Skip to Content

Can You Paint Eggshell Over Flat Paint (And Vice Versa)?

Who doesn’t like to repaint their house on a regular basis, right? It enhances the aesthetics of the house and makes it look more lively.

However, you might be wondering if you can paint eggshell over flat paint and vice versa. Let’s find everything you might want to know about eggshells and flat paint.

Can you paint eggshell over flat paint?

You will have to paint the eggshell paint over the flat paint twice to get the perfect finishing. This is because the surface of the flat paint is porous. So, the first eggshell coating over the flat paint will be uneven. The second coating will provide a uniform finish on the entire wall. 

You can successfully paint eggshell over flat paint. However, you will have to apply the eggshell paint twice over the flat paint to get the perfect finishing you want in the entire wall. By painting the eggshell paint over flat paint twice, you will have a smooth and glossy wall.

The first time you will paint eggshell paint over the flat paint, it will be somewhat rough. In fact, the wall also won’t shine the way you want. The reason behind this is that the surface on which the flat paint is used becomes porous.

The second coating of eggshell that you will apply over the flat paint will make the surface of the wall smooth. It will overcome the porous surface and make the entire wall glow and look vibrant. 

However, you will have to apply the eggshell paint the second time only after the first coating dries off completely.

Is eggshell finish the same as flat?

The eggshell finish is not the same as the flat paint finish. The surface on which the flat paint is applied has drastically small gaps through which liquid and air can pass. The eggshell finish doesn’t have any minute interstices. 

As a result, eggshell repels stains better than flat surfaces and can be wiped clean with a cloth.

In addition to that, the shine of an eggshell finish is slightly higher than that of a flat, but it won’t provide you with glowing walls. Children’s rooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic spaces frequently use eggshell finishes.

How to paint eggshell over flat paint?

Painting eggshell over flat paint is not as difficult as it may seem. You will need a little bit of patience and effort to do it perfectly.

Let’s find out how you should paint eggshell paint over flat paint.

Repair the surface:

The surface you are going to paint might have holes from wall hangings or deep scratches. You should repair those imperfections with spackle before starting to paint eggshell over flat paint.

Make the painting area smooth:

There might be a few high points in the spackle. As a result, you should sand down any roughness in the painting area to get the best possible outcome while painting.

Primer the spackled area:

Various imperfections will remain in the spackle even after sanding them down. So, you should primer the spackled spot with the help of a paintbrush.

Clean the surface:

You should clean the wall with soap and water before applying the paint. By washing the surface, you will ensure that the paint properly sets on the wall.

Paint the wall:

Now that you have prepared the region in which you want to apply the paint, it’s time for you to paint the wall. Choose a color combination of the eggshell paint you want to apply over the flat paint. Then gently paint the wall.

To get the perfect glow and finish, you will have to paint the wall a second time. However, make sure to paint the wall for the second time, only after the first layer becomes totally dry.

How do you make eggshell paint look flat over flat paint?

The eggshell paint is quite shiny, whereas the flat paint doesn’t reflect light at all. The eggshell paint does so because it is not completely flat like the flat paint. So, you might wonder if you can make eggshell paint look flat over flat paint. Well, you can do it quite effortlessly.

The first way you can make the eggshell paint look flat over flat paint is by painting over the flat paint only once. The flat paints’ surface has minute gaps. As a result, when you paint only once above the flat paint, the eggshell paint finish will be just like the flat paints’ finish.

However, if you paint the eggshell paint twice over the flat paint, you can make the paint look flat by lightly sanding the eggshell paint. To do so, you should use sandpaper with a high grit.

Can you paint flat paint over eggshell?

The eggshell paint offers a light sheen to enhance the look of the wall. However, the shiny layer interferes with the adhesion of other paints to the surface. So, you can paint flat paint over eggshell only after the eggshell layer is abraded. Otherwise, the flat paint will peel off from the wall. 

It is not possible to successfully paint flat paint over eggshell without proper preparations. The existing coating of the eggshell needs to be abraded naturally or manually.

This is due to the fact that the surface of the eggshell is drastically smooth and slippery, which ensures extra shine and glow on the entire wall. The shiny layer of the eggshell reduces the adhesion capacity of the wall. 

So, if flat paint is applied directly over the eggshell it will come off after a short period of time.

You will have to prepare your wall properly before applying the new flat paint over the eggshell paint if you want the paint to last for a long time. If the existing paint is not that old, you should use high-quality sandpaper to scrape off the top layer of eggshell paint.

How to paint flat over eggshell finish?

Painting flat over eggshell finish is not complicated at all. However, you will have to prepare the surface before painting the wall with flat paint.

Have a look at how you can paint flat over eggshell finish:

Clean the wall:

Dust and dirt will pile up on your walls naturally. To make the flat paint stick perfectly over the eggshell paint you will have to clean the surface before applying the paint.

You can use a broom to brush off the pile of dust from the wall that you will paint on. You can also use soap and water if the wall is drastically dirty. However, make sure to dry off the wall before proceeding to the next step.

Abrade the eggshell finish:

Flat paint won’t stick over the eggshell paint normally because of its excessive smooth. So, you will have to enhance the adhesion level by abrading the eggshell finish.

To abrade the eggshell layer, you should use a palm sander loaded with 180-grit sandpaper. Keep on scouring the finish until it feels rough enough for the flat paint to stick adequately.

Paint flat paint over the eggshell finish:

Now, apply flat paint on the wall with an abraded eggshell finish. You should use a roller for finished surfaces. To paint the wall uniformly, vertically move the roller from left to right. To paint the corners use a paintbrush.

After painting the wall with flat paint, wait for it to dry. If the flat paint finish becomes transparent, apply a second layer.

Does flat paint look darker than eggshell?

The flat paint doesn’t look darker than eggshell paint. In fact, the flat paint looks much lighter than the eggshell paints’ finish in a well-lit place.

The flat paint finish has a chalky look, which makes the color look quite light. It also has minute gaps, which also makes flat paint look light. Flat paint will also brighten up the room as it doesn’t appear to be dark at all.

The surface of the eggshell layer is remarkably smooth and the paint is quite thick. As a result, the eggshell paint doesn’t absorb too much light. In fact, it reflects light and makes the wall look glossy. So, eggshell paint looks darker than flat paint.

Final Thoughts

You can paint eggshell over flat paint and vice versa only if you prepare the wall prior to applying the paint. The eggshell layer needs to be scraped off before applying flat paint due to its excessive smoothness. Then again, you will have to paint the eggshell paint two times over the flat paint.