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Can You Paint Acrylic, Enamel, or Oil Paint Over Latex?

Are you thinking of repainting your old walls? Are you worried about which types of paint to use on the old surface wall? Are you torn between several options such as oil, acrylic, chalk, enamel paint but do not know which will be the wiser option to choose?

Can you paint acrylic, enamel, or oil paint over latex?

There are different arrays of paints that can be used over old painted latex paint. Oil, enamel, alkyd, acrylic, lacquer, polyurethane, and epoxy are some of the paints with which you can paint over latex paint. However, you need to make sure that you prepare and prime the surface nicely.

When you have a latex surface to repaint, you need something durable to smoothly adhere to the surface. However, you also need to be mindful of the fact that you may need to prepare the wall with scrubbing, sanding, and priming. 

Latex surface or paint itself is water-based and flexible and both water-based and oil-based paints such as acrylic, chalk, enamel, polyurethane, latex, and so on can easily be used over latex.

What paint can I use over latex paint? 

It is not always possible to use any kind of paint over latex paint. Putting incompatible paint may suffice for a short period of time however, the paint will wear off in the long run. 

Therefore, being knowledgeable about the suitable options that can be used to paint over latex paint can help you make better choices.


You are free to use oil paint on latex. In addition, latex paint seems to have more flexibility but such is not the case with oil paint. For temporary solutions, oil paint may suffice but you’ll start to notice cracks and splits in the long run if the wall isn’t prepared well.


Enamel paint is known for being an oil-based paint. Oil paints like enamel paint will not adapt very smoothly with latex-based paints nevertheless, enamel paint can be used if you are seeking a short-term solution. However, before putting on a layer of enamel paint, you need to prime first. 

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Acrylic paint is a water-based paint. Whether doing a mural painting on the wall or painting a plain wall, you can without a doubt use acrylic paint over latex paint. Acrylic paint adapts to any surface very easily and can be applied directly over latex paint without any hesitation. 

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You can definitely use chalk paint over latex paint without any major hassle. However, before putting the chalk paint over the latex paint, you need to make sure that the surface areas have been primed well. You can also use sandpaper to prepare the surface because latex paint can be very slippery. 

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Alkyd paint is oil-based paint and alkyd can be used over latex paint without a shadow of a doubt. Alkyd paint is very stronger than any latex paint and can be directly applied to latex painted surfaces without any preparations or priming because of the durability of alkyd paint. 


Using lacquer paint over latex paint can be a bit tricky especially if you do not follow all the necessary steps nevertheless, you can use lacquer paint over latex paint. But you need to make sure that there is no sheen on the latex paint otherwise lacquer paint will not adhere well to the surface. 


Polyurethane is a very flexible paint and it is available in both water-based and oil-based forms. Both polyurethane water and oil-based paints can be used over latex paint. However, you need to make sure that you prepare the surface well before putting any kind of paint on it.

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Epoxy can be put very easily over any kind of water-based paint therefore, epoxy can be painted over latex as latex is a water-based paint. However, you need to prime the wall well and you need to make sure that no oil residue is left on the surface otherwise, the paint will not stick.

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How to paint over latex paint?

Painting over latex paint can be tricky and challenging. However, if you religiously follow all the required steps properly, chances are you will end up with a smooth finish.

Protect Adjacent Areas: 

The first and foremost thing you need to do is to move all the furniture away. Then, you need to put plastic or papers on the floor so that paint residue can fall onto the plastic.

In addition, you also need to make sure to put masking tape on the adjacent areas so that paint will not splatter everywhere.

Peel the Paint:

If the previous latex paint is peeling off, then you need to remove the peeling paint as much as possible so that your new paint can adhere well to the surface.

Sand the Surface Areas:

The most important step in repainting is that you must sand the surface very nicely so that you have some sort of a smooth base to work with. In addition, you can use both 150 and 220 grit finger sandpapers to ensure a polished surface. 

Put Primer:

Another important step in preparing the surface for repainting is to put primer on the surface.

Moreover, by putting the primer on the surface prior to the actual painting, the paints’ color will be more prominent and will also offer a better finish.

Add Topcoat:

The final thing left for you to do is to add your preferred color on the latex surface but you need to make sure that the paint is compatible with the previous latex paint.

Moreover, you also need to keep in mind that oil-based paints will not adhere to the surface accurately and you need to put a primer beforehand. 

Remove the Masking Tape:

One more thing you need to do is to remove all the masking tape when the paint is still halfway dry so that you will not peel the fresh paint with it.

What happens when you put other paint over latex?

There are both positive and negative consequences of putting other paints over latex because not all paints are going to react well. 

Therefore, it is wise to be knowledgeable about the consequences so you can mold your choice accordingly.

Uneven Surface:

If you do not prepare the previous latex painted surface nicely meaning if you do not scrape the old paint, sand the surface, and prime it, chances are the wall will have uneven finishes.

Cracks and Splits:

When you try to paint over a latex painted surface with incompatible paints like oil paints, chances are you will not end up with a smooth finish. In addition, you may also end up with cracks and splits in the topcoat.

Smooth Finish:

Latex paint is water-based paint and any other water-based paint such as acrylic or latex paint will work perfectly to give you a smooth finish.

Additionally, you will not even need primer or sanding because these types of paint when put over latex paint will perfectly adhere to it.

How to prepare a latex surface for painting?

Before painting on a latex surface, you need to make sure that all the bumps, unevenness, scratches are primed and leveled so that you have a firm surface to work with.

In addition, you need to wash the old latex surface thoroughly so that all the dirty molds can be washed away and you can also use fungicidal products to properly wash away dirt and dust. 

Moreover, one of the most important things you need to do is to sand the surface and this will help a lot in the painting process. You also need to peel the paint off so that you don’t have previous paint residue left.

Furthermore, you need to use primer on walls for a better paint finish. You also need to make sure that all the stains are cleared and holes are filled in the surface. 

How to paint over peeling latex paint?

Repainting a surface can be a real hassle. Therefore, it is rather very important to perfectly clean out all the dirt, scratches, and previous paint so that you have a clear base to work with.

In addition, when you have a wall or surface area with peeling latex paint, the first thing you need to do is to sand the surface very thoroughly or you can simply peel the parts of the previous paint that are coming off easily. 

In addition, another thing you need to do is to prime the surface and then paint on that primed surface. Without putting the primer on the surface that has been peeling, your paint will not stick well.

Final thoughts:

To sum up, latex paint is water-based paint, and paints like enamel, oil, acrylic, chalk, lacquer, polyurethane can be used over latex. However, before putting any kinds of layers of paint over latex paint, you need to make sure to scrape, scrub, and sand the surface well beforehand.