There are a few reasons why you would want to paint over latex paint. These include latex paint that has faded, creased, or worn out but is still in original condition. Or maybe, you’re working towards a new look.

Applying a new coat over latex paint can be a tough job. There are so many variables to consider that you can easily overlook one of the most important things: preparation.

Preparation is just as important as the quality of your paint because an amateur mistake in applying top coat could lead to a disappointing final result.

And picking the right paint is integral to the preparation process. So what are your best options when adding a new coat?

Can You Paint Over Latex Paint?

Yes, you can paint over latex paint with either a water-based or oil-based paint. For best results, use a high-quality latex primer before applying the new paint. It’s also important to properly prepare the surface prior to painting in order to ensure good adhesion and a longer-lasting finish.

7 Types of Paints to Use Over Latex

7 Types Of Paints To Use Over Latex image

When painting over peeling latex paint, there are a few things to consider. The type of paint you use is one of the most important factors, as not all paints are created equal.

1. Oil-based Paint or Oil Paint

Can you put oil-based paint over latex?

Yes, oil paint adheres perfectly to latex surfaces because it can penetrate them and form a long-lasting bond. It is certainly among the best clear coat for latex paint you can rely on.

The paint dries quickly, so there is no need to wait for it to dry completely before moving on. Oil-based paint is also very durable and will last longer than water-based paint.

Oil-based paints are the most common type of paint to use over peeling latex paint. These paints are made from oil and particles of pigment, so they can be easily mixed together.

Oil paint typically contains solvents that help them blend into the surface of the old paint.

2. Acrylic Paint

Can you paint acrylic over latex?

Yes, you can paint acrylic over latex! Acrylic paints are incredibly versatile and can be used for various projects.

Latex is the perfect base layer for applying acrylic paints, as it provides an excellent foundation for the adhesion of acrylic paint.

Not only are acrylic paints incredibly easy to work with, but they are also extremely durable.

Acrylic paints are a water based paint. They include water, polymer binder, pigments and additives. Acrylics also allow for more control over how much paint you use for a particular project.

However, some people find acrylics to be too watery and runny to apply smoothly onto a latex surface.

Read also: Can you paint plastic with acrylic paint?

3. Enamel Paint

Can you paint enamel over latex?

Yes you can. The key to success when painting enamel over latex is preparation. The surface must be properly prepared so that the enamel adheres to the latex.

This may include cleaning the surface, sanding and priming. Once the surface is ready, the enamel can be applied in several thin coats to achieve a smooth and uniform finish.

Most enamels are oil-based paint. They contain enamels, which are metallic pigments that add shimmering effects when applied to surfaces.

Enamels have a tendency to dry quickly and become brittle if left unprotected from sunlight or heat sources like heat lamps.

4. Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is another type of paint that you can apply over latex surfaces without any problems whatsoever.

This type of paint contains chalk particles suspended in a clear liquid suspension base (water).

Chalkboard paint is made from all-natural ingredients that won’t damage your wood surface. It provides a smooth finish but isn’t as durable as some other latex paint options like oil paint or acrylic types.

Chalkboard paint is a good option if you want to change the color of your latex paint, but be aware that it will require extra prep work.

(Find out whether chalkboard paint is waterproof here).

5. Shellac Paint

Shellac paint is made from a resin that’s been mixed with a solvent to create an adhesive that bonds to surfaces. Shellac easily adheres to latex painted walls and furniture even without a primer.

This type of paint is very durable and can last for years. It offers an excellent quality finish, but it does require special care and maintenance to keep it looking new.

6. Spray Paint

Can you spray paint over latex paint?

Yes, you can spray paint over latex paint. The only catch s that the latex paint must be completely dry before you start spraying.

Otherwise, you’ll have problems with the paint not sticking to the surface. To spray over latex paint, use a primer first and then go over the surface with your favorite spray paint.

Spray paint is made from a mixture of acrylic polymers and solvents that are sprayed onto a surface to create an adhesive bond.

It is often used as part of an art project, but it can also be used for painting walls or furniture. Spray paint is applied using a spray gun that shoots a fine mist of paint job onto the surface.

7. Latex

Latex paint is another popular choice to apply over previously painted latex because it’s easy to apply and clean up afterward.

Latex paints are made from natural ingredients such as rubber or vinyl polymer resin and have an attractive sheen that can be painted over in one coat without requiring multiple coats like other types of paints do.

Latex paint dries quickly and does not have to be sanded as much as other coatings do before it can be painted over.

How to Paint Over Latex Paint

How To Paint Over Latex Paint image

Paint over peeling latex paint with these easy steps.

What You’ll Need:

  • Sanding paper
  • Tape
  • Covering paper/newspaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Brush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Rags

Step 1: Preparing your workspace

Before painting a room it is important to take the time to properly prepare the area.

  • Start by removing items from the room and cleaning surfaces to eliminate dirt and grime.
  • Place drop cloths or plastic over furniture and floors to protect them from paint spills.
  • Lastly, cover any outlets or switches with masking tape and paper to protect them from paint.
  • Next, use painter’s tape to carefully cover any surfaces that should not be painted, such as trim, floors, and windows.

Once you have all the furniture covered, you are ready to start painting.

Step 2: Preparing the Surface

Here’s how to prepare a latex-painted surface for repainting:

Sand the surface

Depending on the surface you’re working on, you may need to rub off peeling paint with fine grit sandpaper or just clean with a damp cloth.

For instance, sanding with coarse sandpaper should be step 1 if you’re working on wood, but cleaning with a damp cloth will do just fine if you’re repainting a wall.

It’s also important to ensure that the surface you are painting is clean and free of any dirt, grease, or other contaminants.

You can do this by washing the surface with a mild detergent and water solution. Once the surface is dry, you will need to apply a bonding primer.

This will help the new paint to adhere properly to the surface while forming a barrier between the old loose paint and the new paint.

Prime the surface properly

Before painting over existing paint, it is important to prime the surface. Priming the surface ensures that the new paint adheres properly and gives the finished project a professional appeal.

You can prime by applying an acrylic or oil-based primer with a brush or roller. The bonding primer should be allowed to dry completely before the new paint is applied.

After the primer is dry, the surface should be lightly sanded to create a smooth surface for the new paint.

The advantages of priming a surface before painting over existing latex paint are that the new paint will look more uniform, the color will be more vibrant, and the fresh layer will last longer. 

Step 3: Prepare & Apply the Paint

First, stir the paint. Don’t neglect this important step, especially if you’ve been letting your paint sit for a while.

Mixing the paint well ensures it distributes evenly when you start painting. This will also help reduce the number of coats you need to apply to get good coverage.

For best results:

  • Use a brush to get into all the nooks and crannies, and then use a roller to cover the larger areas.
  • Be sure to use even strokes and avoid creating any streaks or bubbles in the paint.
  • Always work in small sections and add a thin layer of paint.

Lastly, apply with precision to avoid leaving any brush marks.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Let the first paint dry completely before applying a second one. Again, be patient and let it dry completely before moving on to the next coat, or you’ll end up with bubbly, uneven paint that won’t look very good.

Finish up by taping off any areas that you don’t want painted and adding a second coat of paint. Once the two coats are dry, your project is complete.

Once you’ve finished the paint job, you can remove any tape or other materials that you used to protect the surfaces.

Read also: How to paint a glossy surface.

Can You Use Oil-based Primer Over Latex Paint?

Can You Use Oil-based Primer Over Latex Paint image

The short answer is yes. You can use oil-based primer over peeling latex paint, but it’s not always necessary. In some cases, a coat of primer may not be enough to create a good surface for the new paint to adhere to.

In these cases, it’s best to sand the latex paint down until it’s completely smooth. This will create a stronger surface for the new primer to grip onto.

Once you’ve prepared the surface properly, apply a coat of oil-based primer and then proceed with your painting project.

What’s The Best Paint to Apply Over Latex?

When it comes to painting over latex paint, you have a few great options. The biggest factor in deciding which paint is best for you is the type of surface you’re painting over.

If the surface is a porous material like wood or drywall, then your best option is to apply oil based paint, since it penetrates better and provides better coverage.

For non-porous surfaces like painting on glass windows or metal, water-based paint is your best bet. No matter the type of surface you’re working on, look for high-quality paints with good adhesion and coverage qualities.

I’d suggest looking at the recommendations on Amazon—you can find a range of paints that are specially designed for each type of surface, including oil-based products like Rust-oleum’s Painter’s Choice  Paint and Primer in One” and water based paint such as the ZINSSER 1 Smart Prime Water-Based Interior/Exterior Primer/Sealer.

Be sure to read through the reviews to get an idea of what product will work best for your project.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Over Previously Painted Latex

Painting over latex is a common home improvement project. But if you don’t take the right steps, it can quickly turn into a disaster.

To prevent that from happening, here are four mistakes to avoid when painting over peeling latex paint:

  1. Not cleaning the surface beforehand. Before beginning your project, you need to make sure the surface is clean and free of debris. Use a degreaser to get rid of any lingering grime or dirt, and then rinse it off with water.
  2. Not sanding the surface before painting over it. It may be tempting to skip this step, but don’t let yourself get away with it! Painting over a rough surface will result in an uneven and subpar finish. Sanding helps create a smoother base that will look much better in the end.
  3. Not applying primer before painting over latex paint with a different color or type of paint. Even if you’ve prepped your surface perfectly, you still need to apply an appropriate primer for best results when painting over latex paint with a different color or type of paint, such as oil paint or water-based paint.
  4. Trying to save money by buying cheap brushes and rollers. Invest in quality brushes and rollers that won’t shed bristles while you work—trust me, those cheap ones aren’t worth it.

Quality tools also result in improved paint coverage and less time spent repainting areas that weren’t adequately covered the first time around.


Can you use latex paint over water-based primer?

Yes, you can use latex paint over water-based primers but oil-based primer works best.You can use latex paint over water-based primer if you don’t mind leaving some areas uncovered by the paint – such as around windows or holes in drywall – and if you don’t mind having an uneven surface after applying the paint.

Can you use latex paint over spray paint?

Yes, you can, but be sure to sand the spray paint and apply a primer before applying the latex paint. Adding a layer of primer before applying latex will ensure your new layer sticks and looks as good as possible. There’re plenty of latex primer spray paint options available in hardware stores or online.

Can you use latex paint over oil-based paints?

This is not recommended unless that oil-based layer has been given adequate time to cure (which can take up to 30 days). If this is not possible, then you may need to switch to a different type of coating such as an epoxy or acrylic coating.

Related posts:

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking to give your space a new look, painting it is a great way to do that. But if you’ve already got latex paint on your walls, you don’t have to start from scratch – you can paint over latex paint with no problem.

Just make sure you use the right paints and follow these steps to get the best results. And that’s not all; there’s much more to discover about painting! Always refer to our blog for DIY woodworking tips and tricks.