I recently purchased a can of tinted polyurethane finish and applied it to the top of a desk. The desk had previously been finished but the old finish was cracked and coming off so I had stripped and sanded the top before this new finish coat. After the typically recommended two coats I realized that I had used GLOSS finish and now the top is all shiny and does not at all match the sheen of the sides and drawer fronts of the other parts of the desk.

So here is my question. If I purchase and apply a new coat of SATIN finish will that work OK over a the GLOSS finish?

  • 1
    You first might want to try to take the gloss down a bit using very fine steel wool, rubbing with the grain in long strokes. If done gently, it will not significantly reduce protection. If that doesn't work, you have properly prepared the surface to add the satin coat. – bib Apr 13 '17 at 1:28
  • @bib - I already tried to take down the gloss with 0000 grade steel wool. Unfortunately due to the grain of the old oak top it is not easy to get a consistent look (i.e. still shiny in the lower grain). Note the top is made of veneered oak faced plywood so I had to really control how much sanding I could do to a minimal amount. Now I guess I'll buff the whole thing down with the steel wool and then apply the satin finish and see how that looks tomorrow. Worst comes to worst there is still plenty of stripper left in that can. – Michael Karas Apr 13 '17 at 2:32
  • Understood. I would try to use the same brand of satin finish as the gloss – bib Apr 13 '17 at 10:29
  • @bib put your 2 comments in as a answer and I will up vote, exactly would have tried. – Ed Beal Aug 6 '17 at 2:40

The sheen is determined by the top coat, so going over it in satin will lower it. The only caveat is that the thicker film may be noticeable if you're laying down very thick coats.

Rottenstone might be a better option than steel wool for getting into the grain.

  • 1
    I believe steel wool is a bit more uniform than pummis or rotten stone. – Ed Beal Aug 6 '17 at 2:41

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