You might be wondering if it’s possible to paint over satin. Imagine having a house painted with satin, and you wish to change the paint but don’t know how.

Yes, painting over satin is possible. You can paint over satin using eggshell paint, flat, or any other finish.

In this article, I will be showing you how you can paint over satin, using eggshell paint and matte paint.

can you paint over satin

Satin Paint

Satin reflects more light than eggshells, however slightly. It contains a high gloss level, enabling it to add more depth to small spaces. In addition, satin paint is more durable, thus, making it a good option for high-traffic and moisture-prone areas of the home. This paint type is also easy to wipe clean.

Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint finishes are low-luster, having a very subtle sheen comparable to an eggshell surface. This paint is a paint sheen or gloss which looks flat but with a slight gloss to it. It is between satin paint sheens and matte.

Matte Paint

It is otherwise referred to as flat paint. Matte finishes have a low gloss percentage; thus, they do not reflect much light. This makes them perfect for concealing any surface imperfections. Matte finishes contain a lot of pigments, making them easy and quick to apply to more extensive surfaces, although they are the most challenging paint type to clean.

How to Paint Over Satin

You can Paint over satin using:

  • Eggshell paint
  • Matte/Flat paint

To paint over satin, materials used for eggshell paint and matte paint differ. The table below shows the materials for each.

Trisodium PhosphateSpackling
PrimerPutty knife
Scotch Brite spongePainter’s tape
Drop clothsPaintbrush/roller

How to Paint Over Satin Using Eggshell Paint

Materials needed: Trisodium phosphate, rag, primer, paintbrush/roller, paint, sandpaper, Scotch Brite sponge, drop cloths.

If the satin paint is fresh, you can paint over it with eggshell paint immediately. In contrast, if the satin paint has taken a while, perhaps some weeks, you will need to prepare the walls first. Preparing the walls will also include sanding and priming of the walls. Below are the steps involved when painting over satin using eggshell paint.

STEP1: Figure out the Paint Type

The first step is determining the satin type, which means you will need to figure out whether the satin paint is water-based or oil-based. How can you do this? Kindly check the following paragraph to find out.

You can easily determine whether your satin paint is water-based or oil-based by sanding the walls and analyzing the debris. While sanding, if you notice dust falling off, it means it’s an oil-based paint. However, it indicates water-based paint if you see latex goop gathering on your sandpaper.

STEP 2: Wall Cleaning

It is necessary to clean the wall(s) before painting to remove dirt and grease and also to ensure a smooth application of paint. It would help if you used trisodium phosphate solution to clean and rinse well with warm water. Afterward, leave the wall/surface for 48 hours for it to thoroughly dry before carrying out the next step.

STEP 3: Use a Primer

If your satin paint is darker than the new eggshell paint you are applying, you will need a primer. Using a primer will make the paint easier to cover up. However, if the reverse is the case, using a primer might not be necessary.

STEP 4: Application of the Eggshell Paint

By now, it is expected that you already have a smooth surface to work on. To apply your eggshell paint, you will need a paintbrush and roller. If the paint is latex, it is best to use a brush having synthetic bristles; however, if it’s oil-based paint, I would recommend a brush with natural bristles vs synthetic ones.

Using a roller, apply your eggshell paint in an “M” or “W” shape, more like an up-and-down motion. Doing so will help provide an even coating. For areas of the surface that are hard to reach and for the edges, you can use a brush.

Before moving on to the next step, it is necessary to leave ample time before applying the second coat, which should be at least 5 hours, or you can wait overnight instead. You can also check the manufacturer guidelines for the drying time.

STEP 5: Make Adjustments

This step is where you will need the Scotch Brite sponge to even out imperfections on the walls. How to do this? Lightly scuff the surface with the Scotch Brite sponge. It helps to de-gloss the paint and removes drips, streaks, and other imperfections.

For areas that require more attention, such as big droplets of paint, 120- or 150- grit sandpaper is okay. If the sandpaper doesn’t work, scrape them off and use a razor blade to flatten the surface. Once you are done with the adjustments, wipe the walls with a rag/cloth to remove any dust and debris.

STEP 6: Apply the Second Paint Coat

Once you are done with the adjustments, you can apply the second layer of paint. It would be best to apply it in a thin, even layer. Do this carefully to avoid messing up the whole project and to save you from the stress of making corrections.

How to Paint Over Satin Using Matte

Matte is the same as flat and can be used over satin. One clear difference between matte and satin is that matte paints have no sheen and contain more pigmentation, thus requiring fewer coats, while satin paints possess a higher gloss and make small spaces appear more prominent. To paint over satin using matte, kindly check out the steps below:

STEP 1: Prepare the Walls

To prepare the walls you want to paint, fill holes with spackling and smooth them with a putty knife. In addition, sand any rough spots and ensure the walls are clean. You will need to clean the walls with a damp wash cloth, regardless of whether the walls are interior, to remove any dirt or dust and ensure you obtain the best quality paint job.

STEP 2: Use a Sandpaper

Sandpaper is needed in this step to help the paint and primer stick to the wall and also to increase the longevity of the paint. You can run light sandpaper over the finished walls before painting.

STEP 3: Taping & Trimming

Using painter’s tape, tape all trim and ceiling lines to prevent the new paint from getting onto other surfaces.

STEP 4: Priming

It is essential to prime the walls before painting them. To prime, pour white primer into your paint bucket and run your paintbrush or roller through it. Apply the primer to the walls using the paintbrush/roller. For corners/areas that are difficult to get to, you can use a small brush. A roller can take care of the rest. You can reapply rollers and brushes with paint when necessary.

STEP 5: Paint with Your Matte/ Flat Paint

When you are sure that the primer has dried completely, you can begin painting with your matte paint. Pour the paint into a paint bucket. Afterward, run your paintbrush/roller through the paint and apply it to your walls. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat as needed.


Satin, eggshell, and matte are different paints. You can paint over satin using eggshell or matte, depending on your choice. However, you must prepare the surface and follow the necessary procedures to achieve a desirable result. Kindly share this article with others if you find it helpful. Good luck with your next project!


How can I paint over satin without sanding?

If you wish to paint over satin without sanding, you must start by cleaning the glossy surface using sugar, soap, and water. Once it’s entirely dry, scuff it with a de-glosser and allow it dry for at least 10 minutes. Afterward, apply a suitable primer. Once all that is done, you can start painting.

Which is the best; satin, eggshell, or matte/flat?

When comparing satin with eggshells, satin is more durable and slightly less likely to mark or scuff than eggshells. In addition, it is easier to clean when it does get marked. All these factors make satin a better choice, especially for woodwork such as painting skirting boards, etc.

Between satin and matte, satin is better because satin finishes reflect light more readily than matte finishes, even though they are not as glossy as semi-gloss or glossy finishes. Asides from that, satin finishes tend to give your wood a shiny look that can make the entire room dazzle with style. In contrast, matte finishes give your walls, and other surfaces a smooth but dull appearance. In conclusion, satin is the best.

Can you paint satin over eggshells?

Yes, you can. It’s possible to paint satin over eggshells. However, it will require some preparation and a cleaning process. Flat paint does not stick to the eggshell surface, but satin might stick to the eggshell paint. However, if unsure about it, you can use a primer or rub the surface.

Painting satin over eggshell paint will give you a sheen and a soft textured surface. Thus, when you paint satin over eggshell paint, you will get smooth and glossy-looking paint, but you will need to confirm whether sanding of the surface is necessary or not.