View Full Version : Oil Base Paint Flattener ????

11-21-2011, 01:38 PM
A while ago I painted a couple wooden tool chests I made with some old alkyd enamel oil base paint (Kianize, no longer around) that I had sitting around. I ran out of paint so I had the local paint store mix me up a quart of urathane oil base alkyd enemel, the color match is good but........ it's high gloss and not semi. They said they have no way to knock the gloss down, no flattening agents available any more. I found it hard to believe. I've used flatteners in automotive paints before but they aren't compatible with oil. So...... I'm wondering if anyone knows what I can add to this oil base paint to flatten it a bit or where ai might be able to get some flattening agent.


Bruce Griffing
11-21-2011, 03:00 PM
Do you want to reduce gloss or eliminate brush marks?

11-21-2011, 03:00 PM
think 1-shot (oriented towards sign painting) sells a flattening agent for oil based paint.

Otherwise, use a semigloss or flat varnish or varnish substitute over it. Advantage of using varnish is that it adds a 'wear coat' that can easily be touched up at any time without color matching issues.

11-21-2011, 04:35 PM
Do you want to reduce gloss or eliminate brush marks?

I just want to reduce the gloss.


11-21-2011, 04:59 PM
I remember someone saying to ad talc powder and that will knock the shine down. True or False ??


11-21-2011, 05:08 PM
Oddly enough, that was my first thought when I read your post. (i.e. adding a powder)
Makes sense to me, but I can't say I've ever heard or read of doing that.

11-21-2011, 05:20 PM
Ultra-violet light seems to cause the paint on my vehicles to chalk.

11-21-2011, 05:33 PM
http://www.1shot.com/. Clear Flattening Paste PN 4329500 for lettering enamels, don't know if it will work with your type of paint.

11-21-2011, 05:57 PM
On wooden toolchests, where we're talking mostly flat surfaces, just a final light sanding with very fine grit or fine steel wool would take the gloss off nicely. Best to wait until it's fully cured of course.

11-21-2011, 06:11 PM
I just want to reduce the gloss.

If you wet sand with Trizact body panel discs (3000 grit), it leaves a semi-gloss finish.


11-21-2011, 06:22 PM
I know I can dull the finish with a scotch brite pad, steel wool etc. or other types of fine abrasivers / rubbing compounds, but I didn't want to go through all that.


11-22-2011, 09:06 AM
No, Trizacts are a whole different animal. It's what bodyshops use instead of polishing compound now.

I wet sanded the Polane on my Clausing restoration, because Polane has a bad propensity for orange peel. That leaves a flat matt finish. Then I went over it with a damp 3,000 grit Trizact, and it left a beautiful semi-gloss finish.

So if you have a high gloss paint that you want to knock back to semi gloss, hit it with a Trizact.

12-27-2011, 03:37 PM
I finally had some success with the flattening agent. I got a quart sample of Chromatic / One Shot that someone had mentioned in a previous post. The instructions on the can says it will work with most alkyd enamels but the factory rep says no only one shot paints, not other brands. It worked just fine for me. The instructions on the can said that 1:1 should give a dead flat finish. Not even close with the paint I was using. As I slowly added the flattener to the paint in trying to establish a mixing ratio I ended up with a ratio of 1 part paint to 1.5 parts flattening agent just to get the low luster that I was looking for. No problems or reactions and dried normally. After I finished I did find some other mfg's. of flattening agents. Perhaps next time I need to flatten some oil base paint I'll try a different brand as One Shot wasn't cheap. I think it really stinks that in this day and age you can't get semi gloss enamel paint.


12-27-2011, 05:14 PM
50 years ago i had a job painting houses etc for a super nice old fella, he used something in oil based paint, but i cannot remember what the heck it was.

I,m sure it was not a commercial product, and it wasn,t a powder.

12-27-2011, 06:17 PM
Back when I was in the Marine Corps we used to add a dash of gasoline to gloss paint to achieve a flat finish.


Rich Carlstedt
12-27-2011, 06:20 PM
I was told by a knowledgable friend that Gloss Enamel Paint is hard.
Flattened paints are not hard and do not stand up to abuse as well......because of the flattening agent.
Adding flattening agents , while it dulls the surface, affects the hardness, and sometimes the drying as well. That means Paint makers don't want to degrade their product. My friend said that is you want flattened paint, buy flattened paint.

With the EPA running the show, don't blame the paint suppliers. They can only produce what is approved.

12-28-2011, 02:36 PM
With the EPA running the show, don't blame the paint suppliers. They can only produce what is approved.

Don't follow Rich -- are you saying you can't buy semi-gloss paint anymore?


Rich Carlstedt
12-28-2011, 03:00 PM
No Lazlo, I am saying that the sophistication of paint formulas due to EPA and other requirements, has reduced the ability to modify the characteristics of the paint. Paint makers are under constraints and cannot advise you on steps to take for what seems to be a simple change. The changes made to Laquers for example with higher solids and less VOC means that we cannot duplicate paints made 40 years ago or whatever

This is exhibited with the DC drive I used on my drill press. I can go from 2 RPM to 5,000 RPM ( some belt changes too) using a DC motor.
When I made the drill press modifications, I noticed the drive manual said it was not to be used for drill presses ! Why not, it's perfect.
So I called the company and talked to engineering and asked what was wrong with drill presses, and he said they were under constraints to advise users to not use their product ( even though it is capable of doing so).
He was reluctant to tell me why, but it is obvious that they were sued at one time due to a accident, and one of the legal restrictions would be advising others to not use the drive for that purpose. It has awesome torque .
That's what they may be afraid of ?