Painting Matt Over Silk Paint: Expert Advice From DIY DOJO

Painting Matt Over Silk paint: Expert Advice from DIY DOJO
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Painting over an old silk painted wall can be challenging, especially if you want to change the sheen level or color. It’s no surprise that many people ask the question, “can you paint matt over silk paint?” The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as slapping on a new coat of paint.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between matt and silk paints, discuss the feasibility of painting matt over silk, and provide tips for achieving a professional-looking finish.

What Is The Difference Between Matt & Silk Paint?

The difference between matt & silk paint is that Silk paint has a mid-sheen level that provides a soft, lustrous finish. It’s perfect for rooms that require a touch of sophistication, such as living rooms or bedrooms. There are different types of silk paint, including emulsion and vinyl silk. Emulsion silk paint is water-based, making it easier to clean and ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Vinyl silk is oil-based and provides a more durable finish, making it suitable for high-traffic areas like hallways.

On the other hand, matt paint has a low sheen level, which provides a flat, non-reflective finish. It’s perfect for hiding imperfections on walls and ceilings and is ideal for low-traffic areas such as bedrooms. Like silk paint, there are different types of matt paint, including emulsion and vinyl matt. Emulsion matt paint is water-based and easy to clean, while vinyl matt is oil-based and is more durable.

Before you start painting matt over silk paint, it’s important to ensure a smooth surface, and our Ultimate Guide On How To Remove Wallpaper Without Damaging Your Walls can help you achieve just that.

Can You Paint Matt Over Silk?

Painting Matt Over Silk paint, Can You Paint Matt Over Silk?

The answer is yes; you can paint matt over silk. However, you need to take a few steps before applying the new coat of paint. First, sand the walls or ceiling with sandpaper to remove the gloss from the silk painting.

After that, you must prime the surface with a coat of Zinsser, a specialist primer that can adhere to glossy surfaces. After the primer has fully dried, you may proceed to apply the matte paint.When painting matt over silk, you must use water-based paint because oil-based paints can cause cracking and crazing.

The drying time for matt paint is longer than silk paint, so you must wait until the first coat is dry before applying the second coat. Applying two coats of matt paint will give the silk paint a flat finish.

How to Paint Over Silk Painted Walls

When painting over silk painted walls, there are a few steps to ensure the best results. First, you must prepare the surface by cleaning the walls with warm water and a sponge. This will remove any dirt, grime, or other debris that may interfere with the new layer of paint.

Next, you need to sand the surface lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to remove the gloss and create a rough surface to the new paint to adhere to. After sanding, dust and debris must be removed with a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner.

Now, it’s time to prime the surface with a suitable primer. You can use a water-based primer or a Zinsser primer specifically designed for painting over silk painted walls. Apply a coat of Zinsser Gardz to seal the surface and prevent cracking and crazing.

After the primer has dried, it is time to put on the new coat of paint. For the first coat, use a matt emulsion. This will help hide imperfections and give the silk paint an excellent base to adhere to. Let the first coat of matt paint dry completely before applying the next coat.

After the first coat of matt paint has dried, it’s time to apply the silk painting. Use a roller or brush to apply the silk paint straight to the dried matt layer. Let the silk paint dry completely before applying a second coat if needed.

What Is the Difference Between Dulux Matt and Silk?

Dulux is a popular paint brand offering both matt and silk paints. The main difference between the two is the level of sheen and finish.

Dulux matt paint provides a flat, non-reflective finish for low-traffic areas such as living rooms and bedrooms. It is also a great choice for imperfect walls and ceilings, as it helps hide them.

On the other hand, Dulux silk paint has a mid-sheen finish that provides a subtle shine. It is more durable than matt paint and is suitable for areas prone to wear and tears, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Tips for a Professional-Looking Finish

If you want to achieve a professional-looking finish when painting over silk, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Sand the walls: 

Before painting, you must sand the walls to remove the sheen from the silk painting. Use sandpaper with a grit of 120 or higher to sand the walls. Be careful not to sand too hard, which can damage the walls.

Prime the walls:

Once you have sanded the walls, you need to prime them. Use a high-quality primer, such as Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 or Zinsser Gardz. Apply the primer with a brush or roller, and allow it to dry completely.

Apply the first coat of paint: 

Once the primer has fully dried, you may proceed to apply the first layer of paint. Use a high-quality, water-based matt emulsion paint, and apply it with a brush or roller. Be sure to apply the paint evenly and cover the entire wall.

Let the first coat dry: 

Allow the first coat of paint to dry completely before applying the next coat. By doing this, you can ensure that the paint sticks to the wall as it should.

Apply the second coat of paint: 

Once the first coat has dried, you can apply the second coat of paint. This will help to even out the color and provide better coverage. Be sure to apply the paint evenly and cover the entire wall.

Avoid sanding between coats: 

You should avoid sanding between coats, as this can damage the wall and cause the paint to peel.

Let the final coat dry: 

Once you have applied the final coat of paint, allow it to dry completely. This will ensure that the paint has cured properly and will provide a durable finish.

Inspect for imperfections: 

Once the final coat of paint has fully dried, inspect the walls for imperfections. If you notice any areas that need to be touched up, use a small brush to paint over them.

Clean up: 

After you have finished painting, be sure to clean up your brushes and rollers with water. You should also clean up any drips or spills on the floor or furniture.

If you’re considering repainting a room and want to choose the perfect color, “How To Choose Paint Colours: 6 Pro-Tips And Mistakes To Avoid” offers expert advice on selecting colors that will complement your space.


In conclusion, painting matt over silk is possible but requires proper preparation and application to achieve a professional-looking finish. It’s important to understand the difference between matt and silk paints and choose the right type of paint for your project.

When painting over silk painted walls, it’s essential to sand and prime the surface before applying the new paint. Using a suitable primer and applying the paint correctly will help prevent cracking and crazing.

Overall, painting matt over silk can be a great way to update your walls and give them a new look. Follow the steps and tips this article outlines to achieve the best results.

If you’ve had trouble with yellowing gloss paint, check out our expert tips for preventing this common problem.


Unfortunately, no. Matt emulsion is designed to be applied over a solid surface, such as wood or canvas, and will not work well over silk. If you want to add a matt finish to a project already painted with silk paint, you must remove the existing finish and then apply the matt emulsion.

Yes, matt paint can cover silk. However, it is important to be careful not to overwork the paint. Overworking the paint can cause it to bubble and flake off, resulting in an uneven finish.

If you put Matt over silk, it will cause the matt paint to bubble and flake off. Additionally, the sheen of the silk painting can repel the matt paint, causing it to bubble and flake off.

If you have applied Matt paint over silk and it is bubbly, you may need to re-apply it a few times. Overworking the paint can cause it to bubble and flake off.

No, there is no need to primer the surface before painting. However, ensuring the surface is properly prepared and primed is important. This will help ensure that the matt paint adheres properly and help create a smooth, even finish.

If you’re working with MDF, you may want to read our essential advice for painting it with emulsion to achieve a smooth and even finish.

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