Many of you ask us if you can paint with water-based enamel on top of the solvent-based enamel and conversely, we will explain in this post what can and cannot be done. Because, although it is not difficult, maybe if we do not know exactly how to apply it, we will, as they say.


If we are going to paint a door, window, chair, table, fence or any surface that is already painted with solvent-based enamel, we can paint it with water-based enamel. To do this, we do not need to do anything special, we simply sand and clean the surface 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 to know if the surface is painted with solvent-based enamel?

You only need 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, since water-based enamel has been used for several years.

We can also know if the enamel is solvent based if the surface is painted with a special enamel such as ferrite, martelé, polyurethane, etc., because these enamels are only solvent based.

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 will not be able to, because if we do that, the solvent will lift and crack the enamel layer in the water.

The same goes for enameled primers. You have them available for water and solvents.

If applicable, apply a primer over the base coat.

A solvent primer cannot be applied over an aqueous primer.


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