oil or latex, toronto house painter, interior painting, exterior painting, wallpaper installation

It’s important to know is the paint in your toronto home is oil or latex.  In this post we’ll show you how to tell the difference.

First off, why is it important to know if my home is currently painted with oil or latex?

Oil paint generally dries harder and slicker than latex and latex paint has a hard time binding on to oil without proper preparation.  If oil paint is present and proper preparation isn’t done the latex paint won’t adhere to the oil paint underneath – see picture

oil or latex, toronto house painter, interior, exterior, wallpaper installation

Latex paint over oil without proper preparation

How likely is it that I have oil paint in my home?

If your home was painted within the last 5 years there was likely no oil used.  If it’s been over 10 years since your home was painted there are a couple of areas that could be painted oil:

  • trim – doors, door frames, window frames, baseboard
  • walls and possible ceilings in the kitchen and bathrooms

These are the places that I would check first.  10 years ago oil was a much more durable alternative than latex for these high traffic and high moisture areas.  Recently, with advances in paint technology there are great latex paints that are more than suitable for these areas.

How do I tell if the paint on my walls and/or trim is oil?

Look at the paint closely:

if there are a lot of brush or roller marks it’s likely latex, oil looks more smooth than latex.  Oil will also feel smoother to the touch than latex.

Use the acetone test:

Put some acetone or nail polish remover on a rag and rub it on the surface of the paint.  If the paint comes off on the rag it’s latex paint, if the paint doesn’t come off on the rag it’s oil.

I think my paint is oil, what do I do now?

Proper preparation is key.  There are 2 things that I’d do to ensure that the latex top coat will adhere to the oil paint:

If you’d prefer to have someone do your painting for you why don’t you book a quote?  CAM Painters can Transform Your Home With Lasting Beauty!