Can you paint over spray paint


Last updated: April 6, 2023

Here is the guide that will help you paint over spray paint without too much struggle.

A lady spray painting over paint to demonstrate can you paint over spray paint

Given its exciting hues and finishes, spray paint is a perfect upgrade for old furniture or items that look like they need a new life. Whether you’re painting a large piece that uses a base coat of spray paint or you’re looking to repurpose an old canvas previously spray painted, you may be wondering if the new paint will stick on the spray paint undercoat.

Different paints have different stickability on spray paint. Using the right paint and preparing the surface correctly is important to get the desired finish.

In this article, we will look at the possibility of painting over spray paint and how to do it correctly. 

Can you paint over spray paint?

It depends on the type of spray paint you previously used on the surface. If the spray paint is water-based, you can paint over it with any paint of your choice. However, if it’s oil-based, it will repel any paint that is not oil-based, simply because oil mixes with oil and not water. 

Can you paint enamel over spray paint?

If the spray paint is water-based, you can paint enamel over it as long as the paint job is intact and no top coat or sealant has been used. We strongly advise applying a primer before painting over the spray paint to ensure the enamel paint last longer.

However, if the spray paint is oil-based, you can apply enamel directly over it only if the enamel is oil-based. In this case, there’s no need to use a primer.

Just clean the surface with soapy water and a soft cloth, then allow to dry completely. After that, you can sand it to remove any imperfections or top glossy layer (for spray paints that are high gloss). Sanding will also create a smooth surface for the enamel paint. Once the surface is smooth, it is ready to accept new paint.

To prevent any color interference, it’s advisable to use enamel that is the same color as the spray paint, or you can use a darker tone.

Can you paint over spray paint with acrylic paint?

Acrylic paints are water-based, so they only stick to water-based paints. If the spray paint is oil-based, you will have a hard time getting acrylic to stick to it. Even if you succeed initially, the paint is more likely to lift, peel, crack or fade.

Proper surface preparation is necessary if you must paint acrylic paint over spray paint. This usually involves cleaning and sanding/scuffing down the oil-based paint to improve its adherence. Your aim is to eliminate any surface gloss or sheen. You will also need a primer.

If you’re not revamping an old paint job, make sure the base layer of spray paint is completely dry before painting over it with acrylic paint and spray paint.

Can I Put Latex Paint Over Spray Paint?

Just like acrylic paint, you can also apply latex over spray paint. But the surface must be fully cured and prepared to receive the new paint.

You want to clean, sand, and prime the surface before applying the new coat. This is necessary to ensure the acrylic paint doesn’t peel in the future. You can add a sealant or clear coat to further protect the paint. For the primer, you can opt for latex or an oil-based primer, depending on the product.

Always read the label for instructions on how to use the paint on different surfaces.

Can You Paint Over Rustoleum Spray Paint?

Yes, you can paint over Rust-Oleum spray paint as long as you use an oil-based paint. Most Rust-Oleum spray paints are oil-based and will readily accept oil paint. Sanding may be required if the spray paint is significantly glossy. You will also need a damp-proof primer and a strong color to bring the project back to life.

Can You Paint Over Glossy Spray Paint?

Glossy spray paint is usually very smooth and shiny and can be difficult to paint on if you don’t sand the surface. Sanding helps to remove the glossy layer of the spray paint so the new paint will adhere nicely. For this step, you will need sandpaper. Light sanding is recommended. Remember, the goal is not to remove the glossy paint altogether but to make it “toothy” so we can successfully paint over it.

Can I Spray Paint Over Another Spray Paint?

You can spray paint over another spray paint. This is an easy way to get your project done faster, especially if you’re spray painting a small item. The same rule of using regular paint or any other type of paint also applies here.

Use an oil-based spray paint if the surface you’re painting on has an oil-based spray paint; otherwise, the new paint will not stick. Remember to sand and prime the surface before spraying.

Can You Brush Paint Over Spray Paint?

Yes, you can brush paint over spray paint, but it must be done correctly. The spray paint surface must be completely dry (i.e., if the paint is not old), sanded, and cleaned before you attempt painting on it.

Can you paint over spray paint

Priming may also be required to ensure the surface is even, and the new paint sticks well. Since you’re using a brush, you should be able to get plenty of coverage with just two coats of paint.

Why Paint Over Spray Paint?

Using spray paint to create a base coat for your project has several advantages, but the main one is that it allows you to get the base coat down very quickly.

This can be very helpful when painting larger pieces or canvas, which can be a hassle if you’re using a brush. The spray paint base is much thinner and dries much quicker, allowing you to finish the project on time. Also, using less paint for your base coats will save you more money in the long run.

What To Do Before Painting Over Spray Paint

Ensure You’re Using the Right Paint

You want to choose a paint and primer that is compatible with the spray paint surface. In this case, you need to read the label of each medium and evaluate their contents. This will help you determine if the new paint will stick.

For instance, if the spray paint is water-based, it would be easier to paint over it.

Just to be sure, you can try spraying a few pieces of canvas paper and then apply the new paint to see if it will stick.

Practice Practice Practice

If you’re a beginner, the main paint job is not where you want to test out your skills. Practice how to spray at a safe distance since distance is a big deal. Also, you should know how to apply both thin and thick coats of paint as this affects the stickability.

Choose the Right Temperature

Don’t just paint in any place. Choose somewhere that is well-ventilated such as outside or in your garage. This is extremely important to ensure the paint dries properly and sticks well.

If you spray when it’s too hot or humid, the paint can dry to a grainy texture or form bubbles or crackles. So, always do a rain check before you start painting. For the best results, it’s recommended to paint when the temperature is between 65 to 85 degrees.

Make sure to wear a mask or respirator, especially if you’re using an oil-based paint.

Prepare the Surface

No matter what material you’re working with, proper surface preparation is necessary if you want a professional-looking finish. You should always remove any dirt or dust on the workpiece before you start painting. Use soapy water and a clean cloth.

Also, you want to rough up glossy surfaces by sanding with fine-grit sandpaper. This will give the paint something to stick to.

Shake Shake Shake

If you’re using spray paint, shake the can considerably (for 1-2 minutes) before using it. Also, shake it while spraying. If you’re using a brush, stir the paint well to take care of bubbles before you apply the first stroke of paint.

Allow the paint to dry completely between coats to prevent air bubbles or crackles.

How to Paint over Spray Paint?

Follow the steps below to paint over spray paint:

Sand The Spray Paint

Most spray paints have a glossy finish, which is difficult to paint on even if you do every other thing right. Sanding removes the glossy appearance, so the new paint will have something to stick to. The goal is not necessarily to remove the spray paint altogether but to rough up the surface slightly.

You can use fine-grit sandpaper (we recommend 120-grit) for this step. Lightly sand/scuff the entire spray paint surface until the glossy feel/look disappears.

Clean The Surface

Once you’ve sanded down the glossy paint, wipe down any dust residue with a piece of cloth. Then apply a mild cleanser of your choice to remove any debris that must have accumulated on the surface from the surrounding. You can also use soapy water (created with mild soap or detergent) or borax and allow to dry.

Apply Primer

Once the surface is dry, apply a primer of your choice. Priming ensures the paint sticks well. Skipping this step may cause the paint to chip or lift.

Allow the primer to dry before moving to the next step. You can also apply another coat of primer if the first one doesn’t cover the surface well.

Add New Paint

Finally, apply a new layer of paint over the surface. You can apply a thick coat or several thin coats, depending on whether you use a brush or a spray paint. Allow each coating to dry completely before applying another one. The drying time depends on the product and the weather condition. Make sure to read the label for instructions.

Once you’re done, allow the project to fully cure before you use it again.

Can You Paint Over Spray Paint Primer?

This depends on the solvent in the primer. If the primer is water-based, then you can apply any type of paint on it. However, if it’s an oil-based spray paint primer, it will only accept an oil-based paint; if you use any other type of paint, it will not stick. Interestingly, most spray paints on the counter are oil-based.

What Paint Will Stick to Spray Paint?

So, what kind of paint can you use on spray paint? Well, this depends on the spray paint and the kind of effect you’re trying to achieve. Things like oil paint, acrylic, and latex can go over spray paint.

What determines whether a particular paint will stick is the type of spray paint underneath.

If the spray paint is water-based, then it’s OK to put acrylic or oil-based paint on it. However, if the spray paint is oil-based, it’s best to use oil-based paint on top of it. Ordinarily, acrylic paint will not stick well to an oil-based spray paint; it might come off peeling.

FAQS – Can You Paint Over Spray Paint?

Can You Color Over Spray Paint?

Yes, you can color over spray paint; however, the color must be the same color as the spray paint undercoat or a darker color. If you use a light color, there’s a huge chance the underlying color will shine through or interfere with the color of the topcoat.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint Over Rustoleum Spray Paint?

Yes, you can, as long as it’s latex or water-based Rust-Oleum. This is because acrylic is water-based, so it’s more likely to stick to water-based paint. If your Rust-Oleum spray paint is oil-based, then you need to sand the surface before applying acrylic paint. Painting acrylic directly on an oil-based Rust-Oleum base will cause the new coat to peel, as both products are not compatible.

Can You Put Primer Over Spray Paint?

Yes, you can. Priming ensures the new paint (i.e., the paint that will go over the spray paint) sticks better. It also ensures you get even coverage. Skipping this step may cause the new coating to lift or chip, or you may end up applying several layers of paint to get even coverage.

Can You Spray Paint Over Paint Without Sanding?

Yes, you can paint over another paint without sanding. Products like deglosser (liquid sandpaper), bonding primer, chalk paint, and mineral paint are all ways to paint practically any surface without sanding.

Can You Brush On Spray Paint?

Yes, you can brush on spray paint. This can be done when you need to correct a flaw or cover small areas. However, whether it’s an old paint job or a new one, make sure the spray paint is completely dry before you use a brush on it.

Content Summary: Can You Paint Over Spray Paint

To conclude, you can paint over spray paint as long as you carry out proper surface preparation. This basically involves sanding or scuffing the surface to remove the glossy surface, priming to ensure the new paint sticks better and adding a clear coat or sealant to enhance durability. Each of these steps has been discussed above in greater detail. Remember to read the product label for more instructions.

We hope we’ve been able to answer your questions about painting over spray paint as well as how to avoid common mistakes. Now, it’s time to prepare the spray paint surface and paint away. We have no doubt you will succeed!

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