Many of you ask us if you can water-based enamel paints on top of solvent-based enamel and vice versa, in this article we will explain what can and cannot be done. Because, while not difficult, it can happen that if we don’t know exactly how to apply it, we will, as they say.


If we are going to repaint doors, windows, chairs, tables, fences or any surfaces that are already painted with solvent-based enamel, we can paint them with water-based enamel. To do this, we do not have to do anything special, we simply sand the surface and clean it with a cloth and solvent to remove all traces of grease, dirt, cleaning resin, etc. And then we can calmly paint with water-based enamel.

How will you know if the surface is painted with solvent-based enamel?

It is only necessary to know the approximate time of painting the surface. For example, if we buy a house and the door is painted and we want to repaint it, knowing how old the house is, we will know if it is solvent based enamel. If the door has been painted for more than 5 years, it is most likely a solvent-based enamel, as water-based enamel has been used for several years.

We can also know if it is a solvent-based enamel if the surface is painted with a special enamel like ferrite, martel, polyurethane, etc., because these enamels are solvent-only only.

Paint with solvent-based enamel over water-based enamel.

If we want to paint with solvent-based enamel on top of water-based enamel, We won’t be able to because if we do, the solvent will lift and crack the enamel layer in the water.

The same goes for enamel coatings. You have them available for water and solvent.

Apply an aqueous coating to the solvent coating if applicable.

A solvent coating cannot be applied to an aqueous coating.


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