Painting Over Old Paint: Tips for a Professional Finish

calander Jan 19 , 2023 user-icon Nash Painting

Painting over old paint can be tricky, but with the right preparation and techniques you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will last for years to come. If you don't know where to start, this blog post is here to help! We'll cover everything from prepping the wall before painting, selecting the best type of paint for your project, various methods of covering up existing paint jobs - plus some finishing touches so that it lasts longer than ever before. So if you want a beautiful new look without having to go through all the hassle of stripping away layers upon layers of old paint first – read on!

Table of Contents:

  • Preparing the Wall for Paint

  • Choosing the Right Paint Type

  • Painting Techniques for Covering Old Paint Jobs

  • Finishing Touches to Make Your Paint Job Last Longer

  • FAQs in Relation to Painting Over Old Paint
    • Do I need to prime before painting over old paint?

    • Should I remove old paint before repainting?

    • Is it OK to paint over old paint?

    • Do you have to sand before painting over paint?

  • Conclusion

Preparing the Wall for Paint

Cleaning the Wall

Before beginning any painting project, it is important to make sure that the wall is clean. This means removing any dirt, dust, or debris - a damp cloth can be used to wipe down the walls and remove any buildup. If there are more stubborn stains, a mild detergent solution may be necessary.

Removing Old Paint

Once you have cleaned off your walls, it’s time to start thinking about removing old paint. Exactly how much paint needs to be removed will determine which method should be used. For small areas with only one layer of paint, a scraper can easily do the job without damaging your walls too much. However if there are multiple layers of paint, or large areas that need stripping, chemical strippers might be needed to get all of those layers off safely and effectively.

Time to Prime

After all existing paint has been removed from your walls, it is time to apply primer before adding new coats. Primers help ensure that whatever type of topcoat you use adheres properly and lasts longer. Additionally, primers also help seal up porous surfaces, reducing moisture absorption into drywall. They also provide an even base coat for smoother finishes when painting over textured surfaces like stucco or brickwork.

Once the wall is prepped and ready, it's time to select the right paint type for your project. Factors such as sheen and finish options, color selection tips, and whether to use latex or oil-based paints should all be taken into consideration.

Key Takeaway: Before painting, it is important to clean the wall and remove old paint with a scraper or chemical stripper. Applying primer before adding new coats of color will help ensure that the topcoat adheres properly and lasts longer.

how to paint over old paint

Choosing the Right Paint Type

Latex and oil-based paints have different properties that can affect the look and durability of your finished product. Let’s take a closer look at these two types of paints and how they compare.

Latex vs Oil-Based Paints

Latex is water-based while oil-based paints use petroleum or alkyd resins as their binder instead of water. Latex is more flexible than oil based, making it less likely to crack or peel in extreme temperatures. It also cleans up easily with soap and water, whereas oil-based paints require mineral spirits for cleanup. However, latex does not adhere well to glossy surfaces like those found on kitchen cabinets so an additional primer may be necessary before painting with latex. Oil based paint will stick better but takes longer to dry and has a strong odor when applied due to its high VOC content (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Picking Your Sheen

The sheen you choose depends on the area being painted as well as personal preference; flat finishes are great for ceilings because they hide imperfections while semi gloss works best in bathrooms where moisture levels are higher since it resists mildew growth better than other finishes do. Eggshell finish is a good choice for walls since it offers some protection against stains without looking too shiny like glossier finishes, and a satin finish falls somewhere between eggshell and semi gloss.

Key Takeaway: When painting over old paint, it is important to consider the type of paint (latex or oil-based) and sheen (flat, eggshell, satin or semi-gloss).

Painting Techniques for Covering Old Paint Jobs

Painting over old paint requires special techniques to ensure an even coverage and smooth finish. Using a brush or roller is one way to achieve this goal. A brush can be used for small areas, while a roller is better suited for larger surfaces. When using either tool, it’s important to use the right amount of pressure and make sure that you overlap each stroke slightly in order to avoid visible lines.

Cutting in edges with a brush or pad painter can help create clean lines around trim and moldings. This technique involves painting along the edges of walls and ceilings with a smaller brush than what would be used on the rest of the wall surface. The key here is to take your time and not rush through this step as any mistakes will show up once everything has been painted over.

Spraying is another option that can provide quick and even coverage in larger areas, but should only be done by experienced painters due to its complexity. It’s important when spraying that you keep your distance from the wall at all times so as not to overspray onto other surfaces or cause runs in your paint job. Additionally, it’s best practice to always wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves, long sleeves/pants, etc., when using spray equipment indoors due to potential health risks associated with breathing in fumes from paints or solvents used during preparation work prior to painting itself

Painting over old paint? No problem. Just make sure you use the right amount of pressure, overlap your strokes, and cut in edges with a brush or pad painter. Oh, and don't forget to wear protective gear if you're spraying - safety first.

FAQs in Relation to Painting Over Old Paint

Do I need to prime before painting over old paint?

Priming is an important step in the painting process, especially when painting over old paint. Primer helps to create a better bond between the existing surface and new paint, providing better coverage and durability. It also seals any stains or odors that may be present on the existing surface. In most cases, priming before painting over old paint is recommended for best results. However, if you are using a high-quality latex paint with good adhesion properties, it may not be necessary to prime first. Be sure to check with your local Nashville painter for their professional opinion before starting your project.

Should I remove old paint before repainting?

Yes, it is important to remove old paint before repainting. This will ensure that the new coat of paint adheres properly and lasts longer. It also helps prevent peeling or bubbling in the future. Removing old paint can be done by scraping, sanding, or using a chemical stripper depending on the type of surface being painted.

Is it OK to paint over old paint?

Yes, it is possible to paint over old paint. However, it is important to properly prepare the surface before painting. This includes cleaning and sanding the area to ensure a smooth finish. If there are any cracks or peeling in the existing paint, these should be filled and sealed with an appropriate primer before applying new coats of paint. Additionally, you may need to use a special type of primer designed for adhesion on glossy surfaces if you are painting over a glossy layer of old paint. With the right preparation, you can successfully paint over old paint and achieve a beautiful finish.

Do you have to sand before painting over paint?

Yes, sanding is an important step before painting over paint. It helps to create a smooth surface for the new coat of paint and also helps to remove any existing imperfections or residue from the old layer of paint. Sanding can be done by hand with fine-grit sandpaper or using a power sander. Additionally, if you are repainting cabinets, it is important to use a deglosser first in order to properly prepare the surfaces for painting. This will help ensure that your new coat of paint adheres well and lasts longer.


Taking the time to choose the right type of paint for your project, properly preparing the wall surface, and using painting techniques specifically designed for covering old paint jobs will ensure that your finished product is one you’ll be proud of. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to tackle any painting over old paint job!

Are you looking to freshen up the look of your home or cabinets? Nash Painting is here to help! Our team specializes in high-end residential and cabinet painting services, so you can be sure that we have the skills and experience needed to paint over old paint. We use only top quality products for our projects, ensuring a beautiful finish every time. Contact us today for an estimate on transforming your space with vibrant colors and textures – it's easier than ever before!