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Can You Use Oil-Based Paint Over Spray Paint? (Answered)

Spray paint is the mixture of paint and a propellant that is usually pressurized by gas or compressed air and it’s really popular because it’s hundred times faster than the brush on paint. Also, it’s really easy to paint over spray paint as it mixes well. 

Can you use oil-based paint over spray paint?

Oil-based paints can be painted over spray paint because oil-based spray solvents attract the petrochemical solvents of the oil-based paints and are easy to mix well. However, the spray paint has to be dry properly and the surface of the spray paint needs to be lightly sanded to do so.

Depending on the properties of the spray paint, using oil-based matte spray paints will be a good option. They are easy to mix as the solvents of oil based spray and oil based paints attract. But also, the right conditions need to be present. 

First, the spray paint must be completely dry. Secondly, to properly grab the paint, the spray paint surface must be lightly sanded with sandpaper. 

If the spray is not allowed to dry or properly sanded, it will begin to bubble, and the oil-based paints will not adhere, causing the paint to flake off. 

Thirdly, for a great paint job, the spray paint must be applied smoothly so that oil-based paint can be applied uniformly. Fourthly, to achieve a good outcome when painting with oil-based paints, the spray paint must be over-coated with a bonding oil-base primer. 

If an oil-base primer does not adequately coat the cellulose component of spray paint, the oil-base paint will not adhere to the spray paint. 

Oil-based primer Gesso is a high-quality oil-based primer that should be used in three coats to coat oil-based paints and spray paints. It aids in the initiation of viscosity, which is necessary for the adhesion of oil-based paints. 

It also cuts down on the amount of time that paints take to oxidize. To obtain a viscous texture akin to spray paint, blend the gamblin oil and gesso primer to boost the smoothness. 

Moreover, the spray paint surface must be clean before over-coating with oil paint; otherwise, the oil-base paints will not adhere well. To get a fine finish, oil-based paints must be coated with a clean and smooth spray paint surface.

2 Reasons why oil based paint does stick to spray paint:

Oil-based paints stick to spray paints because of the basic nature of adhesion, which draws the natural oil used in oil paints from the linseed in them, which easily adheres to the oily solvents of spray paints. 

On the other hand, using water-based spray paints over oil paints, the water formula is held by the oily layer, which might result in flaking. An excessively thick surface will result in a bad stick with a bad appearance. 

Enamel-based spray paints include an oily component that helps them cling to oil paints more easily. The clean, dust-free surface also ensures that the primer and sealants have enough viscosity to adhere to spray paint. 

Picking oil-based sprays increases the chances of sticking to oil-based paints because they dry quickly, which is another criterion for a proper stick, and they are also easy to apply, allowing for a thin surface. 

Spray paints and oil paints with an oil-based formula: 

The presence of petrochemicals in oil-based spray paints, as well as oil paints with alkyd made of resin binders or natural oils like linseed, is usually the basic formula for adhesion. The presence of these oily components helps the oil-based spray paint stick. 

When water-based paints, such as acrylic paints, are applied over oil-based paints, the moisture layer on top of the spray paint prevents it from sticking. 

The smooth, clean surface of spray paint: 

A clean, flat surface is required for good sticking. Another reason why oil-based spray paints adhere to oily paints is the smooth surface, which aids adhesion. 

It also had to be dust-free, as anything with it would peel off the paint over it, resulting in a poor appearance.

What happens if you put oil paint over spray paint?

When applying oil-based paint over spray paint, it will nicely stick, depending on the type of spray paint. Usually, the oil-based sprays mix well with oil-based paints. Spray paint is a solvent-based paint. 

It allows the molecules of oily paint to easily dilute and attach to the surface of spray paint. It is also important when over-coating oil paints that the surface has dried well for the paint to adhere well. 

Also, oil-based matte sprays will be preferred over glossy sprays because the fat molecules in oil-based spray paints attract the molecules in oil-base paints easily, but glossy sprays take longer to adhere. 

To achieve optimal adherence, oil-based bonding primer needs to be applied over spray paint as it gives a smooth proper adhesion and also does not come off the paint. After the spray paint has dried, sand on the surface can be used to ensure that oil-based paints adhere well.

When can you oil paint over spray paint? 

Spray paints typically have a sheen to it that after drying, it emphasizes the surface scratches and dents. So, before oil paint over spray paint there are few caution that need to be followed. Before starting painting, it’s a must to prepare the surface or else it may crack. 

To get a smooth finish with the best adherence, sanding with sandpaper is highly required. It’s really beneficial for sticking the paint properly on the spray paint and giving a perfect finish. 

Then it needs to be primed well. It actually helps to increase the viscosity which works great for adhesion. Priming the surface minimum two times after sanding, it’s the time to start oil paint. 

Actually, oil-based paints adhere to spray paints also, the application of sand, oil-based primers and correctly preparing the adhesion surface, it’s completely ready to provide you the best adherence.

How to oil paint over spray paint? 

To oil paint over spray paint there are some steps that need to follow to get a smooth finish. Sanding with sandpaper and priming are a must to oil paint over spray paint. 

After sanding and priming, the surface becomes smooth, which aids the adhesion of oil-based paints to spray paints. Otherwise, the paint may not adhere correctly. Here are the steps briefly discussed:

Examine the type of spray paint: 

Before oil painting, you need to know first the type of spray paint and have to take prep based on that. You can examine it by doing a water test. If the spray paint changes its color in water it’s oil paint and it doesn’t change, it is water based. 

You need to prime well if it is oil based or you can skip priming.

Sanding on the surface and between each coat of primer: 

Sanding before applying oil-base paint helps to generate a smooth surface that helps the paint stay. It reduces surface grain, resulting in a smoother surface. It also helps to remove the gloss if it was sealed. 

Use the oil-based primer

Apply two coats of oil based primer. Actually, an oil-based primer works well for adhesion when over-coating with oil-based paint. The oil-based primer will prevent the cellulose layer in the spray paint and increase viscosity, allowing the paint to stick over it. 

Apply the paint: 

It’s now properly ready for painting. Apply the paint with a paint brush but apply thin coats. Because, it will help to dry faster. Apply 3 coats after each coat dry completely.

What does oil-based paint not stick to?

Oily based paint only doesn’t stick to the water based latex paint. But other water based or acrylic paints don’t bond well with the glossy surface of oil based paint. Actually, it causes peeling and chipping and may crack. 

However, it also doesn’t stick to oil based paint with fewer conditions. 

Oil based paint: 

It depends if the oil based paint is fully cured or not. If it doesn’t become hardened properly that affects the finish while scrubbing, it’s not fully cured and can’t be painted because it’ll not stick to the paint. 

If it’s cured it can be repainted with natural oil based paint but will take minimum 7 days to maximum 30 days to become cured.

Latex paint: 

Latex paint doesn’t stick to older oil based paint or if it sticks they don’t stay long. But it can also stick following some conditions. 

By proper cleaning like de-gloss the surface, remove chips, fill small gaps, deep clean the surface with TSP and then priming it, latex paint will stick to the oil paint.

Final thoughts

Oil paints can be painted over spray paint as the solvents of oil based paint and the solvents of spray paints attract well and mix well. But the spray paint has to be fully cured and also it’ll need slightly sand before painting or else, it may peel off and not give the perfect finish.