Once upon a time, in homes across the country, oil-based paint coated many interior surfaces such as cabinets, doors and trim. This is no longer the case for most homes. Today, we know that when oil-based paint dries, it emits high volumes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to human health and the environment.
Surfaces coated in this type of paint also make cleaning them a messy and smelly process. Even though oil-based paint was mostly phased out more than a decade ago, old oil-based painted surfaces still exist. This has many homeowners wondering whether it’s safe to apply latex paint on top of oil-based paint. Here’s what you need to know about applying latex paint over oil-based paint in Tyler, TX.
Painting over oil-based paint
As long as the surface is fully cured, you can apply latex or oil-based paint over surfaces coated with oil-based paint—you can still use oil-based paint, since it is not entirely banned. If you have areas that would look better with a smoother, rock-hard finish, then you may want to choose oil-based paint over latex.
Ultimately, preparation is key. Because glossy surfaces will not take a second layer of paint well, they need to be cleaned, sanded, then cleaned again to ensure it adheres. We recommend priming the surface before using latex paint. If there are multiple layers of oil-based paint, we recommend you scrape off the old paint first.
Common surfaces coated in oil-based paint
Oil-based paint odors disappear as time passes. Time also makes it difficult to identify oil-based paint by touch. Being a self-leveling paint, after oil-based paint is brushed on, it levels out flat, meaning there are no signs of brush marks, bubbles, holes and gaps in the paint. The simplest way to determine which surfaces in your house are coated in oil-based paint is to inspect areas that need durable, smooth coatings, such as window trim, door casings, crown molding, baseboards, built-in shelves, fireplace mantels and kitchen cabinets.
How to paint over oil-based paint
Applying latex paint over oil-based paint is just like any other paint-over-paint project. Proper preparation is the key to successful repainting, starting with the cleanliness of the old paint—the surface must be clean or thick layers of old oil-based paint scraped off.
First, scuff the surface with sandpaper to improve stickability. This also eliminates sheen or gloss, which attracts dirt. Pry off loose paint and fill holes and gaps with a wood putty. Debris can compromise latex paint’s ability to stick, so use a damp cloth to remove dust, dirt and debris, then let it dry completely before using a tack cloth to wipe the surface. Once the surface is clean and dry, you can paint.
Don’t hesitate to contact Salgado Painting for more information about applying latex paint over surfaces in your Tyler, TX home. Call us today with questions or to schedule professional painting service—we look forward to assisting you soon with projects of any size and scale!