For anyone who loves working with wood, it is a fundamental requirement to know how to dull a glossy finish. If you love woodworking, you will indeed have a problem like this many times in your career. You sprayed a more polished finish then you expected it to be. Or, maybe your purchased workpiece will look much better with less gloss. For all such cases, you should know how to dull a glossy finish. The extra hard-work is worth the outcome. You can achieve it just by using some necessary woodworking tools. Here we will discuss the steps on how to dull a glossy finish.
First Method: Sanding Out The Gloss
This method requires you to sand out the layers of the glossy finish. You should be cautious while performing this step. While removing the layers by sanding them, you should always be very careful if you aren’t sure how thick the finish is. You might end up sanding through the finish and scratching your material if your finish is thin. You surely don’t want to do that. You will most probably get the desired results for most of the project by this method. But, if you are not satisfied, you can always try a different method. Use another method by initially trying to sand out the gloss finish.
The steps for sanding out the gloss are:-
Total Time: 45 Mins
Step 1: Check If Your Finish Is Thick Or Thin
The first step is to be sure if you will be working on a thick or thin finish. If you aren’t sure about it and you over sand the finish, you might end up damaging your material. For a thick finish, you can use sandpaper with 200 or 300 grit. If working with a thin finish, you might want to work with high grit sandpaper. They won’t remove as much finish as the lower grit ones. You should use sandpaper with higher grit when you are unsure about how to think your finish is.
Step 2: Sanding
Use lower grit sandpaper with 200 or 300 grit while working with a thick finish. Once you are ready with the sandpaper, add some mineral spirits (or even soapy water would work) on the surface you want to work on. Now, start sanding the surface. Once you are done sanding, you need to wipe down the surface. Then perform the same process using another grit.
For a thin finish, start the process with a 400 grit sandpaper. Check the outcome once you begin using 600 grit sandpaper. If the outcome is satisfactory, clean the surface, and you are good to go. You did it!
But, if you have done more sanding than it was required, don’t stop. Keep sanding the finish by using higher grit sandpaper. Use a wet 800 grit sandpaper until you get the desired results. You can use the higher grit sandpaper like 1000 or 1200 grit if you are still not happy with the results. Keep moving to the higher grit sandpaper till you get the desired outcome.
Step 3: Polishing
You can remedy the uneven parts left by sanding by using a polishing compound. Pour some polishing compound on the buffing pad, which is attached to the orbital sander. Start polishing the surface with a coarse compound. Polish it without applying any extra pressure to the sander. The sander will get your work done.
Wipe the surface with soapy water using a soft cloth once you are done buffing. Repeat the process using a finer compound if you want to restore some gloss.
Second Method: Sanding And Refinishing
- You can use this method if you are not happy with the results from the previous method. You will surely achieve the desired outcome. Start this method by removing the polishing compound applied to your workpiece. Use naphtha or any similar solvent to remove the polish. Then, using a 220 grit sandpaper, give it a quick once over for roughing up the finish. Now, you need to provide something the new lacquer can stick to.
- Let the surface be completely dry and then start spraying the finish. Start by spraying a light coat and let it dry for 30 minutes. This will give you a good idea of how the finish will look. You can apply the second layer if you want some more gloss, then wait for 30 minutes to see how it looks.
Things You Would Need
Different methods require different materials to work with. According to the steps discussed here, you will need the following supplies:-
- Orbital Sander- Its requirement depends on the extent of matte finish you want.
- Wet/dry sandpaper or sanding blocks from 220-1200 grit- You will need a variety of sandpaper. The sandpaper must be of almost every grit. Even finer sandpaper can come in handy.
- Polishing pads- They are used for removing swirl marks of sandpaper.
- 0000 steel wool- It is used for cleaning, polishing, buffing, and refinishing.
- Coarse polishing compound- These needs to be used with the orbital sander. Get both a coarse as well as a finer one.
- Paintbrush or Spray finish- A spray finish is recommended over a paintbrush. But both of them can be used to apply polish.
- Mineral spirits- You need them for removing the finish with the sandpaper.
- Clean dust cloths- Microfibre or any cotton cloth will be okay. Keep a few pieces ready as they get dirty quickly.
Safety Tips To Follow While You Dull A Glossy Finish
- The workplace should be well ventilated.
- A mask should be worn while working.
- Wear goggles to protect your eyes from vapors and dust
1. What is a gloss finish?
It is a term used to describe the amount of light reflected by paint or stain.
2. Can a mat finish be put over a gloss finish?
Yes, it is possible, but you first need to sand the surface using a 300 grit sandpaper.
3. Is it possible to paint over the gloss?
Yes, you can do that. It will be a lengthy process, and you will have to start by sanding the surface. It will remove all the surface that makes it challenging to paint.
4. Is it possible to dull gloss paint?
Yes, by adding some more pigment, you can dull your gloss paint. The washability of the surface will be reduced because pigments are porous and nondurable.
5. How can you make a polyurethane finish less glossy?
You need to hand rub the polyurethane finish with wipe on Varnish or Oil to make it less glossy.
Our simple guide on how to dull a glossy finish will always come handy. Every woodworker will need these techniques many times in their career. Getting a glossy finish is an effortless task, but making the same dull can be quite a hassle. The methods mentioned here will surely help you achieve the desired outcome. With proper preparation, you can achieve perfection.