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Question DetailsAsked on 7/19/2013

Taking bids to repaint Interior Paint, Oil base or Water base which is better? My OLD interior paint is oil based.

Taking bids from reviews on Angie`s List and I trust Angie`s List 100%. I am repainting my interior, which is oil based paint. 30 years ago a friend needed some work so I put him to work painting inside, I had oil based paint at my old home, he covered one wall with water based paint and it immediately started flaking off, lesson learned.
Now I`m taking bids from suggestions off of Angie`s List, should I not repaint this home which has oil based paint with oil? As a rule painters do not like to paint in oil because it is harder to clean up at the end of a day. Is there another solution, a new product that in one coat you paint the oil based home, then paint with water based paint? Or go ahead and use oil based paint to cover oil based paint?

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Voted Best Answer

You have two options, neither of which will be as cheap or easy as painting over water based paint.

1. Use oil based paint again.

2. Rough up the surface a bit for adhesion and use a bonding primer that is rated for both oil based and water based paints. You may need 2 coats. Follow the directions on the primer can you purchase. Then follow up with a compatible (to the primer) water based paint. You will likely not be able to use a paint and primer in one as the color coat. I know Valspar has an adhesion problem with Kilz due to chemical reactions between the primer chemicals in both paints. Behr has horrible coverage in general. You may want to spend the money on Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore products for consistency and compatibility.

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 6 years ago by Todd's Home Services


I agree with Todd, especially on the Behr issue - it commonly does not stick even to latex or a prior cost of itself, though it is fascinating to stand there after coating an area (especially with spray or a roller) and seeing it just wick off the surface like peeling saran wrap off a flat surface.

I have had good luck using a high-quality COMMERCIAL oil-based primer for both oil and latex paints (Pratt and Lambert, PPG, IPG, Sherwin Williams for example) designed for office building, subway and hotel painting, especially on glossy concrete and cinder block surfaces. Surface prep requires a good thorough coverage sanding with 80-120 grit sandpaper so ALL the oil paint surface is roughened and the gloss broken. Then after the primer (which should be tinted to slightly lighter than the finish coat color) is dry, you can coat with an ACRYLIC LATEX - I have found straight latex paints do not cover well over almost anything but plain drywall with latex drywall primer.

Your other alternative, as Todd said, is to degloss the surface with abrasive powder or sandpaper and recoat with an oil-based paint.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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