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latex over oil

I think I have oil based paint in my new huse. Can I paint over it with latex?


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Posted 2013-02-06T01:14:33+0000  by patpaint patpaint

Welcome to our community patpaint!


My name is Christine and I work in the paint department at The Home Depot. I get this question a lot in the store, and I'm happy to answer it for you!


You can't directly paint over oil based paint with latex based paint. You will have to use an oil based primer first, then you can paint over that with latex based paint. Oil based primer functions as a neutralizer in this situation. It will stick to the oil based paint, then, the latex based paint will stick to the primer.


You mentioned that you think you have oil based paint on the wall. If it is an older home, it more than likely is oil based. Just to be sure, you can run a simple test. Put some denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. In an inconspicuous spot, rub it on the surface. If the paint comes off on the paper towel, it is latex based, if it does not, it is oil based.


I hope this helps you out! Please let us know if we can help with anything else!



Posted 2013-02-06T12:37:55+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Thanks. Is the Home Depot Paint with primer in it already sufficient or do I need the seperate oil based primer? Thanks again

Posted 2013-02-06T14:22:25+0000  by patpaint

The paint and primer in one is latex based, so you will have to use a separate oil-based primer. 


Happy Painting!



Posted 2013-02-06T15:11:19+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL



I would invite you to make a test sample on a piece of door casing. Put two or three coats of Minwax urethane semi-gloss varnish on that casing. After thoroughly dry, paint two coats of Ultra Semi-Gloss enamel directly over that varnish. Do not scuff sand or use de-glosser, but leave the worst case scenario. After 24 hours of cure time, I defy you to be able to scrape that paint loose with your finger nail or other item without undue force.


I leave exactly such a sample on the paint counter to show customers how well Ultra will bond to hard, slick oil based surfaces. "Latexes" of old would have scraped cleanly off with a minimum of effort. Ultra is a tribute to this new generation of acrylic paints which demonstate superior bond in their own right. Witness how well RustOleum's Transformations bonds directly to slick varnish, paints and even melamine!


I have no problem with customers using oil primers, nor dedicated premium water based primers such as Gripper or Kilz Premium prior to painting with "latex" paints. However, Ultra is perfectly capable of self-bonding. Naturally, I would advocate first  cleaning, de-glossing or scuff sanding in either event.


Click on the attachmant below to see Ultra example on urethane varnish.

Posted 2013-02-07T22:07:06+0000  by ordjen
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