From a practical standpoint, the biggest difference is that oil-base paint requires mineral spirits for cleanup, have a longer dry time, have a stronger odor, but dry to a harder finish. If you're still uncertain, you can prime over the surface with an oil-based or shellac-based primer (Zinsser BIN is … Oil based paints should only be used on the exterior parts of your house that are plastic trims or if you have medal framing (i.e. Determine the type of paint previously used. If paint comes off in the rag or the paints gets tacky, it is latex paint. However, there are some circumstances where you still might want to opt for an oil-based paint on outdoor surfaces. See the quick trick that will help you determine if you are about to When painted on wall surfaces,its sheen is more reflective on direct light shining on it. If you are painting oil-based paint on top of latex paint then you have to prime the latex first. is, take fingernail polish remover ( acetone based ) and a rag or cotton ball and rub your paint, this will remove latex and have no effect on oil But, now you know how to check to see if the paint is oil-based, before you start your painting project. ElFenix Elite Member. In this guide, you’ll learn how to properly prepare and paint over oil-based surfaces. These step-by-step instructions will help you identify if your painting was made with oil or acrylic paint. Though oil-based paints are far less common than they used to be, if you live in an old home, it’s still very common to find oil-based painted surfaces. thank you. Latex-base products are an emulsion suspended in water. Anyway,it is not important to ascertain the old painted surface is oil based paintwork or not if you remember to prime the whole base with an undercoat primer. Contrary to what the previous poster stated, knowing whether the surface you are painting over is oil-based of latex is very important. Or am I just retarded? I want to know whether my car paint is oil based or water based. Latex paints, also called acrylic paints, are fast-drying and are water-based paints, drying quickly following its application.It can take a couple hours or less to be completely dry. If you’re painting over oil-based paint—say, on kitchen cabinets or trim—it’s best to use more oil-based paint. On the other hand, oil-based paint is made with oil, and it is a very slow drying paint, sometimes taking up to a week to dry thoroughly. There is almost a 100% chance the outside of your house is not oil based paint. Super Moderator. If you can see the paint on the rag, the paint is latex base. The only solution I know of is to paint an area with the water based paint, (using a paint brush), let it dry for several hours, then check it to see if it will peel off. The weather elements or temperature would have caused a lot of cracks in the paint on the wood if it was oil based. Oil-based paints allow for greater open-time (or length of time the paint may be brushed before it sets), exceptional flow & leveling (finish smoothness) and resistance to abrasion, once cured. you can use oil over latex, but not the other way. 1. Oct 13, 2002 3,277 0 0. If the surface remains untouched, it is oil based paint. You can tell if the paint is water, oil or alcohol based by analyzing several characteristics. If it is oil or lead, the only way to tell the difference is to send a sample in to a lab to be tested. Oil based paints are brittle and will crack causing anything on the surface of the oil based paint to not adhere properly and usually chip off or also crack. Oil-based (alkyd) Paint: Oil-based paints offer superior one-coat hiding and better adhesion to difficult surfaces (such as those not thoroughly cleaned). Mar 20, 2000 101,179 4,957 126. Then is most likely oil based. Touch. It resists mildew better and the best 100% acrylic paints resist abrasion. For people wanting to use a water based latex paint instead of stinky oil based paint to repaint doors, molding, cabinets, window sills, or other interior surfaces, follow the steps below to ensure your paint will stick and not crack. Latex-based interior paint will not adhere well to oil-based, causing issues that require a lot of elbow grease to fix. Does it feels oily to the touch? 2. Advances in paint technology have resulted in lots of great latex paints that are durable enough for exterior use. Most professionals do recommend matching the type of paint for good bonding and to match the hardness and flexibility characteristics. If the paint rubs off, its water-based (latex) paint. Latex paint and oil-based paint expand and contract at two different rates. Oil based paints are always very shiny and slick. Nowadays oil paints are rarely used and most paints you buy to paint your home are water-based latex formulas. Smell. How to test to see if your paint is oil-based Pour some denatured or rubbing alcohol on a rag and wipe the surface to be painted. It’s much easier to determine what kind you have, then either convert to the other permanently and correctly (sand the surface and use a coat of primer), or simply continue to use whichever is already on your walls. P. PCMarine Diamond Member. Does it smell like alcohol, oil, or almost not smell? If you rub and rub and nothing comes off, the paint is oil-based. Oil-base products are typically composed of pigments dissolved in a mineral spirit such as paint thinner. What is the best way to find out ? Nov 2, 2003 #2 Doesn't water based paint wash off? While oil paint and acrylic paint behave very differently when wet, sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between an acrylic and an oil painting once the paint has dried. So, if you paint oil-based paint on top of a latex paint without priming first, the latex will flex so much underneath that the oil-paint will quickly fail. door, etc.) Before painting an old door, it's important to determine if the original If the previously applied paint is oil-based, I know that water-based paint will not properly adhere to the surface. Use Acrylic paints on all wood along with a coat of primer. Most people can't tell the difference between oil and latex when they look at it, even professionals sometimes have to test the paint … Acrylic paints are not, but water based semi-gloss's and latex gloss's are also very shiny. the answer to your ? Old based paints are normally more glossy than water based emulsion paint. Time-Saving Primer Tip: Most primers are white.If you are painting a dark color over a previously light color of paint, buy or have the primer mixed to a gray color. 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