How to Change Paint Sheen {Tipsy Tuesday #19}

Hellooo, Doodlers! I’ve got a quick little tip for you this week- how to change paint sheen. Have you ever wanted to use a particular spray paint color, and it only came in gloss- but you wanted matte or satin? Or your favorite brush-on varnish only comes in gloss and satin, but both are a tad too shiny?


How to Change Paint Sheen from Gloss to Matte |


Well, I hear ya- I frequently have this dilemma. In these pictures, you’ll see that I sprayed a wood scrap with purple spray paint, only available in gloss finish.  When dry, I taped off the left half and sprayed the right half with Krylon Matte Finish. See the difference?


How to Change Paint Sheen |


Now you may be asking why I also do this over varnish rather than just using a few coats of the spray as my protective coat. Well, it’s because I’m cheap thrifty! Spray varnish is not cheap, so for bigger projects like furniture pieces, I use the brush on type, then use the spray for that final sheen-changing step.

In fact, that’s what I did with the end table with postcard graphics, as well as the chair I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow.

One caution with the matte spray varnish, though. If you spray too heavily, it will leave a whitish film over your paint. So just make a light, quick pass and you’ll be fine.

Oh, here’s a bonus tip: save those spray can lids for raising your project off your work surface, makes it much easier to paint along the sides. I even use them under light- to medium-weight furniture pieces. Just gotta’ be careful not to bump too much….


Use Spray Paint Lids for Project Lifts |


Got any painting tips you’d like to share? Project ideas for a purple 2×4?




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  1. Loved the sheen AND spray can lids as a stand tips!! Great ones to remember.

  2. Wow this is a great tip!! You expect one thing but some companies’ definition of Semi-gloss is different! lol

  3. I love my Krylon matte finish spray! 🙂

  4. Hi, I came over from Hometalk. Love that place. Following you now. Would love to have you share this at What to do Weekends. It will open tonight around 7 Eastern Time. Take care, Linda

  5. wow that is a great tip, that made a huge difference.

  6. This is so good to know, and I never thought of using the caps to elevate projects! duhhh Good idea! Now what to do with a purple 2×4???? Waiting to see!

    • Hahaha sheila..I just thought of a way to use the purple 2×4..mount it in a frame, with calligraphy or fancy lettering saying, “this is a purple 2×4″…..this is soooo weird ,
      someone would appreciate it!!! ♥

  7. Sheila, what great tips! I have the matte spray, too! I would have never thought to knock down the sheen this way! Thanks for posting! QK

  8. Hmm.
    That’s interesting. While providing a final, little protective coat. I’ve always taken 0000 steel wool and water and softly, softly burnished my piece to the sheen I wanted. This seems like a lot less work. 🙂
    I’ve only recently subscribed to your posts and I’m enjoying them. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I would have never thought of this. Wow, thanks for sharing! Great tip!

  10. Jessica says:

    What brand/color did you use to get you the original plum color? That is the exact color I’m hoping to get my wedding centerpieces to be!

  11. Jessica, I don’t remember the exact color name, but it’s Rustoleum Painters’ Touch Spray Paint, their darkest purple. Actually, I think it’s just called Purple. Hope that helps, and congratulations on the wedding!

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