I also think that adding "ing" to sugarcoat might help it sound a bit more natural. "All they have to do is solve the problem, rather than sugarcoating it." I feel that this would only work with "rather than", though.
@fukutaka Actually you might be right, it probably depends on the context. Grammatically, I think you're correct about the verb forms (but in casual speech in this situation I doubt people would notice). Sorry, when I say words over and over I sometimes mix up my own grammar 😅 Stick with "sugarcoat" then!
@fukutaka Ahaha, you're right! If I was speaking out loud then I would use either "sugarcoat" or "sugarcoating" because I doubt most people would consider verb forms while casually chatting! So yeah, it's definitely important to grasp what you can kind of get away with 😁 It is important to know the grammatical rules though, so thank you for reminding me! I'd forgotten that about verb forms and I'm a native speaker 😅