How to Make Matte Paint Glossy

Making matte paint glossy is difficult, but it can be done if you are willing to do the work. This article will show you how to make matte paint glossy with different methods with their own benefits and drawbacks. Scroll down for more info!

This blog post is about what you need to do to make matte paint glossy. This can be done with a few simple steps and will save you the time of buying an expensive gloss sealant for your painting project. All you need is some liquid dish soap and rubbing alcohol!

How to Make Matte Paint Glossy

8 Methods on How to Make Matte Paint Glossy:

1. Enamel Gloss Varnish:

Enamel glossy varnish or spray can be found at art stores or some hardware stores. A cheap alternative is using clear acrylic paint and mixing it with gloss medium (found in most art stores) to make a thin paint with a more matte finish than the standard acrylic paint.

2. Future Floor Polish:

It can be found at home improvement stores. It’s used as a top coat for putting on floors, and it’s very glossy; it’s usually available in the non-yellow version, which gives a nice, more vibrant shine to your project.

3. Gloss Medium:

It’s a matte finish paint that can be used with or without glitter. It works well for painting on rocks and gemstones but is thick, so you must learn how to work with it.

4. Matte Spray Paint:

You can find matte spray paint at your local hardware store or online. For example, you could start here on Amazon. You might want to test it out with a sample of the project to ensure no bleeding through before doing the whole project with it.

5. Matte Varnish:

If you have some matte varnish left over from a previous project, you can always use that as well to make your project shinier. If you are looking at this article, you probably don’t have any leftover matte varnish, so you will have to buy some. The cheapest place I’ve found is Walmart, so start there if you are looking for a cheap matte varnish.

6. Pigment Powder:

Different pigment powders can be mixed into clear gesso (or white paint) to make the paint more matte and glossy. For example, there are Pearl Ex Mica powders which can be found at art stores, and there is also 24k Gold powder which you can find on eBay.

7. Metallic Gouache:

Matte Metallic Gouache is available in matte finish color. Keep in mind that the sheen will change depending on how it catches the light, so if you want to achieve a certain look, you’ll need to use different angles and lighting.

Metallic Gouache

8. Pearlized Color Spray:

Pearlized Color Spray, also known as Pearl Chalkboard spray, is a matte finish. It’s available in different colors and can be found at home improvement stores, but I think it might be cheaper to get it online, for example, here on Amazon.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Matte paint
  • Acrylic gloss varnish
  • A wide, thin paintbrush
  • Paper plate or something similar to put paint on

Instructions: How to Make Matte Paint Glossy 

Step 1:

Get a small amount of matte paint on a paper towel.

Step 2:

Use a paintbrush to apply matte paint to the plastic surface. Be sure not to use too much paint, or the glossy top coat will sink into the little crevices on your plastic surface and stain it.

Step 3:

Once the paint has dried, put a few drops of acrylic gloss varnish on a paper plate. Take your brush, dip it into the glossy topcoat, and carefully run it over the painted surface. Try to keep it as even as possible.

Step 4:

Let it sit for about an hour or two before you use the object. The topcoat needs time to harden before you can handle it without smudging.

Some Tips and Tricks:

1. It only works on matte paint. Some paints can be considered ‘matte,’ but they tend to shine a bit when light hits them. If the color/paint has a hint of shininess, then it will not work. Do your best to find a Matte Paint.

2. The spray paint angle should not be too precise or too broad, or else the paint will not work.

3. If the bottle is left out in the sun for too long, it will start to dry up and no longer produce results. It works best when used right after you open the spray paint can cap.

4. Once done, leave your object on a vertically placed plane where there is no wind. The tiny particles of paint will scatter to the ground if left in the open.

5. Do not leave your object more than 6 hours after applying because then it will start to feel sticky. It only works for up to 6 hours and should be done asap!

6. If you need a glossy touch, apply a topcoat.

How does Matte Paint Glossy Work?

The matte paint you used is meant to be porous, like a built-in primer. Underneath the matte paint is an even layer of plastic (that’s why the gloss varnish sinks into little crevices). The glossy topcoat squeezes all the air bubbles, creating an even coating over the original matte paint. The result is a shiny surface protected by the topcoat, not unlike a clear coat on a car.

Matte Paint Glossy


If you’re looking for a more professional finish to your painting, try some of these steps. You’ll be able to find the perfect glossiness level that will work with your project and still give it an authentic look! Paint your wall with a water-based primer first, which will help the glossier finish stick. Next, use an oil-based acrylic or latex semi-gloss paint for best results.

Finally, seal it with a coat of high-quality varnish before letting it dry completely. This will give your walls that beautiful shine they deserve! We hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions about making matte paint glossy, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Jennifer Branett
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