Can You Paint Eggshell over Satin (How-to guide)

This is a pretty straightforward process, and we’ll be taking you through the steps during this article. 

First though, what’s the difference between these two paints, and what are the pros and cons of each? Let’s take a look…

Eggshell paint 

Eggshell has a slightly matte finish that resembles the smooth surface of, well, an eggshell. It conceals surface imperfections well thanks to its lower reflectivity, it’s cheap to purchase, and is easy to apply. The downside is that it’s not as durable or easy to clean as satin paint, which makes it less than ideal for high-traffic areas of the home. 

Satin paint 

Satin reflects slightly more light than eggshell and has a soft sheen to it. The higher level of gloss allows it to add more depth to small spaces, and it’s also more durable, which makes it a good option for high traffic and moisture-prone areas of the home. It’s also easier to wipe clean. 

How-to guide: painting eggshell over satin 

Before you start, make sure you have everything you need to get the job finished, including: 

  • Trisodium Phosphate
  • Rag 
  • Primer
  • Paint Brush & Roller
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper (120- or 150- grit)
  • Scotch Brite sponge
  • Drop Cloths

To prep or not to prep? 

If the satin paint is fresh, you can paint over it with the eggshell paint straight away. 

However, if the paint job is older than a couple of weeks, you’ll need to prep the walls first, including sanding and priming the walls. 

Check out the steps below to find out how to do this. 

Step 1: determine the paint type 

While it’s tempting to dive straight in, you first need to determine whether the satin paint that’s currently on your wall is water or oil-based. 

You can find out by sanding the walls and analyzing the debris. 

If you notice dust falling off as you sand, this is an indicator of oil-based paint, while water-based paint is recognizable by the latex goop that will gather on your sandpaper. 

You’ll need to match your eggshell paint accordingly to get the best results. 

Step 2: clean the wall 

Before painting any wall, you should clean the surface to remove any dirt and grease and ensure a smooth application of paint. Use a trisodium phosphate solution to do this, and rinse well with warm water afterward.

After cleaning, wait 48 hours for the walls to thoroughly dry before moving onto the next step, otherwise, the paint won’t stick to the surface properly. 

Step 3: use a primer (optional)

Using a primer is necessary if your satin paint is darker than the new eggshell paint you’ll be applying. This will make the paint easier to cover up, otherwise, using a primer isn’t necessary for satin paint. 

Step 4: apply the eggshell paint 

Now you’re finally ready to apply your eggshell paint, and you should have a thoroughly smooth surface to work with. 

You’ll need a paintbrush and roller for applying your paint. For latex paint, it’s best to use a brush with synthetic bristles, whereas for oil-based paint, natural bristles work best.

Use a roller to apply your paint in a ‘W’ or ‘M’ shape - this up and down motion will provide an even coating - while the brush can be used for the edges and any hard-to-reach areas. 

It’s important to leave ample time before applying the second coat, so check the manufacturer guidelines for the drying time. This will be at least 5 hours, but ideally, you should wait overnight before moving onto the next step. 

Step 5: correct any imperfections 

You’ll now need to even out imperfections on the walls, and for this you can lightly scuff the surface with a scotch Brite sponge. This works to de-gloss the paint, as well as get rid of streaks, drips, and other imperfections. 

For areas that need more attention, such as big droplets of paint, you can use 120- or 150- grit sandpaper. If the sandpaper doesn’t do the job on big drips, scrape them off and use a razor blade to flatten the surface. 

Once you’ve finished correcting any imperfections, wipe the walls with a rag to remove any dust and debris. 

Step 6: Apply the second coat of paint 

Once you’ve corrected any droplets and streaks, it’s time to apply your second layer of paint. Apply the paint in a thin, even layer. Do this as carefully as possible, as if you mess up, you’ll have to go back and make corrections before reapplying another layer of paint. 

Can you paint over satin paint without sanding?

It’s possible to paint over satin paint without sanding, however, sanding is always a good idea because it evens out any imperfections and provides you with an even surface to paint on. If you don’t sand the walls, you should certainly clean them twice with a rag and water to remove any grime and debris. 

Is eggshell or satin more durable?

Satin is often the paint of choice in high traffic areas as it’s more durable. This is because of its higher sheen. This means that it’s been formulated with less pigment and more binders - ie. resins that make the paint more flexible, tough, and able to stand up again wear and tear. 

Which is easier to clean, satin or eggshell?

Again, satin is generally easier to clean. Its slicker surface makes it easier to wipe down and remove debris, dirt, mildew, and dust. Eggshell contains more pigments, and as a result, has a rougher surface which requires more elbow grease to get clean. 

Final Say 

It’s easy enough to paint over satin paint with eggshell, and we hope this article has helped show you how. The main thing to remember when painting any wall is to adequately prep the surface beforehand, as this will ensure far more even and professional results. 

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