How to Prepare Gloss Paint for Repainting


Painting over glossy surfaces presents one problem: the very thing that creates the gloss makes the surface less porous, and harder for a new coat of paint to stick to it without peeling, bubbling or cracking. Whether the surface you want to repaint is semi-gloss or high-gloss, you'll have to "take down" the gloss by sanding or using a chemical deglosser. Sanding is harder work, but safer for the environment than using harsh chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarp
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Primer
  • Spread out a tarp to cover furniture, rugs and floors. Put on a dust mask and safety glasses to protect yourself from paint and plaster particles.

  • Sand the wall from top to bottom, working in smooth, even strokes from the ceiling to the baseboard. Work in 2- to 3-foot sections. You don't have to sand every bit of shine from the gloss paint; just rough it up evenly.

  • Vacuum the wall with a soft brush and hose attachment to suck up the dust and paint particles when you are done sanding. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is ideal for this task. Finish by wiping the wall surface with a damp cloth to pick up anything that remains.

  • Pour a third of the can of primer into a paint tray. Cut in the corners, ceiling line and baseboard lines with a 3-inch trim brush. Wash out the trim brush and set it aside to dry.

  • Roll the paint roller through the primer in the tray until it is well-coated. Roll it onto the wall in long, smooth, crossing strokes for uniform coverage. The primer will form a bond with the scuffed wall underneath and create a tacky surface to help your topcoat cling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put paint-covered brushes in resealable plastic bags if you want to use them on another wall later. They will keep without stiffening for up to two days in this manner.
  • Ventilate your workspace properly when using paints, primers, or sanding equipment. Open windows and doors, and turn on fans to keep air moving.

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