You might wonder if you first have to remove all of the old paint, or if you can simply jump right in and paint on the new layer. The truth is, there is no yes or no answer to this, as it completely depends on the state of the old paint, and of the surface itself!
Basically, there are a few set conditions that the surface you want to paint needs to meet, in order for the paint to be able to properly adhere and stick to it. And sometimes, old paint can get in the way of these set conditions, so it depends!
Let’s look at a few:
The surface needs to be clean and smooth:
One of the most important things to ensure before you start painting is that the surface is clean and smooth, ready for the paint. However, if the old paint has started to peel, then the surface will be far from ready for a new coating.
If you clean the surface and notice that the old paint is coming off, you will need to sand it down or completely strip it, as otherwise, the new paint won’t adhere!
No glossy finishes!
Paint won’t stick to a glossy surface, so if the old paint has been coated with a smooth and glossy sealer, you’re going to need to sand it down. Once this layer is removed, you can probably leave the old paint, as paint can adhere to paint without any issues!
The use of primer:
When painting, it is highly recommended (and sometimes required), that you use a primer as the initial coating. If you’re painting over old paint, and this old paint is still in good condition (not peeling, for example), then you won’t have to use a primer. As long as you’re using the same type of paint, you can simply add it on top and it will adhere without issues.
Essentially, you need to check the condition the old paint is in, and decide whether it’s okay to keep it as a base, or if it needs stripping. If it’s the same type of paint as the one you’re intending on using, and it is not peeling away, then it should be completely fine!
Do you have to remove all the old paint before repainting?
Stripping an entire surface of the old paint can be quite the job, but luckily, there is no need to remove all of the old paint before repainting a surface anew.
However, it is important to check the condition the old paint is in, as it will determine whether the new paint can actually adhere to it properly or not.
Start by checking how well the old paint is doing. If it is peeling off in places, sand those places down to remove the failed paint. You cannot simply paint over peeling paint, because it will all eventually come loose and fall off the surface!
Sanding down the surface will also help remove any remnants of the finishing layer. New paint can’t adhere to a glossy surface, so this step is pretty important!
Once the old paint is clean and has been sanded down, you should double-check that it’s the same type of paint that you’re going to use, and then you’re good to go! This is because, for example, latex paint would struggle to properly stick onto oil-based paint, so they need to match in order for the job to be as durable as possible.
How do you paint over existing paint?
Painting over existing paint is completely possible, and you don’t always have to remove or strip the old paint first, as that would be quite a hassle. However, the steps that you take when painting over existing paint will vary depending on the state of the old paint.
Here is how to do it:
- If the old paint is in good condition:
And it’s the same type as the new paint:
This is the best-case scenario, and it means that painting over the existing paint will be super easy.
If there is a glossy finish to the old paint, sand that down to remove it, if not then you can immediately add the new layer of paint on! You won’t need a primer either, as the old paint will act as a good base that the new paint can adhere to!
- And it’s a different paint type:
If the old paint is, for example, oil-based, and the new paint is latex, then you will need to add a primer on top of the old paint, to ensure that the new paint can properly adhere to the surface. Other than that, you’re good to go!
- If the old paint is in bad condition:
If the old paint is peeling off or has imperfections, then you will have to strip and sand down the problematic areas, and make sure you smooth and clean everything out.
You will also need to add a primer so that the new paint has a base it can adhere to properly.