How to Make Clear Coat Flat Matte by Adding Talc

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Talcum powder and other flatteners reduce paint sheen.
Talcum powder and other flatteners reduce paint sheen. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Most home projects seem to have at least one thing go awry. Following directions incorrectly or underestimating labor time are two common examples. Likewise, not having the right supplies on hand may necessitate a frustrating trip to your local hardware store. Sometimes you can figure out a way around the problem. Not having any flat matte clear coat on hand, for example, presents only a small bump in the road if you have talcum powder on hand. A high gloss clear coat combined with talcum powder creates the flat matte look you need with little effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear bowl
  • Talcum powder
  • Paint stirrer stick
  • Paint brush
  • Scrap material

Transfer the clear coat to a clear bowl, either plastic or glass. A clear bowl allows you to see through the clear coat and monitor the effects of the talcum powder. A container with coloring may prevent you from properly seeing how flat the clear coat becomes while you add more talcum powder.

Slowly add talcum powder by shaking a bottle over the bowl. Simultaneously stir the clear coat and talc with a paint stirrer. Keep a close eye on the clear coat while adding the talc. The more you add, the flatter the clear coat's appearance becomes. Stop adding talc when the clear coat reaches the flat matte appearance you desire.

Apply the clear coat to a piece of scrap material to determine if it has the final appearance you want. For example, suppose you're adding clear coat to an outside wooden deck. Apply the talc-infused clear coat to a piece of scrap wood to see what the final product looks like.

Add more talc to the clear coat mixture in the bowl if the clear coat still has too much of a glossy appearance. Test again and use on your project when you finally get the desired flat matte appearance.

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