Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

How To Dull Glossy Finish?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

If you are a woodworker, you may meeta paint finish that is glossier than you prefer. Perhaps you chose a spray that did not turn out as you had anticipated. Or maybe you bought a used item and want to give it a new look.Typically, some manual work is involved. However, the end product makes the labor worthwhile when done correctly. Plus, just because it’s a little time-consuming doesn’t mean itis challenging

Glossy finishes are popular in a variety of fixtures and goods. As a DIY lover or expert carpenter, you maywant to swap out the shiny look for more matte finishes at some point. Learning how to dull a glossy surface will come in handy. Let’s go over the best approaches

Method Of Dull Glossy Finish

There are several methods for dulling an overly glossyfinish. To do this, you’ll need:

How To Dull Glossy Finish

  • Orbital sander: The use of an orbital sander is dependent on the degree of matte finish desired.
  • Wet/dry sandpaper/sanding blocks (grits ranging from 220 to 1200): You will need a range of sandpaper. Almost every grit of sandpaper is required. Even finer sandpaper can be useful.
  • Pads for polishing: They are used to remove sandpaper swirl marks.
  • Spirits of mineral origin: These are required to remove the finish with sandpaper.
  • 0000 steel wool: This type of wool is used for refinishing, cleaning, buffing, and polishing.
  • Matte, satin, or semi-gloss finish
  • Paintbrush if you’re not going for a spray finish: A spray finish is preferable to a paintbrush finish. However, both can be used to apply polish.
  • Compound for coarse polishing: They should be used with an orbital sander. Get both a coarse and a finer one.
  • Clean dustclothsmicrofibre or cotton cloths will suffice. Keep a few pieces on hand because they get dirty quickly.

Sanding And Polishing

This technique necessitates sanding away the glossy finish layers. This step should be donewith caution. If you’re removing layers via sanding, you should always be cautious if you don’t know how thick the finish is. If it is thin, you can sand through and damage your furniture. You wouldn’t want that. These are the steps for dulling the glossiness.

Sanding And Polishing

Confirm the thickness of your finish

If you are dealing with a thin finish, you should use high grit sandpaper. Use 200 or 300 grit sandpaper fora thick finish. When you’re unsure what kind of finish you are dealing with, use sandpaper with a higher grit, as they will not remove as much finish as the lower grit options.


  • Pour some mineral spirits or soapy water on the surface.
  • Sand the surface now, thenwipe itdown.
  • Repeat the process using a different grit.

If you sand morethan was necessary, do not stop. Continue sanding the finish with higher grit sandpaper like a wet 800 gritssandpaper. If you are still dissatisfied with the results, you can use higher grit sandpaper, such as 1000 or 1200 grits, until you achieve the desired result.


You can use a polishing compound to smooth up the uneven spots created by sanding.

  • Put some polishing liquid on the buffing pad.
  • Polish the area with a coarse compound.
  • When you’re through polishing, use a soft cloth to wipe down the surface with soapy water.
  • If you want to add some gloss, do it again with a finer compound.

Sanding And Finishing

Sanding And Finishing

The polishing Compound should be removed

If you used a polishing chemical, use naphtha or another solvent to remove it first.

The object should then be sanded with 220 grit sandpaper. This will make the current finish rough so that the new finish can adhere easily.

Dry after cleaning

Thoroughly clean and dry the hardwood surface since you’re using a new finish.

Wipe the surface clean. Chemical cleaners should be avoided because they may fail to mix appropriatelywith the finish.

Use a New Finish

Finish with a light layer of the new finish. A thin coat dries more quickly.

Apply a second light coat if you wish to. Allow it to dry completely. Then, if needed, apply a third light coat.


Assuming the furniture you’re working on includes glossy metal fixtures, and you want to achievea more matte appearance; this is how to degloss the finish

Remove the Metal Parts

If the metal elements on the piececan be removed, degloss them separatelyfrom the wood. If not, cover the woodensurface with cloth strips to protect it.

Use a deglosser

  • Apply some liquid deglosser on a piece of cloth and rub it over the metal partin a circular motion.
  • Continue to apply deglosser with the cloth, changing it regularly to avoid getting dirt glued to the surface.
  • After a half-hour, check the furniture. Use a brush to apply another coat of deglosser if it’s still too glossy. Allow it to dry.
  • Repeat this stepuntil the artwork has been deglossed to your liking.

Spray the Varnish on

  • Shake the can well before spraying; take the can about 4inches away when spraying.
  • Spray as evenly as possible throughout the surface.
  • Allow 10 minutes for it to dry. Apply another layer of spray.
  • Allow three hours for the item to dry.

The top layer of varnish will protect the finish.


It’s also possible that the piece you’re working on contains plastic components that you’d like to dull. You can do this by brushing with a Scotch Brite scouring pad. Brush the surface made up of plastic in a circular motion. Brush harder in the same directionfora more brushed appearance.

Can You Make Gloss Paint Satin?

Can You Make Gloss Paint Satin

You canconvert semi-gloss paint to satin. Satin is a finish that falls between flat and semi-gloss and has a subtle gloss. It is attractive and works well in settings where a subtle gloss is desired. The issue with this method is that you don’t know how glossy or flat your finish will turn out. If you decide to change the gloss paint to satin, here are the steps:

  • Put the paint ina bucket. Use only half of what you’ll need. Each gallon of interior paint covers 400 square feet (on average). Begin with 1 quart of the semi-gloss for a 200-square-foot wall.
  • Pour in an equal amount of flat paint.
  • Combine thoroughly. Submerge the mix in the water, then turn on the drill and mix thoroughly.
  • Apply a small amount on the wall, and allow to dry. Examine the final result and look at it from the corner and front. Because it is your personalized finish, you can choose the shine. Use some semi-gloss for a bit more sheen; add additional flat paint for less glow.
  • Re-test to ensure a satisfying finish.

Can You Sand Down Gloss Paint?

Can You Sand Down Gloss Paint

You can:

  • Using a mixture of TSP and hotwater, clean the entire piece and allow the wood to dry completely.
  • Sanding every surface with 220 grit sandpaper and an orbital sander is advisable.
  • Before you begin, you must determine the thickness of your piece’s top coat. Sand it down with 220- or 320-grit sandpaper if it’s too thick.
  • If it’s a thin surface or you’re unsure, start with 400-grit to avoid removing too much top layer.
  • After you’ve rubbed the surface all over, rinse it with soapy water.
  • If you want to bring back the gloss, use800-grit sandpaper and continue rubbing until the required shine is achieved.
  • You can go as fine as 1400-grit granularity. A higher grit sandpaper will give you a smoother, satin finish. If you don’t have a huge portion, you can alternatively use fine steel wool.

Other alternatives for dulling a glossy finish are:

  • Polyurethane Application involves puttinga base coat of gloss water- or oil-based polyurethane and allowing it to dry, andscuffingit with 220-gritsandpaper until you get your desiredfinish.
  • Repaintings utilizing a silver metallic layer or an iron paint added to a tin foil.

Dulling A Glossy Finish: Safety Tips

  • When working with chemicals or instruments, safety should bea top priority.
  • Ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated space.
  • When working, put on a nose mask.
  • Keep highly flammable paints far from fires to avoid any explosion while working.
  • When working with chemicals or spray paints, be extra careful.
  • Put on goggles; otherwise, fumes and particles may irritate your eyes.

Final word

Anyone who loves woodworking should understand how to dull a glossy finish. You can remove or restore a glossy finish on any wooden piece using only woodworking equipment you can easily access at the supermarket.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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