Asked on Jul 5, 2014

Spray paint over acrylic paint?

MysticalJamesLeah Bokinsky


I am painting over a bench I got at a consignment shop, using acrylic paint. I am not getting the coverage I want after several coats. Can I use spray paint over the acrylic paint? Thanks!
8 answers
  • Carole
    on Jul 5, 2014

    If the spray paint is oil based then don't use it! You can put water based paint (acrylic) over oil paint, but not the other way around. If you put an oil based paint over a water based paint the paint will yellow. I know this from experience! Check the spray can first to see what the paint is - water based or oil - It is more likely to be oil though.

    • Skeez
      on Jan 18, 2021

      in my oil painting class we were taught that oil over acrylic primers is okay, but not acrylic over oil.

  • Linda J
    Linda J
    on Jul 5, 2014

    I agree with Carole. However, I have found that a good prep job is essential no matter what. I ALWAYS do at least a light sanding to scuff the surface to be painted. A liquid sand also works well for me. I have painted over surfaces not knowing what the base paint is with Rustoleum spray paint and not had a problem. Hope this input helps.

    • Carole
      on Jul 6, 2014

      @Linda J The other thing to remember is that if you are painting using a dark colour such as red, then a grey based primer will see the red cover the article better with less coats. Red over white will need several coats as the white tends to show through the paint job. Always give a light sand if you can to provide a 'key' for the paint to adhere to and you will get better coverage.

  • Debbie Harris
    Debbie Harris
    on Jul 5, 2014

    You should use a flat primer first.

  • Wendy Johnson
    Wendy Johnson
    on Jul 5, 2014

    I am sorry. I didn't have an answer. I just wanted to see the answer. thanks

  • Edith L
    Edith L
    on Jul 5, 2014

    Thanks for the info.

  • Leah Bokinsky
    Leah Bokinsky
    on Jul 6, 2014

    For sure you can use spray paint. Chalk paint will stick to anything too and has great colors. Sand it and wax it for a shabby chic look

  • James
    on Jun 14, 2017

    I need to correct this original answer as it is completely wrong. You can only paint oil on top of acrylic, not vice versa. Consider the fact that all canvases are primed with an acrylic gesso primer. This is common knowledge. If you paint faster drying/curing acrylic over oil paint, it will eventually chip/flake off. Whomever responded originally stating that a "paint will yellow" is completely mistaken or misinformed.

    • Michael
      on Nov 17, 2018

      And just to confirm to anyone coming to this thread, like I recently did, what James says above is completely 100% true as the beautiful chairs I just cleared with oil-based enamel (Rust-Oleum) over acrylic base (Krylon) can attest. 0 problems. Just be patient and let the base dry/cure (I gave my chairs over a week).

  • Mystical
    on Oct 26, 2017

    So I don’t have an answer, but can acrylic be put on spray paint and show up? I am making a project and I want the background to be white (and spray paint is quick for that) but then the details I want to do in acrylics. I’m doing this on cardboard. Thanks!
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