How to Paint Latex over Oil Based Paint

June 13, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

How to paint latex over oil based paint

Okay, so in my previous post How To Test For Oil Based Paint I showed you how to determine if you have oil based trim in your house. Now that it’s been determined that the trim was painted in oil there’s a couple ways to go about painting latex over it. First let me say DO NOT paint latex over oil under any circumstances without properly preparing the trim first! If you do fixing it when the paint starts scratching off is a nightmare you will not want to put yourself through.

So there’s a couple different methods of how to go about painting over the oil. Just how glossy and smooth the oil is will determine just how aggressive you’ll need to be with it. Also please be sure to do a test spot prior to doing the entire house to make sure whichever method you choose will work.

Liquid Deglosser

This method is by far the least time consuming way to go and there is a new product I was able to test out which makes it that much easier. The product is made by a company called Latex Agent and the their product is Oil Bond. I used this stuff over some extremely slick oil a couple weeks ago and I could not scratch off the latex paint no matter how hard I tried, within reason of course!

Here’s how it works… Get a lint free rag and apply the oil bond to the trim. Once everything you plan to paint is wiped down let it sit for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes add 16oz to a gallon of whichever paint you’re planning to use, mix it up and paint away. On the second coat do not add the oil bond just top coat with the paint as normal.

Latex Primer

If deglossing doesn’t suit your fancy the next step up is to use a latex bonding primer such as Stix from Insl-X. This stuff is great and sticks to just about any surface including glass and PVC. Another added benefit is that it has an extremely low odor. I’ve used this countless times over oil trim and it only ever scratched off once (that’s why you test first).

Oil Primer

The next step for the super stubborn extra slick oil based paint is and oil primer such as Zinsser CoverStain. This stuff is bulletproof, it’ll stick to any old oil based paint you throw at it. However, there are some big draw backs. Odor is one of the biggest, this stuff stinks, it’s not bad for sealing a little water stain but trimming out an entire room could be trouble and it will require some ventilation. Another drawback is that it’s not very easy to work with and clean up requires the use of paint thinner.

There You Have it

Those are the three best ways to transition oil based paint to latex in order from easiest to hardest. The age and hardness of the paint will determine which will be the most effective for you. Remember to always do a test spot first!

Call Paragon Painting

Give Paragon Painting in Charleston a call 843-695-9450. We will determine the best course of action for painting you oil based trim which in turn will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Filed in: Interior Painting

About the Author (Author Profile)

I've been brought up in the painting industry and have learned everything I know from my father Paul Briggs. He is the founder of Paragon Painting and I joined him full time in 2003 after graduating college. I am now happily married with two beautiful children ages two and five.

Comments (1)

  1. Very nice post Ryan. I enjoyed reading it. Well written and very informative.

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