How to Dull Glossy Finish With 7 Easy Methods?

At some point in their career, any artist will have to deal with the problem of how to dull a glossy finish. 

Maybe you applied a glossier finish than you intended, or maybe you bought a piece of high-gloss furniture at a garage sale that would look much cooler if it wasn’t so shiny. 

While achieving a higher gloss finish is easy, dulling a high gloss finish requires a little more effort, and it’s understandable that a beginner would be hesitant to take on this project. 

Any artist will come across a glossier-than-desired paint finish at some stage. Perhaps you selected a spray that did not perform as anticipated. Or maybe you bought something secondhand and want to give it a new lease on life.

It is, however, necessary to remove the excess gleam. In most cases, you’ll need to put in some effort. However, if done correctly, the end result is well worth the effort.

Today, we’ll go over a few pointers that will show you how to quickly dull a glossy finish.

Why is it required to have a glossy finish that is dulled?

That is the most fundamental inquiry that everybody who comes across the weird title of our article will ask. But, if you’re wondering who it’s about, the answer is simple. 

First and foremost, we have no problem with a gleaming, sharp piece of metal. However, for the purposes of dΓ©cor (primarily), a rustic, silvery piece would be preferable. And, if you have a passion for antique, bringing culture to your garden or lawn, this would offer a lot more value. 

There might be a few additional reasons why you’re seeking methods on how to dull shining galvanised metal besides providing your garden, lawn, or even your living area a retro vibe.

To dull the glossy finish, what instruments are required?

There are a variety of methods for dulling a shiny sheen. We’ll list everything you could need, but depending on the approach you use, you might not need everything. 

The following is a general list of hand tools that you could require.

  1. Sanding blocks
  2. Polishing Pad
  3. Polyurethane
  4. Primer:
  5. Paint:
  6. Paint brushes
  7. Cloth for cleaning

How to dull glossy finish?

There are a few different ways to achieve a matte finish depending on your preferences. The best methods will be outlined in this article.

Method 1: Removing the gloss by sanding

When attempting to dull a gloss finish, this approach should be your first port of call. On certain programmes, this will be the only way that will get you the results you want. 

If you begin by sanding off the gloss finish, you’ll always be able to go back and use a new approach if you’re unhappy with the outcome. 

Keep in mind that sanding the finish will remove layers of the finish, so continue with caution if you’re not sure how thick the finish is. 

If the finish is too thin, you risk sanding right through it, which is a challenge you don’t want to encounter. 

Start with coarse sandpaper, such as 220 or 300 grit, if the finish is thick. If you’re uncertain about the thickness of the finish, start with a higher grit sandpaper that will lose less of it. Start with 400 grit sandpaper in this situation.

Apply any soapy water or mineral spirits to the piece’s top, and then begin sanding it. It’ll be perfect with just a short once-over. When you’re finished, clean off the surface and start again with the next grit. 

Clean the surface fully until you’ve hit 600 grit and have a look at your job. At this point, you might be satisfied with the findings. If that’s the case, the job is done; all you have to do now is scrub the surface and sit back and relax.

Continue sanding with finer grit sandpapers if the finish seems to be being too dull. Start by wet sanding with an 800 grit sandpaper, and then double-check the work to ensure that the finish is satisfactory. If it’s all too boring, try 1000 grit. Go to 1200 grit after that.

Method 2: Sanding and Polishing

You should use a polishing compound if the finish is either too dull or if there are a couple of swirl marks in the finish after you’ve finished sanding. 

Clean the surface with soapy water and a soft cloth until you’ve done buffing. Repeat the buffing process with a finer polishing compound if you want to restore more shine to the finish.

Method 3: Sanding and again refinishing

It’s perfectly fine if you’re not happy with the performance you got from sanding. This approach can be a surefire way to get a satisfactory result. 

You’ll need to start by removing the polishing compound you’ve used. This can be done with naphtha or a related solvent. After that, give the finish a fast sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to rough it up and give the fresh lacquer something to adhere to. 

Make sure the surface is absolutely clean and dried before applying the polish. Then apply a light coat of your chosen finish to the piece. 

You can use matte, satin, or semi-gloss depending on the amount of gloss you want to obtain. Since a soft clear coat dries easily, you should have a decent idea of how the finished product would look in about a half hour. 

Add another light coat or two of your finish if you’re pleased with the way it looks, then let it dry and cure.

Method 4: De-glossing Method

Let’s say you’re working on a piece of furniture with shiny metal accessories, such as handles and locks, and you want to make them look more matte. Don’t worry, it’s easy to do.

Remove the metal parts from the furniture piece if they can be separated and worked on separately from the wood. If they can’t be covered, shield the wood surface by covering it with strips of fabric.

Rub the metal element with a cloth soaked in liquid deglosser. When doing so, make a circular gesture. To stop dirt sticking to the paper, keep applying deglosser with the fabric and adjusting it regularly. 

Review the piece after a half-hour wait. Apply a second layer of de-glosser with a brush if it’s already too shiny. Allow it to dry for a few minutes. Continue until the piece has been de-glossed to your satisfaction.

Method 5: Brushing Method

It’s possible that the piece you’re working on has plastic pieces that you’d like to dull as well. A basic brushing technique may be used to do this. 

A Scotch Brite scouring pad is what you’ll require. Brush the plastic part’s surface evenly back and forth. Brush with more intensity for a more brushed result, but make sure to keep brushing in the same direction.

Method 6: Use of Polyurethane

Polyurethane isn’t the most elegant wood finish, because it rubs off more easily than lacquer or shellac. Using a hardening spray, such as tung oil, to change the sheen from high gloss to satin or matte is a safe way to do it.

Scuff it with 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper after applying a base coat of gloss water- or oil-based polyurethane. Apply a second coat if necessary. Depending on the type of finish you choose, you can either rub out this coat or scuff it and add a third coat. Sand with 400-grit or finer wet/dry sandpaper to cuff the finish to make the paper cut the finish more quickly, lubricate it with a little water.

Using a smooth cotton fabric, apply a small amount of tung oil, boiled linseed oil, or teak oil. Working with the grain of the wood, rub the oil into the finish. 

Continue rubbing until there is just a slight amount of oil left on the wood. Allow to dry overnight before rubbing with a clean cloth or lambs wool buffer again.

Method 7: Repaint

It’s time to give our gleaming metal the paint we want on the outside. And this is accomplished by using a silver metallic coating. The paint, on the other hand, is often optional. 

The silver one, on the other hand, seems to be very antique. Allow the paint to dry after you’ve applied two or three coats of it on a regular basis. Remember that using so much of this colour might destroy the design or pattern on the metal surface.

Instead of silver paint, the iron paint must first be added to the tin foil before being applied to the wall. When you’re done, you can also add it to the recessed regions. You’ll need a chip brush that’s brittle enough to add it to the recessed regions. A couple of coats of iron paint with the chip brush should suffice.

What care do we take to keep the glossy coating from dulling?

When dealing around tools or chemicals, safety is still a priority. When faced with a glossy finish that has become dull, you should be careful to observe the steps below.

πŸ‘‰ Make certain you’re working in a well-ventilated environment.

πŸ‘‰ Still put on a mask.

πŸ‘‰ Paints can be flammable, so keep them away from heat and flames.

πŸ‘‰ When it comes to spray painting or toxic compounds, be particularly cautious.

πŸ‘‰ Goggles are also recommended to shield the eyes from the dust and vapors.

You can read our blog on satin vs gloss finish


Finally, if you’re looking for a way to dull a glossy finish, the methods mentioned above are your best bets. Starting with the first option is usually the most cost-effective, and it isn’t any more labor-intensive than refinishing. 

However, if the finish is badly damaged, you can begin refinishing right away. It might take a lot of elbow grease to go from a high gloss to a matte finish, and it could be more hassle than you want to take on. If this is the case, move on to refinishing.

Any DIY artist worth his (or her) salt should be able to dull a glossy surface. You’ll have to learn how to strip glossy finishes easily and effectively whether you’re an expert or a hobbyist at some stage. 

You’ll be able to take the art working to the next step after you’ve grasped this concept.

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