Many people love the look of painted wood but would prefer they didn’t have to paint it. Since we do not generally advise painting over old paint for several reasons. You may be wondering if it’s possible to just paint over an existing finish and skip all the stripping and sanding steps in between.
Certainly, it is possible and this is a great way to speed up the process. However, you run some risks when painting over an existing finish. So be aware of them before taking on this project. Doing some research and understanding what can happen will also help ensure that your painted wall turns out nice.
It takes a few more supplies and/or effort when painting over an existing finish.
You will need to completely clean the surface to remove any dirt, grease, or debris from it. You can use a degreasing soap or solvent to do this job if necessary. Also, make sure you sand the surface with a high-grit sandpaper and remove the dust with a tack cloth or vacuum cleaner.
Then, prepare your surface by cleaning it again. This time to remove any remaining dirt and debris, and make sure it is completely dry before applying primer. Do not use one coat over another as you will run into problems such as poor adhesion. You will also not be able to distinguish between the old finish and the new one.
Choose a quality paint with good adhesion properties for this kind of job. Such as polyurethane paint or 100% acrylic latex. Some paints may not stick well to existing finishes and will lose their adhesiveness and become vulnerable to peeling.
Make sure the surface is smooth. And that there are no loose corners of paint or wood that can lift away from the main body of work as you apply new coats. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for how to use your product. Such as letting the paint dry for a specified amount of time before applying another coat.
Letting the surface cure thoroughly, preferably overnight, between coats is also important. It is to make sure you get good adhesion and durability with your final coating. (the first coat of primer should be dry before applying it)
If the existing finish is clean, then you can just apply a coat or two of primer before your main color coats. This will ensure that any color that shows through is subtle.
When painting over baseboards, don’t bother sanding them down. Unless they are filthy and in need of a serious cleaning (which would include de-glossing the glossy paint). Clean up any drips or runs before they dry completely
Allow it to dry for 24 hours before putting anything back over it, including lamps and rugs. You can go ahead and put that shiny new flooring in place, but be sure it is completely cured (with no sticky glue residue) before you walk on it. Otherwise, your feet will stick to the floor as you walk.
Put up any trim, molding, and wall decor immediately after painting a room – do not wait until the paint is completely dry because it could easily crack or peel with the slightest movement.
If you have a white ceiling that needs a fresh coat of paint, make sure to wipe off all of the old paint before applying the new finish. Don’t forget to put down your plastic drop cloths so you don’t have to clean up old paint drips later on!
You shouldn’t repaint a wall or exterior door with the same color that was used for the previous job unless you are sure you know what was used. Even if the color works in your house, it may not work in the next one.
If you are not sure of the color you want to use on a new wall, use a light coat of primer first and allow it to dry completely before adding your main layer of paint. You will know when it is time to sand and repaint a wall if it begins to feel rough and dried out.
Preparing the surface before applying primer is key for good adhesion and durability with how to paint over old paint. Make sure that your work area (and yourself) is completely covered with drop cloths. It can be messy and get on everything.
Filling in holes, cracks or nail pops in walls will also help to ensure that your paint job lasts for years.
If you want the paint job to last as long as possible, start with a good-quality primer base. You don’t want it all to look great only to find that it peels away after a few years.
If you are painting over wallpaper, make sure that it is securely attached to the wall with no loose edges. Otherwise, you will end up with ripples in your paint job at best and gaping holes at worst. You don’t necessarily have to sand down the entire surface of a wall before you paint it over. Unless there is a lot of texture or bumpiness, simply apply one coat of primer to ensure good adhesion.
Painting over old paint is a very economical way to update a home without spending too much money. It is also a good way to use fresh colors that do not have any inconsistencies from the previous one. No streaks or patchy places.
One of the disadvantages is that it may not be as durable as it could have been if you had started from scratch. With a whole new layer of paint to adhere to, any inconsistencies or rough spots on the surface will be magnified.
If you are stuck with a job that is beginning to look bad but does not want to go through the trouble of starting over from scratch. Or if you just need a few small areas touched up or an accent wall painted painting over old paint can be a good and cost-effective solution.
Don’t take shortcuts while painting your home, or you will end up with a job that will need to be fixed sooner rather than later. Painted walls and trim can last for decades if are done properly. But keep in mind the potential pitfalls and do not be surprised if you end up with more problems down the road.