Can You Mix Semi-Gloss & Flat Paint?

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Mixing semi-gloss and flat paint will product paint with a satin sheen. Satin paint provides durability with a little sheen, but it can be difficult trying to match a mixed paint. Consider buying satin paint instead of mixing two paints with advice from a remodeling contractor in this free video on home improvements and repairs.

Part of the Video Series: Home Improvements & Repairs
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Tim Gipson. I'm going to talk about if you can mix flat and semi gloss paint. Now, the simple answer is you can mix flat and semi gloss paint, and you would end up with what we call a satin paint, which would be a lower sheen, so it'd be a sheen of paint that is somewhere between a flat and a semi gloss. Now, the real question is whether you'd really want to do that or not. Now this particular wall back here is a satin paint, so as you can see, it's got just a little bit of a sheen to it. So it's got a little bit more reflection of light than what you'd have in a flat. And being able to have a satin based paint is nice, because it gives you a surface that's really good in kitchens or bathrooms, that's washable and scrubbable and more durable than what a flat based paint is, yet it's got a low enough sheen that it won't show a lot of imperfections in the wall. Now, the problem with mixing a flat paint and a semi gloss is that, depending on how much flat you use and how much semi gloss you use will depend on....will determine the amount of sheen that you have in that. So, if you were to mix those two paints and then, say, paint this room, and then have to come back and do touch-up, well, if you didn't have any paint left over, and you had to mix those paints back, it'd be very difficult to get the right amount of sheen to be able to match. And any difference in the brightness or the reflectance of the paint, which is the sheen, then, you're going to notice any touch up spots on that. So the best thing to do if you're looking for something like a satin-type of sheen to your paint, is, there are plenty of paints that are formulated in colors and that are specifically designed with that luster. So, you can go and you can buy that at the home improvement or hardware and paint store, and just ask specifically for that satin product. And that's going to be much better than trying to mix. But, you know, if you just have a small, little project, and you have some flat and semi gloss and you want a little lower sheen, and it's just a one time deal, then by all means, you can mix your flat and semi gloss paint. So I'm Tim Gipson, answering the question if you can mix paints or not. Thanks.


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