Can You Spray Paint Over a Latex Paint?-Done In 5 Easy Steps (2023)

Typically, latex paint is water-based, so you can apply similar water-based paints like acrylic over it to give it a new look.

You can also spray oil-based paint over latex paint. However, you can’t spray paint latex over oil-based paint because water-based paint, of which latex is one, does not adhere to oil-based paint, yet oil-based paint adhere properly to water-based paint.

To eliminate the confusion, we will answer the common question “can you spray paint over a latex paint”, which paints to use, and the crucial factors to consider when undertaking such a project.

Can You Spray Paint Over A Latex Paint?

Yes, it’s possible to spray paint over latex paint. The general rule is strictly using other water-based paint, such as acrylic paint or shellac. You can even add a new coat of latex paint over the old one. You can even spray oil-based paint over latex, but you should avoid spraying latex over oil-based paint.

Which Paint Can You Use Over Latex Paint?

These days latex paints are a popular choice for painting ceilings and interior walls, so your apartment interiors probably have latex paint coatings.

Suppose you want to renovate the interior; which spray paint can you use over the old latex paint?

Examples include acrylic, shellac, chalkboard, and even new latex paint. Below is an overview of the types of paint you can spray over latex paint.

Spray painting Acrylic Paint Over Latex

As we have seen, you can use any water-based paint over latex paint. Acrylic is an excellent example of such paint that adheres well to latex and guarantees a smooth finish.

Acrylics are durable and easy to use since they’re typically made of water, additives, polymer, and pigments. However, surface cleaning and preparation are crucial if you want to paint successfully without issues.

Secondly, acrylic is best applied on smaller objects, especially if you want to add details to the project. For example, acrylic paint works best on murals. The only disadvantage of spray painting acrylic on latex is the price factor.

Acrylic is an expensive paint, and using it on large projects may not be cost-effective unless you don’t mind investing more. Otherwise, it’s more affordable to use new coats of latex paint if covering large projects.

Spray Painting Enamel Paint Over Latex

Enamel paint is another water-based spray paint that can be applied over latex paint. It’s ideally an oil-based paint that contains metallic pigments hence the name enamel.

Enamel paint tends to dry faster and requires sealing to protect the coating from brittles.

You can use enamel paint over latex paint, but the same rule of surface preparation applies. You should also apply a latex primer before spray painting enamel paint over latex for best results.

Spray Painting Shellac Paint over Latex

Shellac is a mixture of resin and solvents that binds together to create a formula with high-quality adhesion.

Because of its high binding qualities, shellac can adhere to latex paint without a primer.

Thanks to its durability, it’s best used on latex-painted walls and furniture. With shellac paint, you can be sure of excellent quality finishes even on existing paint, but retaining its new glossy look requires a high degree of maintenance.

Spray Painting oil-based Paint Over Latex

Oil-based paints adhere well to water-based paint like latex, so you can use it on old latex coatings. These paints are naturally made of oil, solvents, and pigments that blend easily onto old latex paint. However, ensure you apply a latex primer adequately before you apply oil-based paint. Also ensure you apply multiple thin coats for optimal results.

Spray Painting Chalkboard Over Latex

Chalkboard paint is a dry formula that contains natural ingredients with high adhesive properties.

You can draw a chalkboard on a latex-painted surface, saturate it with water, and then use a sponge to spread it over the surface.

It’s a great way to decorate a children’s room and provides excellent finishes though it’s less durable than other options in this list.

This type of paint is ideal for projects where you want to give your old latex paint a different color, although it requires adequate surface preparation.

Again for optimal results, always prime the surface before you apply chalkboard paint over latex paint.

Spray Painting Latex Paint over Latex

Sometimes it’s much easier to recoat your latex-painted walls with new latex paint.

This water-based paint is formulated with rubber, polymer resin, and vinyl to provide a pleasant sheen that can be achieved with a single coat.

If you’re looking to repaint your ceiling or walls, latex paint is an excellent option, as it offers more coverage and is affordable.

If applying latex over a dark coat of paint, it’s best to apply a primer to conceal the underlying coat allowing you to use minimal paint.

Note that priming only applies to dark colors; otherwise, you don’t need to prime the surface if you want to apply latex paint over existing latex paint.

Spray Painting over latex

Spray paints contain acrylic polymers and solvents that support adhesion on multiple surfaces, including previously painted latex paint. You can apply any spray paint over latex paint, whether water or oil-based.

However, it’s advisable to check the instructions on the product to ascertain which surfaces it can best adhere to before application.

Spray paints are an excellent option for art pieces though you can use them on any surface, including walls and furniture.

What to Know Before Painting Over Latex Paint

Spray painting over latex is a fun way to improve the quality and aesthetics of your home, but if not done right, it can backfire disastrously.

To ensure you do everything perfectly, here are a few things to remember before starting your project.

  • Clean the surface beforehand: Before using any spray paint over latex, ensure the surface is clear of debris and dirt. A degreaser is an excellent choice for removing unnoticeable grime. After degreasing, rinse with water, allow to dry, and get down to the actual paint job.

  • Sand the surface: This step is often overlooked though in most cases, it’s crucial. Sanding helps clear the surface of impurities and roughness that may result in substandard finishes. Before applying paint, please take a few minutes to sand the surface to a smooth base.

  • Prime: It’s advisable to prime the existing latex coat, especially if it’s a darker color. Not only will you improve surface adhesion, but you’ll cover the dark color completely, allowing you to use less paint which is cost-effective.

  • Invest in your project. Cheap, as you know, is expensive. It pays to work with premium quality materials and products rather than opting for cheaper ones which will frustrate you in the long run.

How to Spray Paint Over a Latex-Painted Surface?

Now that you know the correct paint to use on old latex, let’s go over the application procedures. We’ll start with the necessary materials you’ll need. They include:

  • Rags
  • Sanding paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Primer
  • Spray paint of your choice (acrylic, shellac, enamel, or latex)

Step 1: Surface and Workplace Preparation

Spray painting over latex paint generally involves repainting walls or ceilings. A little surface preparation will simplify your work and provide the best results.

Start by removing items from the room and cleaning the areas you want to paint. Spreading drop cloths across the room also helps trap stray paint droplets and protect the floor from spills.

It’s also advisable to cover switches and sockets with masking tape to protect against spills. Also, use painter’s tape to protect windows and similar places you don’t want to paint.

Step 2: Preparing the Surface

This step involves sanding to remove all the peeling paint. Rubbing with fine-grit sandpaper and wiping with a damp cloth will work wonders here.

In case of other contaminants, wash the surface with water and mild detergent, then apply a primer to create a barrier between the new paint and the old loose one. A primer also helps give your finished surface a professional, vibrant look.

Some of the best primers to use include acrylic and oil-based primers. After application, allow the primer to dry, then sand it lightly before applying new paint.

Step 3: Prepare the paint

Start by shaking the aerosol can. Please don’t skip this step, as it’s imperative. Shaking the can helps mix all the pigments and solvents to create the ideal blend that will be distributed evenly across the entire surface.

It will also help you maintain perfect consistency while reducing the number of coats you must apply.Ensure the paint is thin enough and suitable for an airless paint sprayer

Step 4: Apply the paint over the latex

It’s time to spray the paint over the latex. Follow the professional spray painting rules, which include maintaining proper distance from the wall/ceiling/furniture and holding the gun properly for even strokes.

Also, you should maintain a uniform consistency throughout the entire surface, not creating paint streaks or bubbles. Finally, use thin layers for optimal results.

Step 5: Wrap up

Before you add the second layer of paint, ensure the first is completely dry to prevent bubbly, uneven outcomes. Once the second coat of paint is fully dry, remove the masking tapes, drip cloths, and newspapers used to protect your surfaces.

Can You Spray Paint Over Peeling Latex Paint?

It’s normal for latex paint to start peeling off surfaces after some time. The problem can be caused by a few factors like lack of adequate surface preparation during painting, wrong painting techniques, and using paint incompatible with the substrate.

Regardless of the cause, peeling paint can be an eyesore, and you’d want to know if you spray new paint over it.

Sure, it’s possible to paint directly over the peeling coat if it’s not too badly peeled. Otherwise, sanding is highly recommended before any new layer of paint can be added.

Water- and oil-based paint works great on peeling latex paint, provided the surface is thoroughly prepared. The only thing to always remember is to use good spray paint that will not cause problems upon contact with the old latex paint.

For example, avoid using water-based paints over oil-based paint, which will only cause more peeling issues.

Can You Spray Lacquer Over Latex Paint?

If you want to add a new layer of protection over your old latex paint, lacquer is an excellent choice.

Unlike oil-based paint, lacquer paint is made with high-quality adhesives that ensure maximum binding of old and new paint. However, this option is best if the paint is flat and contains no sheen.

Since lacquer solvents tend to evaporate faster, they may damage the old coat. So, it’s advisable to avoid over-spraying too much lacquer paint over latex as there’s a high chance it can develop blisters and wrinkles.

FAQs: Spray Painting over Latex paints

What paint will stick to latex paint?

Any paint type, be it acrylic, shellac, enamel, or even latex, will stick perfectly on existing latex paint. Oil-based paints and different spray paints also have excellent bonding properties that help ensure they adhere to the existing coat. However, sometimes it’s best to use a primer to improve adhesion and texture.

How soon can you spray paint over an old coating?

Latex paint dries to the touch in around one hour, and recoating is best done within four hours. However, it’s best to refer to the label on your spray paint can, which specifies how soon you can spray paint over latex paint. The same instructions will also show you how long that particular paint will dry over latex, so always spare a few minutes to review the product description.

Can you spray paint latex?

Yes. Today’s latex paints have undergone significant improvement in terms of quality and texture. They’re primarily made of synthetic resins with a thinner consistency and are compatible with modern sprayers, including spray guns. You can spray latex in an aerosol can or airless gun; if your paint is too thick, you can thin it for spraying.

Can you spray paint over latex paint without sanding?

In some cases sanding may be entirely up to you and optional. Other times, you must sand the surface and prime it before spray painting can be done. For example, if the surface is smooth with no elements of impurities, you don’t need sanding. But it’s best to sand the old paint before spraying a new coat in case of peeling, bumps, and other forms of uneven texture.

What happens when you put oil-based paint over latex?

You can put oil-based paint over latex, but it can cause problems over time. Latex contains flexible solvents, which can develop cracks and peeling if incorporated into old paint with brittle characteristics. The best way to avoid long-term surface impurities is to thoroughly sand and prime the substrate before applying a new oil-based paint coat.

Content Summary – Spray Painting Over Latex Paint

Spray painting is a great way to transform your place and give it an attractive look. But if you already have existing latex paint on your walls, can you spray lacquer over latex paint?

Yes, you can spray paint any paint over latex paint, and you don’t need to start from scratch.

By using the right paint and following this proven tutorial, you’re sure to get the best results.

This blog is dedicated to answering all your questions on spray painting over latex paint. We hope you find it resourceful.


Can you spray paint on top of latex paint? ›

Spray paints are known to adhere very well to most surfaces and that includes surfaces that were painted with latex-based paints. You can apply most spray paints directly to latex paint.

What happens if you paint over latex paint? ›

Painting with an oil based paint over latex is OK but doing the reverse will cause you grief for many years to come since any further coats of paints applied will stick to the latex only.

Can you paint over latex paint without sanding? ›

Latex paint can now be applied directly to the prepared surface. Sanding is not required if an extreme bonding primer is used instead.

Can you use Rustoleum spray paint over latex paint? ›

If the spray paint is water-based, you can paint over it with any paint of your choice. However, if it's oil-based, it will repel any paint that is not oil-based, simply because oil mixes with oil and not water.

Should I thin latex paint before spraying? ›

Is it necessary to Thin Latex Paint for Spraying? Yes, the latex paint does need to be thinned. Even though latex paint is water-based, it is thicker than the oil-based paint varieties. The thick latex paint needs to be thinned to be able to spray a fine mist of paint.

Can you spray paint over paint without sanding? ›

As it turns out, not only can you spray paint wood without sanding – you can also spray paint pressed wood/particle board (which some parts of this desk were) and even that papery cardboard panel on the back. All of it, you guys. Just spray paint ALL of it. Then let it dry and do it again.

Can you spray paint over paint without primer? ›

Typically, spray paint goes on in a thick coat that adheres well to most surfaces. Priming isn't required but is recommended depending on the material you are painting.

Can you spray over water based paint? ›

The most important thing to do is allow your water based acrylics to cure first. Not just touch dry which is usually after a few minutes or even a few hours but if we give them around 24 hours or at least overnight, they are fine to be sprayed over.

Does latex paint come off easy? ›

Just like acrylic, latex and water-based paints and water-based wood stain are super easy to remove so long as you catch them before they dry. These stains have a removal method that's pretty much similar to acrylic: Flush the stain under warm running water, making sure to work from the back of the fabric.

What do you clean latex paint with before repainting? ›

Latex paint: Dish soap and water, or vegetable oil-based cleaner. Oil-based paint: White vinegar, or dish soap and water.

How soon can you paint over latex paint? ›

Paint Drying Times and Factors

Latex paint - dry to the touch in about 1 hour, and you can safely recoat in 4 hours. However, the labels on all paint cans specify the dry and recoat times for that particular paint, so be sure to read the manufacturer's directions for exact times.

Do I need to sand off all the old paint before repainting? ›

While sanding is not required for every paint project, rough spots on walls, whether they have been previously painted or not, need to be sanded before they are painted to ensure the paint goes on smoothly.

Do you have to sand off old paint before repainting? ›

That depends on your project. Some people choose to skip this important step, but they're missing out on some of the benefits paint stripping provides. Both individuals and businesses have situations where they need to paint strip, and removing old paint gives you a fresh start and a more even new coat of paint.

Why is my latex paint peeling when sanding? ›

If you don't clean and sand the surface properly before painting, the new paint may not adhere properly and could start to peel. Latex paint needs a completely clean surface to adhere to, so a dirty or dusty surface will result in peeling latex paint.

Do you need to prime before using Rustoleum spray paint? ›

Before using spray paint, it's a good idea to apply a coat of paint primer. Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Spray Primer seals bare wood so the paint doesn't absorb too quickly into the porous surface. It also leads to a smoother and longer-lasting spray paint finish.

Can you use kilz over latex paint? ›

KILZ Complete® dries quickly and provides a mildew resistant coating. It can be used under latex or oil-based paint.

Is Rustoleum spray paint enamel or latex? ›

Product information
Paint TypeEnamel
Specific Uses For Product‎Interior/Exterior
Surface Recommendation‎Ceramic,Metal,Wood
Item Form
16 more rows

What happens if you over thin latex paint? ›

Also, by over thinning a latex you will change its drying properties. As you are well aware, water evaporates slowly, especially in high humidity conditions. Because of the chemistry of a latex paint if you add too much water you can impair its chemical and physical properties.

Can you spray latex paint with HVLP gun? ›

Spraying Latex Paint with a Fuji HVLP Spray System

Yes, this can be done, and it can save time compared with using a paint roller or a cheap hardware store paint sprayer.

How do you fix orange peel on latex paint? ›

Orange-peel textures can usually be repaired simply by using an ordinary 3/8-inch nap paint roller to slightly stipple a coating of wet wallboard compound spread across the surface.

Can you paint over latex paint with regular paint? ›

If you're wondering if you can paint over peeling latex paint with a different type of paint, the answer is yes! You can use oil-based or water-based paint over peeling latex paint.

Can you spray paint over acrylic latex? ›

Acrylic paint is water-based and as such every other water-based paint, as well as oil-based paint, will stick to it. Most spray paints and shellac paints will stick to acrylic paint as well. The following is a list of paints that can be applied directly on acrylic paint: Acrylic paint.

Can I spray paint over another spray paint? ›

Can You Paint Over Spray Paint? Yes – you can paint over spray paint as long as it is completely dry, not just to the touch but really dried and cured. You need to sand the finish lightly with 100 grit sandpaper to provide something for the new paint to grab onto.

Does latex paint need primer? ›

If you are using paint that is designed for indoor use, like latex or oil-based paints, then you don't need to use a primer.

Can you spray acrylic over water based paint? ›

The most important thing to do is allow your water based acrylics to cure first. Not just touch dry which is usually after a few minutes or even a few hours but if we give them around 24 hours or at least overnight, they are fine to be sprayed over.

How many hours are allowed before recoating the paint using acrylic latex paint? ›

Adding a Second Coat

After your first coat of paint is dry, it's safe to recoat typically after four to six hours. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least three hours to recoat your paint or primer if it's water-based. Waiting 24 hours is best for oil-based paint and primer.

What is the difference between latex paint and acrylic latex paint? ›

The main difference between the two paints is that acrylic paint is chemical-based and latex paint is water-based. Because it's chemical-based, the chemicals in acrylic paint make it more elastic than latex paint.

Do you need two coats of paint when spraying? ›

It is recommended that you apply two coats and allow the proper time frame for drying. Be sure to also sand between each dried coat. Once the final coat is painted and allowed time to dry, it's time for a clear coat. Depending on the sheen of paint used, you can also apply a clear coat over spray paint.

Do you have to remove old paint before spray painting? ›

That depends on your project. Some people choose to skip this important step, but they're missing out on some of the benefits paint stripping provides. Both individuals and businesses have situations where they need to paint strip, and removing old paint gives you a fresh start and a more even new coat of paint.

Can you paint directly over paint? ›

You can use a primer to thoroughly cover the old color, then apply 1 or 2 coats of the new paint. Paint & primer in one paints are a newer option, which could be ideal for your situation and even shorten the project.

Why does latex paint peel off? ›

The reasons for peeling paint can vary widely. Painting over dirty walls, excess moisture, improper prep, and using latex paint on top of oil paint can all affect the paint's adhesion and cause it to eventually begin flaking off.

What happens if you paint over paint too soon? ›

What happens if I recoat paint too soon? Applying the second coat of paint before letting it adequately dry will result in your paint peeling, clumping, and bubbling. It can also result in a different colour than what you intended.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated: 09/12/2023

Views: 5863

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.