Can You Paint Enamel Over Latex?

Paints contain chemicals and this is directly related to our health and environment. So, you don’t want to mess things up by choosing inappropriate paint and using it the wrong way, right?

That being said, can you paint enamel over latex?

Can You Paint Enamel Over Latex?

Yes but with some conditions. Sounds confusing? Read along for the explanation.

This article will cover:

  • How you should paint enamel over latex
  • What happens when you paint enamel over latex
  • What other paints you can use over latex
  • Why enamel and latex are different paints
  • And, a lot of relevant information.

Can You Paint Enamel Over Latex? What Happens If You Do It?

The answer is yes but you should not. Don’t get me wrong but that’s a bit complicated.

The fact is, you can’t paint enamel DIRECTLY over latex because some preparatory steps are needed before you paint enamel over latex.

Enamel is an oil-based paint whereas latex is water-based. And, you may guess that oil and water never mix well.

So, when you put enamel paint directly over latex, it can split and crack over time. Since the paints come with different compositions, chances are you’ll face uneven paint texture, peeling, or blistering which you’ll never love.

However, if you sand the surface, use a primer, and then apply the oil-based paint, then it’s okay to use enamel on latex. Sometimes, you may find the latex paint is very old, it’s okay to paint enamel on the latex then.

Also to know, can you paint latex over enamel?

Hence, you still shouldn’t use latex over enamel.

But there are some other cases when you can go over latex with enamel. For example, you can do it if the enamel is applied only for a glossy finish. In this case, you can use a latex primer and then apply latex over it. After that, wait until the latex dries then apply the enamel paint for the glossy finish.

Worth mentioning: can you paint latex over water-based enamel?

Yes, you can. As both paints are water-based, you can use them overly. Still, it’s best to clean and prime the surface and then repaint it using latex paint. It will minimize the risk of peeling or cracking the paint within only a few months.

Which Paint Can You Use Over Latex?

As you already know that you can paint enamel over latex but you have to go through some pre-steps.

Which Paint Can You Use Over Latex?

Now, let’s explore some other options here. The table below is a full picture of which paint you can use over latex and whether you need a primer or not.

Paint NamePrimer
Latex PaintNo need to use primer
Acrylic PaintNot necessary
Spray PaintMost of the time, spray paints don’t require a primer
Oil-based PaintNot necessary but primer is recommended
EnamelPrimer is needed
Shellac PaintNo need to use primer
Chalkboard PaintNot a must, but primer is recommended

What Makes Latex and Enamel Paint Different?

By now, you’ve known a lot about enamel and latex paint. To provide you a crystal clear idea, here we’ve compiled the differences between latex and enamel paint.

ParametersEnamel PaintLatex Paint
OdorStrong and irritating odorLess odor
SafetyMore toxicLess toxic
QualityMore durable, longer-lastingLess durable
Drying TimeLonger drying timeDries quickly
Ease of UseA bit hard to deal withEasier to use
Clean-UpHard clean-up processEasier to clean
Weather conditionsHigh toleranceMedium tolerance
Surface ConditionsThe surface must be dryA bit of moisture doesn’t bother much

As you can see, both latex and enamel paints are filled with hefty loads of advantages.

Since enamel paint contains a strong odor that may irritate you, make sure you wear a safety costume while dealing with enamel paint. Otherwise, it may cause eye irritation, dizziness, breathing issues, and headaches.

Latex paint also has an odor but it’s milder and this paint is less toxic than enamel paint. From the environmental judgment, latex paint is better than enamel paint. Still, you must work with the paint in a well-ventilated area.

Enamel paint is popular for delivering a top-notch finish when it’s dry. However, it takes so long to dry. Latex paint dries fast and it’s not as long-lasting as enamel paint.

Although latex paint offers easier use and clean-up, enamel paint wins in terms of quality. Also, enamel paint is designed to withstand several weather conditions.

Overall, consider using enamel paint for outdoor uses since it’s more durable and long-lasting than latex paint.

Which Paint Should You Use for Which Surface?

Which Paint Should You Use for Which Surface?

As you don’t make any mistake, let’s get to know which paint should be used on which surface.

Since latex is water-based paint, you can’t apply it on metal surfaces. Because it will lead the surface to rust fast. Use latex paint for concrete walls, drywall, and stucco.

Enamel paint’s usage isn’t that limited like latex paint. It works best on metal, glass, wood, aluminum, porcelain, and stainless steel. Moreover, you can use enamel paint on doors, trims, window frames, and so on. Enamel paint works like a boss to protect the surfaces.

For your information, latex paint always requires 2-3 coats if you expect the best result. For this, it will lead to having a darker color. But enamel paint doesn’t have this limitation so you can end up with a light color.

Read More: Methods of Removing Enamel Paint from Metal!

You May Also Ask

What is latex enamel paint?

Latex enamel paint is an oil-based paint that is used for especially exterior cases. It’s because this paint withstands adverse weather conditions.

What is water-based enamel paint?

It’s a quick-drying enamel paint that you can paint over in an hour or two.

Is enamel paint good for cars?

Yes, it’s an excellent option to paint cars’ frames and undercarriages.

Final Words

So, what do you think now? Will you paint enamel over latex?

Whatever your answer is, try to avoid doing this. If not possible, don’t forget to take the additional steps before you do the painting. Since enamel paint offers a lot of amazing features, use it the right way to take the most advantage.

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