When a homeowner wants to paint their house, they need to determine if their paint on the trim, walls and ceiling is water based latex or oil based paint. When painting over latex paint, any paint may be used. When painting over oil based paints, only an oil based paint may be used. Otherwise, the paint will peel off or blister off. The reason is that the government is not allowing oil based top coat paint from being sold on the standard market. Oil based paints have a higher volatile organic compound content than water based paints. Latex paints will not stick to oil based paints.

The exception is that an oil based primer may accept any kind of top coat paint. For that reason, an oil based primer is recommended to be applied over any oil based top coat, then a water based paint may be used as a top coat.

This method eliminates the problem of existing oil based paints, especially on trim, from rejecting water based paints. This stops the peeling and blistering problem.

Oil based primers are also very good remedies for covering staining on walls and ceilings from water or other causes. When there is an old, non-recurring, stain on a wall, ceiling or trim, then the use of an oil based primer to hide the stain is recommended. Once it dries, a water based top coat may be applied.

If there is any question as to the content of the existing paint, always use an oil based primer to eliminate any future problems. Oil based paint takes longer to dry than water based paints. But the finish is harder.

Another technique to hide stains, urine odors, sap draining out of wood knots or other problem areas of the house, is to use a shellac paint. Either a white or a clear color may be used to seal a problem area. Then, any paint may be used as a top coat. This is a very helpful use of a paint that is actually made from the exoskeletons of a beetle and alcohol mix with colorants or a clear color. Shellacs are a time honored method of sealing woods dating back many, many years.

I hope you find this information useful. If you need any help with your home, remember to contact us for professional help.

Steve Magill | [email protected]