Can You Paint Silk Over Silk?

If you are painting a part of your home, choosing a type of paint is important. However, let’s say that the current paint job you’re trying to replace is silk and ideally you want to keep a similar look. The question that is asked here is whether or not you can paint silk over silk?

The answer is yes. However, you want to make sure that the wall is cleaned thoroughly prior to painting silk over silk. The application of silk over silk will be tricky at best.

Is Applying Silk Over Silk Easier Than Matt Over Silk?

Applying silk over silk is much easier than matt over silk. When painting matt over silk, you are going to run into two issues in the process. First and foremost, there’s the possibility of crazing when painting matt over silk. However, when painting silk over silk, since there is already a coating of silk paint applied, there will be little to no crazing and that will allow the paint to dry faster due to its soft texture.

The other problem you’ll be facing is that sanding silk coating is almost impossible to do. Therefore, applying matt won’t be a good idea. A soft sheen of silk paint might do just fine, however you may run into a certain issue (which we will discuss shortly).

Some who have painted silk over silk have reported using acrylic primers as their base coat sometimes.

Problems You May Encounter When Painting Silk Over Silk

Another issue involves colour change. Let’s say the current colour is white and you want to change it to a shade of light blue.

You’re going to run into quite a few challenges when you want to change from one colour to something completely different. Keep in mind that the dyes and paints that don’t have a fixed colour will wash off easily.

That’s why you should wash the walls and dry them prior to application. Don’t use water on a newly painted surface because of the reason mentioned above.  As mentioned above, a soft sheen can be applied.

However, you may expect some scratches on the walls if you decide to go down this avenue. Before applying the paint, you may want to consider using some paper that is fairly coarse. Go over the existing finish ever so lightly for approximately 10 minutes for each wall.

One other problem that you may run into is that the surface you’re painting on won’t be as smooth. And if you are applying a new coat of silk with a roller, it will make it even more of a challenge as there’ll be uneven coverage.

Small Blisters

One thing to be aware of is the presence of small blisters. If you see small blisters develop while painting, the smart thing to do would be to wait until it dries. At that point, they’ll usually disappear (but that’s not always a guarantee).

Also, you may want to forego the idea of making any corrections while you are applying the paint in the early stages. This will make the project a lot more complicated. Once the coat of silk is applied, wait a day for it to dry before you apply the second coating.

Lack Of Coverage

One major problem that you want to avoid is a lack of coverage. One of the common issues surrounding that is painting over a dark colour with a light one. For example, let’s say the current paint job is a darker shade of blue (and your lighter shade is white).

Making sure that the coverage is all white and there is no prominence of the darker shade of blue is tough to achieve with just 2 coats. You may find that you have to spend more money as you’ll likely need 3 or 4 coats to achieve the white colour.

Why May Your Silk Paint Look Patchy?

If you don’t apply the appropriate amounts of paint, you may run into an issue known as patchiness. In other words, you will notice areas that look patchy. This can be due to not just under application, but also overapplication.

Too much or too little, you could run into the same problem. Keep this in mind going forward. We have an article dedicated to patchy emulsion here.

Simple Tip To Avoid Problems When Painting Silk Over Silk

If there is one tip that we highly recommend, it’s that you apply the first coat and let it dry for at least a day. Once you know for sure that it’s dry, that’s when you know that it’s time to apply the second coat.

Final Thoughts

Applying silk over silk can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. Now that you understand some of the common issues, you can carefully apply both coats of paint so it looks as good as new. Remember that sanding the existing silk coatings is never a good idea, although you may use fairly coarse paper to remove scratches.

Overall, it is important to not worry about correcting your mistakes during the application. Drying may solve this issue but not always. And remember the simple tip mentioned above so you can get the best results possible when you paint silk over silk. Of course, if you’re still not comfortable painting over silk, you can simply remove it from your walls.