Best way to prepare to paint over high gloss paint?

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I'm painting an acrylic front door a very deep red. I've primed and then applied the first coat. I've read that I need to lightly scuff it before the second coat. On the parts shown in the photo, I'm not sure if sandpaper should be used because it has the ins and outs that will be hard to do. OR, I read that using TSP instead of sandpaper works fine or also a de-glosser instead of sanding. What would be best? Would TSP or a de-glosser be harmful?


ALSO, a while back I painted a small bathroom a lightish brown in high gloss but now want to paint it again in a lighter color and a satin finish. So, the same questions apply to it.

q best way to prepare to paint over high gloss paint
  14 answers
  • I always sand, but have read that you can use a deglosser. Not much sanding is needed - just a slight scuff to help the adhesion of the second coat. In the bathroom, I would scuff the paint before painting again. Good luck with your projects!


  • Dee Dee on Jan 12, 2022

    I have always cleaned the glossy paint with a good cleaner degreaser, rinsed well, and let dry completely. Then I use a good primer such as BIN123 or Kilz pro. You can sand the primer lightly or not. If you are painting light over dark use 2 coats of primer.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jan 12, 2022

    Hi Louise: You can use a product like liquid sandpaper on your next project, but acrylic paint doesn't need to be sanded between coats. However, that being said, if you sand lightly, you may get a longer lasting and better finish. Since this is not a really smooth surface, I'd forego the sanding and just put on another coat or two.


    Here's a site about painting front doors:


    https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/read-this-before-you-paint-your-front-door


    Good luck

  • William William on Jan 12, 2022

    You don't need to sand whether glossy or not. Just clean it well. Like Dee says, prime with BIN 123 or Kilz. I always prime and like to use Kilz no matter what i paint. Then paint your color. You don't need to sand the finish paint in between coats.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 12, 2022

    Hello, You needed to Prime then undercoat and then 2 coats of top coat for the best finish. Your paint may well bubble off because it was not done correctly.

    • Louise Louise on Jan 12, 2022

      I primed my door with Zinsser 1-2-3 and then applied the first coat of the hi-gloss deep red. What did I do wrong?



  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 12, 2022

    Sanding is up to you, although not really necessary with Kilz, a product I am familiar with. Just prime with Kilz, let dry and then paint. You have the option of sanding between two applications of Kilz, it really does not matter.

    • Louise Louise on Jan 12, 2022

      Before I started painting the front door, I called Sherwin-Williams to see if I needed two coats of primer and I was told one was fine. So I applied primer, waited a full day and then applied the first coat of red hi-gloss. I've read that sanding lightly between the hi-gloss coats was necessary because "shiny doesn't stick to shiny" and a tiny amt of sanding was needed to get good adherence. Then I read online that using highly diluted TSP could substitute for sanding. So I'm confused by all that I'm hearing.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 13, 2022

    I used to work for a Paint and a Woodfinish Company and I gave you their reccommendations. I have never heard of the product you used to prime. If it was a short cut product - that's where you went wrong. If you take the time and do it right you should not have any problems.


  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 13, 2022

    When I paint using enamel (which is a high gloss), I prep before hand with lightly scuffing using steel wool then clean with TSP. I prime with Kilz. Then paint the first coat of paint. After it dries, I apply a second coat with no prepping of the first coat. I've been doing this for over 20 years and have never had any issues.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 13, 2022

    I always give it a light sanding. The paint needs something to hold onto when applied. Plus it is MUCH cheaper then buying a deglosser. The better the prep work the better the final outcome.

  • TSP is a cleaner really more than a deglosser. You can use sanding blocks which are rectangular and will fit in there. Sanding is your best option and it doesn't have to be perfect as it's essentially just a quick dash over it.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Jan 14, 2022

    I have always used liquid sandpaper/deglosser. Just follow the directions carefully and use a liberal amount. If the finish is in good condition with no drips or bad areas from the previous paint job, there is no need to sand. Use a primer that is made to stick to glossy surfaces. This is what "grabs" on to the previous paint. Don't use cheap primer. Also, on this deep color, I would do two thin coats of primer. Don't expect the first coat of primer to erase the red. With the second (thin) coat, you should have the red gone or barely visible. Remember that primer is not paint and it will not give you a finished look. What it will do is knock down the dark color which allows your new color to cover much easier and the primer sticks to the former paint job and holds the new paint.

    • Louise Louise on Jan 15, 2022

      This is a new acrylic door, came to me from the store white. I put Rustoleum's Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 gray primer on it and after a day, put the first coat of the red which is seen in the photo.

  • Annie Annie on Jan 15, 2022

    No need to sand between coats.


  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jan 18, 2022

    No take fine sand paper. Sand by hand the whole thing to be painted the paint will stick better