How to paint over oil based paint?

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I have a hutch that has a bad paint job on it and the person used an oil based paint. Do I have to use oilbased over it or can I use a different knid of paint?


  11 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jul 14, 2020

    Hi Jane if the paint is in decent shape an oil based primer (such as Kilz) should give you a base that you can paint ANY kind of paint over. Yeah I would use an oil based primer though just to be sure you won't see any bleed through.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 14, 2020

    Use an oil based primer to block any bleed through, from there on it is your choice of paints. However if you choose to ouse a chalk paint, you'll need to protect it with a sealer wax. Chalk paint unprotected chips off.

  • Em Em on Jul 14, 2020

    The first thing you will need to do is prepare the area you want to repaint. If it is outdoors where oil based paint is commonly used, make sure that the weather forecast calls for clear days ahead, as the process of repainting will take a few days. Place a tarp or piece of plastic sheeting under the area before beginning. It is never advisable to sand away paint, especially if it is old, because it may contain lead, but you may want to wipe the area down just to remove any loose pieces of paint. While doing this, eye protection and a painting mask are advisable. Gloves are also important to wear, as you will be working with primer in the following step. Once the loose paint has been gently wiped away, it is time to begin the repainting process.


    When repainting an oil based paint area, primer is essential, because the only type of paint that will truly work on a previously oil paint based surface is another coat of oil paint. Unlike latex paint, oil based paint is very finicky about what it adheres to. If the surface is not cleaned and primed, the oil paint will rarely stick to it. Prime the area with a full coat of oil paint primer and let it dry completely. Apply a second coat of primer and let it sit until it, too, is completely dry. Expect for it to take anywhere from 24-48 hours for each coat of primer to dry completely. Some primers have quicker drying times, so if it is a concern for you, check the labels and manufacturer’s directions before purchasing primer.


    Oil based paint is very different from latex, in that, it can be difficult to hide painting mistakes and streaks. When painting the area, be sure that the brushes and/or rollers that you are using are specifically designed for oil paint application. When painting, use even strokes and equal amounts of paint. This will help eliminate streaking and create an even look. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat of paint. Oil based paint can be incredibly sticky, so be careful not to leave fingerprints or marks on the paint as it is drying. If done properly, the piece will look like new.

    • Jane S Jane S on Jul 14, 2020

      Thank you for the great info. I think I'll just give it away! Too much trouble for something that I don't really love. :)

  • Yes use oil based

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 14, 2020

    I would sand any rough spots and then prime with a product like Kilz before painting. Good luck and stay safe!

  • You can use latex over oil-based paint as long as you prep it. Use a good binding primer, let it dry, and then 2 coats of good latex paint.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 14, 2020

    You will need to sand if there are any places that have runs, drips, or rough areas. Then clean and prime with a binding primer. After that you can use your choice of paint.

  • Dee Dee on Jul 14, 2020

    Lightly sand the piece and then use a good bonding, stain hiding primer. Lightly sand again and then you can paint with Latex. Make sure each coat of primer and paint dry completely between coats


  • William William on Jul 14, 2020

    Just lightly sand with 220 grit sand paper. prime with Kilz primer. The paint. Simple

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Jul 17, 2020

    Any kind of chalk based paint should work. Just lightly sand and paint right over it.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 01, 2021

    Hello Jane,

    You could use Chalk Paint as that goes over anything, but use a sealer on it too.

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