Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Can You Use Oil Based Paint Over Water Based Primer?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Did you know, ‘Monalisa’! one of the evergreen pice of arts in human history was created with Oil painting? Oil painting, however is also one of the ancient paintings mostly used by  renaissance artists namely  Michelangelo, Leonardo da vinci, Raphael etc. Therefore, the modern artists tend to avoid it lest their painting should criticized as inspired or influenced yet they feel its mediaeval values.

But putting  aside all these confined and meaningless myths if you  try something different you will find oil painting is still unbeatable when it comes to  create fresh and artistically rich paintings. For instance, can You Use Oil Based Paint Over Water Based Primer? It might sounds a bit complex but it is something you are going to love once you know how it could be and how you can do it.

You can use oil based painting over water based painting as the pigments powder strongly incorporated or bonded due to the linseed or sunflower dry oil in oil based painting. Therefore, the pigments become nearly insoluble in water thus allows you to paint over any surface painted previously with water based paint.   

What Is It?

Priming provides your painting work with a smooth and professional finish. It hastens the job and reduces stress. Even though primers are comparatively more expensive, they are cheaper in a long time as walls that are primed last long. However, the rare combination of alkyd (oil-based paints) and water-based paints is rather questionable. Are they right? Is it possible to paint oil paint over water-solvent primers?

Let’s consider both of them below.

1. Oil Based Paint

Oil-based paint is liquid paint that uses oil for solvent. It usually comprises alkyd (synthetic oil) or linseed (natural) oil as the base. The alkyd base is, however, more popular because of its tougher strength and high affordability. Nonetheless, both the natural and synthetic oil are durable and hard, meaning that they are both ideal for outdoor house paintings works.

Oil Based Paint

You can also use them for interior (indoor), kitchen or bathroom cases, and your interior trims. One ideal surface for an oil-based paint is a metal surface; the paint adheres perfectly with the metal’s surface. Thus, most individuals are now using oil paint for their metal fences and gates. Also, another beneficial product for wood is the alkyd-based wood stains.

2. Water-Based Primer

The latex or water-based primer uses water as a solvent or base. It is effective for preparing an unfinished wall before painting it. Latex paints are versatile and dry fast. They are also liable for cracking and peeling, as they are less brittle.

Water-Based Primer

Water-based primers are effective for brick, softwood, and galvanized metals, and concrete. If you use a later primer on your drywall, it will even out all rough edges and smoothen the surface so that any other paint will effectively adhere. In addition, this primer works well to conceal minor stains from crayons, smokes, etc. But, on the other hand, the latex primer isn’t as effective as the oil-based paint.

However, one benefit of the water-based primers is that they are much easier to clean. In addition, latex primers and have either low-VOC or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Will Oil Based Paint Stick To Water Based Primer?

Alkyd paint can stick to water-based primers because the latex primer is compatible with oil and other paints. Although, while painting, ensure to prime the surface with the oil paint continuously until it has effectively stuck on the water-based paint. Also, ensure that water-based primer thoroughly dries up before applying the oil-based paint over it.

Furthermore, before applying the oil-based paint over the water-based paint, apply one or more layers of either alkyd- or latex holding preliminary. When that is done, allow it to dry. Now, while painting over the water-based latex, you will know when the object’s surface is properly primed when you can’t notice the previous paint.

Can You Use Oil Based Paint Over Water Based Primer?

You can use oil-based paint over the water-based primer. Allowing the undercoat paint to dry properly before overlaying with oil paint will enhance the painting’s outlook. While several water-based primers can effectively work with alkyd paints, we suggest that you consider the Gesso paint.

Gesso is an affordable, usable, and fast-drying paint that enables the oil paint to adhere properly with the water-based paint. It is a widely adopted paint that you can find in any local store or even online.

Can You Use Oil Based Paint Over Water Based Primer

However, for the oil-based paint to provide you with a significant result, ensure to get a top-quality alkyd paint set. If you are a newcomer, there are several affordable beginner options you can pick from. Oil paints that have more ingredients will be more effective with latex paint than those that have lesser ingredients.

One Major Mistake People Make When Using Oil-Based Paint Over Water-Based Primer

Most people make a common mistake while painting oil-based paint over the water-based primer. The mistake is that they don’t allow the latex paint to completely dry before applying the oil-based coating. Water-based paint breathes, expands, and is flexible as the temperature rises and drops. In contrast, the oil-based paint is hard, rigid, and doesn’t expand.

Combining the two without allowing the undercoat to dry properly will end up peeling the water-based coating and give you messy work. Everyone knows that water and oil don’t mix; it is the same thing while painting. Thus, to combine both oil- and water-based paints, ensure that you have allowed the latex primer to dry, then sandwich it between layers of a primer. After that, you can apply your oil-based paint.

Why Use Oil-Based Paint Over Water Based Primer?

You should use oil-based paint over water-based primer if you are painting an interior paint job and desire a smooth and glossy finish. The combination of both water and oil paints in a paint job makes the duo formidable, flexible, and very versatile. The water-based paint is optimal for places that require less contact, such as the trim or crown holding in your home.

How To Use Oil Based Paint Over Water Based Primer?

Now that we’ve understood the above sections, you need to understand how to use oil-based paint over water-based paint. Why this is important is because the oil and water combination is not very compatible.

How To Use Oil Based Paint Over Water Based Primer

Therefore, for you to paint oil-based paint over water such that it will last, you must do it rightly. This will give you a glossy, hard finish with a flexible, well-coated undercoat. So, what tools do you need to apply an oil-based paint over water-based paint?

Tools You Need To Apply Oil-Based Paint Over Latex Paint

These pieces of equipment are not technical to find or costly to purchase—aside from the oil and water-based paints. You can find most of them at your local stores, or get some, such as the cloth, from your condemned wears. So, what materials do you need?

  • Water-based primer
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Oil-based paint
  • Cloth
  • Sanding block
  • 80-grit & 150-grit sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Water
  • Respirator or mask

Steps In Applying Oil Paint Over Latex Paint

Applying Oil Paint Over Latex Paint

  • Safety
  • First surface preparation.
  • Second surface preparation.
  • Mask the region around.
  • Mix the primer.
  • Apply your primer.
  • Add another coat.
  • Apply the upper coat.

1. Safety

Ensure to put your safety gear on. This is because, since latex primer may be safer than the oil-based primer, you can’t tell. No one would want some of the paint in your eyes or mouth. So, ensure to prepare the room you’re painting in, make provisions for good ventilation, put on your eye protection and mask.

While preparing the room, ensure to have the air conditioner or fans powered, or leave all the windows and doors open. This makes room for sufficient ventilation into and within the room.

2. First surface preparation

After doing that, you need to prepare the surface you are painting. Clean away every old paint, grimes, and dust. Then, using 80-grade sandpaper, sand the surface to be as flat as possible. Why sanding is important is because water-based paint is flexible, and without sanding the surface and priming, the alkyd paint won’t hold.

However, when you sand the surface, this process will even out the surface, making it easier for the oil-based paint to stick to the water-based paint.

3. Second surface preparation

Once you have successfully sanded the surface using the 80-grit, use the 150-grit sandpaper to sand the surface. Do this until you get a smooth (matte) cover. This sandpaper will remove smaller grimes. When you finish doing this, sweep off the dust.

After that, use a damp cloth, then allow it to dry. When the surface is dry, use a vacuum cleaner to blow off all dust particles remaining on the surface. Then, use warm water and some detergent to wash off the surface and rinse it.

4. Mask the region around

Mask the edges and areas around the surface you are about to paint to prevent them from getting stained with the paint. Wall edges, light switches, cabinets, lamp fittings, everywhere you know can get messed up from the painting process.

Masking the surrounding areas before painting enables you to get a neat and sharp finish when you’re done painting.

5. Mix the primer

Now, move over to the primer you are using to paint. You need to mix the primer just as you would stir a paint can. You can also thin the primer quality using water, but it all depends on how many layers you have to apply and the surface texture.

6. Apply your primer

When you have finished stirring the primer, wield a small paint roller, then prime along the wall edges. Ensure to use a high-quality adhesion primer while doing so. Prime the vortexes of your ceilings and walls, then the flat wall surfaces and the trims.

Following that, overlay one layer of the water-based primer. Also, ensure to sandwich the primer in between both paints. After the first water-based coat dries up, apply a second layer to enhance the isolating effect of the primer. While doing this, ensure that the primer covers every trace of the water-based paint between its two layers.

7. Apply your oil paint

Finally, when you have finished priming, make sure the primer and paint dry completely before you decide to bring the oil paint. When you have confirmed that the previous have thoroughly dried up, use a small brush to apply one thin layer of oil-based paint. Note that you should use the brush preferably while applying paint on a wall surface. Then, using a roller or paintbrush, apply the paint to the remaining part of the wall.

If you are painting a smaller region, use a corresponding paintbrush to give you better results. Then, let the paint dry completely and sand it using sandpaper before painting a second coat. It is this second coating that gives the painted surface maximum protection and coverage.

Final Verdict

Can you use oil based paint over water based primer? Yes, you can paint oil-based paint over latex paint, provided you allow the latex paint to dry completely and sandwich it between layers of a high-quality primer. Noting that oil and water are not combinable, you need to apply them properly or risk having a flawed painting.

Also, while applying the oil-based paint over the latex paint, ensure to have the room well aerated to speed up the drying process. Now, you have seen how you can properly apply oil paint over water-based paint. Start the next project with ease.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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