Can You Use Latex Paint Over Oil Based Primer? Best tips for you!

We have received many questions and  “Can you use latex paint over oil based primer?” is one of the most popular. Some individuals believe that the oil foundation cannot be mixed with any paint; thus, they avoid using primer while painting.

However, many painters can still pull it off and produce stunning results. If you understand how an oil-based primer works, it may be quite beneficial. 

Today, we will help you answer the confusing question about applying the latex layer on an oil base. Let’s follow our lead!

Why Doesn’t The Oil Based Primer Mix? 

You can spoil the oil-based layer if you apply latex paint incorrectly, resulting from the fact that oil primer does not often mix. It reacts immediately with the upper paint, measured at a different rate rather than its rate. The cover paint will then peel or crack. 

Another reason for the inflexibility of oil-based paint is its drying time. You have to wait hours for it to get dry. Although the updated oil-based primer can be quicker, they still dry at a distinct rate compared to ordinary paints.

Just imagine you are painting two layers on a surface but they do not dry at the same time. You can guess the result then: Your workpiece will be cracked for sure.

Can You Use Latex Paint Over Oil-Based Primer? 

Despite its disadvantages, you can totally use latex over oil-based primer. 

Applying latex paint on the oil foundation with a proper preparation can yield outstanding results with a highly resistant, long-lasting outcome. The preparation step includes the assistance of the sandpaper to bring out a flat surface on which both colors may mix.


Can You Use Latex Paint Over Oil Based Primer

Painters also find it useful to paint latex one oil-based primer since:

  • Oil-based primers, especially when applied on untreated surfaces, can create a good seal that enables the latex coat to cover the surface properly.
  • The said primer goes well with wooden materials. An oil-based foundation can avoid wood from losing its tannins and seeping through the paint coat.
  • One disadvantage of latex paints is that they can cause wood grains to bulge. However, when applied over the oil-based primer, the underlying layer protects it from damaging the surface if properly sanded.

Oil-based primer works well with wood

Oil-based primer benefits users a lot, which explains the reason it remains the top choice among other primer types.

What Surface Can Accept Oil-Based Primer? 

Oil-based primer can bring about a tough and smooth finish. Hence, experienced painters have a strong liking for this kind of primer. Unfortunately, the oil-based materials only work well with some surfaces.

As we have mentioned before, oil foundation is the best choice when it comes to wood. Here are some wooden surfaces that mostly are used with the oil primer:

  • Skirting boards
  • Shelves
  • Window edgings
  • Door frames
  • Mantelpieces
  • Crown moldings
  • Kitchen cupboards

Of course, you can use the oil-based primer for other purposes besides our recommendations above. However, the product might not be as good as you expected. Please take into careful consideration before starting your work.

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How Can We Use Latex Over Oil-Based Primer? 

You cannot adjust the oil-based primer’s structure. All you need to pay attention to is your target surface. Bear in mind to properly prepare the surface for a flat and long-lasting finish!

The surface is crucial in every painting project. Preparation for the target area includes sanding down the surface and cleaning with a moist clean towel. Remember to apply a primer coat before you start painting with latex.

Always clean the surface before painting

You have to confirm that your target surface is completely dry before applying latex paint on an oil foundation. This method works well when there is no inherent feature in the oil-based paint that impedes the second paintwork application.

You may note that oil-based paint has a strong odor, but this will fade after a few days. When your work has completely dried, there will be no more oil on the painted area, so that the odor will have vanished as well.

Although not all surfaces require priming, it is necessary to use latex one oil-based foundation. Remember that any painted area may find it hard to accept a second layer. So, you should take away the previous cover if you want to apply more than one coat of oil-based paints.


So, can you use latex paint over oil based primer? The answer is definitely yes. As aforementioned, an oil-based foundation with an upper latex layer might provide several advantages. However, to get the desired results, the surface must be meticulously prepared.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are always willing to solve your problem.

Reference Source: Painting Over Oil-Based Paint with Latex Paint

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