Removing Latex Paint


Old 05-30-02, 11:45 AM
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Removing Latex Paint

The former owners of my home did a "quickie" paint job before they moved and used latex enamel over oil base enamel on the doors and trim. Obviously, the latex is quickly peeling off and looks terrible.

What is the easiest way to remove the latex so I can repaint with oil base? Also, once the latex enamel has been removed, I imagine I should either sand the old enamel or prime it with an oil-based primer prior to painting. Which would you suggest?
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Old 05-30-02, 07:32 PM
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Removing latex paint

"Sand the latex primer off (what WILL come off, will, what won't, will remain, and won't be a problem), remove the dust with a damp cloth or tack rag...then simply repaint with an oil enamel as she desires."

KeithP. Removing latex over enamel. Online posting. 29 May 2002. Community Forums>Decorate>Painting>Removing Latex Over Enamel. Retrieved 30 May 2002.
Old 05-31-02, 08:27 AM
Sonnie Layne
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It's correct that the latex will have to come off. Sanding latex is problematic in that with too much friction, the paint heats up, then it turns to rubber, gumming the paper and reducing the effectiveness of your hard work.

3M company makes a sandpaper for use with latex paints. It's OK, also expensive. I use a variable speed random orbit sander. Low speed helps prevent this. You may not own such a tool, but any sander will work better if you remember the heat issue. Don't try to sand an area more than a few seconds, move on to an adjacent area then return to the other in a few more seconds (doesn't take long for it to cool down). You'll get the hang of it.

You could maybe save some time with a light scraping, then sanding to smooth the edges of the remaining paint. If the paint is truly that poorly adhered, a nice sharp scraper (keep it sharp), a little pressure and you'll zip most of it off in no time.

Priming and painting over a coat of paint that is failing will only result in all of it failing. For your reference, the failure most likely had less to do with the old latex-over-oil issue and more to do with inadequate surface prep before the latex was applied.
Old 05-31-02, 03:16 PM
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I would only add that after the removal is complete and the door is not the smoothest or aesthetically pleasing as you'd like, then prime with an oil-based underbody designed for enamel topcoats. It's sandable and will provide a very smooth base for the new paint. It will look nicer.

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