What is the best way to paint latex paint?

Latex paint is considered to be a coating agent that hardly absorbs dirt and simply lets moisture bead off. The paint is often used in staircases and other public areas, because it can be washed off if necessary. But at some point even this robust wall coating has served its purpose, then a new coat of paint has to be produced! Is latex paint so easy to paint over?

Latex paint with or without rubber content?

In practice, you will probably encounter only modern latex paints that have a glossy surface but no natural rubber. These are "fat" emulsion paints, which can be easily painted over with glossy emulsion paints.

In ancient times, however, there were latex paints with real rubber, which may still appear on the walls of one or the other old building. This type of color could be painted over at most with another rubber color, but there are hardly any in the offer.

So, with natural rubber paint on the wall, there's only one thing to do: remove the latex coating and build a completely new layer. Unfortunately, this paint can not be degraded, but you have to drag it effortlessly off the wall or knock it off with plaster.

Does a primer help when painting latex paint?

Theoretically, it might work to apply a primer to paint latex paint with or without natural rubber. Practically, however, this only leads to further problems: A latex coating already forms a fairly closed surface, especially if it has a high proportion of rubber.

To paint this surface again with a dense primer and apply another paint will only further reduce the diffusibility of the wall. Moisture accumulates in the wall and mold!

Anyway, they turned away from the rubber-based paints because they did not let the walls breathe. For your personal indoor climate, you should therefore take the work on yourself and remove the old latex paint.

Painting latex paint based on dispersion: That's how it works!

Plastic dispersion-based latex paints are easier to handle, paint them with a glossy emulsion paint and you will most likely have your peace of mind. However, if you want a matt coat, it could lead to tension problems during layering.

It is possible that cracks form during drying and perhaps even spalling, so it is necessary to apply at least one test coat and let it dry thoroughly before reworking the entire wall.

Quick guide: How to paint your latex paint properly!

Now for the practice: The professional painting over of latex paint is a bit more complex than a normal wall painting, because the smooth surface could lead to adhesion problems. Therefore roughen the surface before painting!

  • Put on goggles and protective mask.
  • Wear protective gloves.
  • Use an orbital sander with rough sandpaper.
  • Grind the entire wall surface seamlessly.
  • Suck the coarse dust from the surface.
  • Wipe the wall damp and let everything dry well.
  • Apply the paint in the usual way with brush and roller.

Attention: It is definitely advisable to first treat a smaller sample area to make sure that the new coat will last and not tear! If damage actually occurs, it is important to completely remove the old latex paint.

For a new coat of paint: Remove the latex paint from the wall

Tool / Mediumoperationto be observed
Stripper for emulsion paintsdissolves latex paint from the wallventilate thoroughly, provide respiratory, eye and skin protection
heat gunsoftens paint by heatventilate well, use respiratory protection
sanderSand off latex paint completelyRespiratory and eye protection necessary, tedious work
Drill with wire brush attachmentfast, effective sandingWear respiratory protection and eye protection, do not use on a brittle wall
facade millingRemove latex paint with plasterTake protective measures, especially suitable for brittle plaster

Maybe you are lucky and your latex paint is painted on a wallpaper, which makes the work easier: puncture the coating with a hedgehog roller or carve it with the cutter. Then moisten the wallpaper and remove it after a contact time.

A spatula with a stable blade helps to thoroughly remove the last remaining wallpaper. A clean, neatly leveled wall is the best basis for repainting!

Tips & Tricks

Prime your latex coating, which has been washed clean with soap suds, first with heavily diluted emulsion paint and let this »primer« dry. The subsequent painting has much better chances to adhere well.

Video Board: Basic Latex Painting Techniques