How to Paint Over Semi-Gloss Wood Trim

Semi-gloss paints are a common choice for wood trim because their shiny finish contrasts with matte wall paint to make the wood trim pop out and provide a strong decorative accent to any room.
Painting over semi-gloss paint requires the right tools and preparation.Painting over semi-gloss paint requires the right tools and preparation.
Unfortunately, when painting over a semi-gloss paint, that same shiny finish makes your prep process more complex. To achieve a professional finish when painting over semi-gloss wood trim, take time to prepare the wood properly by cleaning and sanding to create a surface that is ready to take your new paint.

Step 1

Mix a basic household cleaner like Spic & Span or Dirtex with water in one bucket. Fill the other bucket with plain water.

Step 2

Dip one sponge into the cleaning mixture and wring it out so it is not dripping wet. Clean a small area of woodwork with the sponge. Dip the other sponge into the plain water and apply it to the woodwork to remove any cleaner residue. Repeat until all the woodwork is clean.

Step 3

Rub the woodwork with sandpaper until the shiny texture is gone.

Step 4

Scrape any loose paint off with scraper or putty knife.

Step 5

Fill any holes or indented areas in the woodwork with wood filler. Smooth with scraper or putty knife and let dry. Sand lightly when dry to create a smooth finish.

Step 6

Attach the tube attachment to vacuum cleaner and vacuum the woodwork to remove any dust or debris from sanding and scraping.

Step 7

Wipe the woodwork with paint de-glosser using rag, if desired. This adds a final smooth finish. Let dry.

Step 8

Attach painter's tape on the wall all the way around the woodwork to prevent woodwork paint from getting on the wall.

Step 9

Paint over woodwork with a latex or oil paint using brush. Put on one thin coat all over and let dry for four to six hours. Repeat with a second coat.

Things You Will Need

  • Household cleaner
  • Water
  • 2 buckets
  • 2 sponges
  • 180-grit sand paper or sanding sponge
  • Scraper or putty knife
  • Wood filler
  • Vacuum
  • Paint de-glosser (optional)
  • Old rag (optional)
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint
  • Paint brush

About the Author

Betsy Morgan has been writing and editing professionally since 1995. She has written for publications like "Wired" magazine, "Paper" magazine and Vault.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia University.