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Thread: Latex Paint over Latex Enamel???

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Latex Paint over Latex Enamel???

    I haven't found an answer to this question via google search, so I'm asking here.....
    Interior wall
    Was painted with latex paint
    Came home from work today to find it painted over with latex enamel paint
    Can I paint over the latex enamel paint with a standard latex paint?

    TIA
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
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  2. #2
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    I've never heard of Latex enamel paint before. I've always know it to be latex or enamel. A good paint store will guide you in the right direction.
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

  3. #3
    Seems to me the prep of the wall prior to "enamel" would be the bigger question. Acrylic (latex) paint relies on mechanical grip for adhesion, there is no "burn-in" like with solvent based finishes. Clean, flat sheen, and possibly abraded is the key to bonding new to old.

    This probably the biggest bugaboo relating to home painting.

    Assuming that "enamel" means a higher gloss and durability, prep is more important but not a problem. In this case the problem might well be as described above.

  4. #4
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    There is no 'burn in' with oil based paints, or any cured film finish for that matter. The only finishes that will burn into the previous layer are drying finishes like lacquer or shellac. As far as I know, there should be no problem with painting regular latex over latex enamel, though if high gloss you may need to scuff sand. Latex doesn't like to stick over oil based paint though, enamel or not.

    "Came home from work today to find it painted over with latex enamel paint" Seems like there is an interesting story behind this. Care to share?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    There is no 'burn in' with oil based paints, or any cured film finish for that matter. The only finishes that will burn into the previous layer are drying finishes like lacquer or shellac. As far as I know, there should be no problem with painting regular latex over latex enamel, though if high gloss you may need to scuff sand. Latex doesn't like to stick over oil based paint though, enamel or not.

    "Came home from work today to find it painted over with latex enamel paint" Seems like there is an interesting story behind this. Care to share?
    Frank, you're right, of course. My point was that painting over a improperly prepped surface will often result in a bond that's the weak link in the adhesion chain regardless of subsequent coatings. To your second point, well cured oil base is no problem for acrylic paint adhesion, but that doesn't appear to be the case here.

    Some confusion is perpetuated by paint companies. Traditionally enamel was oil-based but with the proliferation of acrylic formulations, the term was sort of convoluted into meaning glossy or high durability. Many interpret that as "trim paint". Yet another vague but mostly useless term.

  6. #6
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    Why don't you try a small patch where furniture will hide if the results are not what you want?

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