of gloss paint.

What Makes Paint Flat Or Glossy
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How to Make a Flat Paint Glossy?

It is not always that we need to make glossy paint flat. Sometimes, we may need it to be quite the opposite! But will the methods we use for deglossing paints be suitable for making it shiny? Let’s figure this out.
If you have a can of flat paint which needs to be turned into a glossy one, there is one effective method you can use to make it happen:

  • take glazing compound or varnish
  • pour an amount of it equal to nearly ten percent of the volume of flat paint you have into a bucket
  • add your paint that needs to be changed
  • and stir

Always remember to test the result since you might need to add more binder in case the sheen is not glossy enough!

So today you have learned how to make gloss paint less shiny. We shared a bunch of easy to do and useful methods of turning a glossy wall or another surface into a less sheeny-shiny object. Also, you are now aware of what tools to use to make gloss paint flat without damaging the wall and without messing with the paint layer.

With all that in mind, be sure that you will be able to easily make any surface painted with gloss paint less shiny. And even if you applied semi-gloss paint onto it, feel free to make use of any method we provided you with today to make it look more dull if you need that.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ What makes paint shiny?

It is determined by the ratio of resins, binders, and adhesive.

⭐ Can you dull semi gloss paint?

Yes, it can be dulled.

⭐ Is it possible to make diy matte paint?

Yes, you can do it by adding matting components into your current paint.

Written by Melinda Sherween
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Melinda worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years in total. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco where she was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. At this job, Melinda showed herself as a confident specialist and a true art lover with exceptional taste and artistic sense. Melinda is a passionate author of Housekeeping Bay and we are really happy that she is our Expert.
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