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Friday, January 29, 2010

Water-based Paint over Oil Based Paint

Should I paint over a oil-based enamel with a water-based enamel ?

Sure. The new water-based enamels look a lot like the oil based-enamels that you are covering, They dry faster, do not amber over time and provide a durable finish. You'll want to be aware of a few things before starting however.
First, it is recommended that you use a bonding primer after a generous scuff sanding. Oil enamel tends to dry hard so you want to make sure you knock-down the sheen of the oil coating prior to priming. If you are looking for a quick fix and a matching coat (and don't want to go through the process of 1 coat of primer and 2 top coats) you'll want to aggressively sand the coating. Using a bonding primer will save you some time in the sanding department, but will cause you to have to use 2 top coats instead of one matching coat (Because you'd be going from a flat primer to a satin or semi-gloss enamel) If you only want to use one top coat to "clean up" make sure you sand the previous oil enamel aggressively to ensure proper adhesion. Also clean it fully by first vacuuming everything then wiping it with a rag or tac-cloth. I'd also recommend and lead testing kit and a 3M respirator prior to starting the sanding if the wood-work was painted in the 70's.

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