Painting Over Alkyd Paint

Eddie Shekari
August 27, 2019

This blog was originally published in Aug 2019. Contents have been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in Sep 2020.

When it comes to paint jobs using alkyd paint, whether it’d be for painting over or new paint job, it is strongly recommended that you hire professionals as alkyd paint has unique characteristics. Read on to learn about the benefits of Alkyd Paint and how Pro Painters can help you.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Alkyd Paint 


  • Scruff resistant 
  • Goes on smoothly
  • Thicker cover in a single coat 
  • Better chemical resistance 


  • Increased brittleness 
  • Cleanup requires paint thinner 
  • Longer drying time

What is Alkyd Paint?

what is alkyd paint

Alkyd paint is an enamel finish that is similar in consistency to that of oil paints. However, alkyd paint contains no oil and behaves differently than oil in many ways. Alkyd paint is not typically used on walls and is more commonly found to be used on metal or wood. Alkyd paint is tougher than oil-based paint, which is great for a surface that needs something more durable. The final result of an alkyd painted wall is a hard, semi-gloss finish. However, this can be the downside to using it on the walls of one’s home if you do not want a long-lasting paint that is harder to remove or paint over. Whether you are interested in painting over alkyd paint in your home or any other surface, there are a few different types of paint that you can use. The type of paint you choose will determine how long the process will take.

Repainting with Latex Paint or Water-based Paint

latex paint vs water-based paint

If you were thinking of using latex paint such as acrylic paint to go over your alkyd coat, think first before starting your painting project. While it is perfectly fine to paint alkyd paint over latex, the same cannot be said for latex over alkyd. Because of alkyd paint’s glossy surface, there is not enough texture for a new layer of paint to hold onto. If you are dead set on painting over with latex paint, you will need to paint a layer of primer first to increase the likelihood of paint adherence. This will increase your painting time, but worth it if you really want to use latex paint.

Another thing that differentiates alkyd paint from other forms of paint is that it is soluble in mineral spirits and alcohol. Water-based paint does not require solvents of any kind, because the pigment carrier is water. If you choose to paint over alkyd or oil-based paint with water-based paint, you will have to remove the gloss before any new application. This is easily done with a fine-grit sandpaper. Make sure to dust and wash the wall that you plan to paint, as any dirt and grime leftover will affect the new layer of paint’s adherence to your wall. You will also need to prime the wall before painting as you would with latex paint. Lastly, when putting water-based paint over alkyd or oil-based paint, you will need at least two coats of paint to evenly cover the layer beneath.

One thing to keep in mind is that water-based and latex paints have quicker drying time. They take about 30 minutes to dry to touch. This can be a big pro for those in a time crunch, but also keep in mind that you will still need to prime and sandpaper the glossy areas that you would like to paint over with latex or water-based paint.

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Repainting with Alkyd or Oil-based Paints

Painting over alkyd with another alkyd paint or oil-based paint is recommended for the best looking results. Alkyd and oil-based paints are very thick and adhere nicely to a wall that has already been painted with alkyd or oil-based paints. The results will look very polished and high quality. The downside to using these types of paints is that they can be harmful if not painted in a ventilated area and the supplies must be disposed of properly.

Hiring Professional Painters

hire professional painters

Painting projects don’t have to be a one-person job. While it is important to research before making painting decisions, hiring professionals will take the guesswork out of the equation. When you hire Pro Painters, an A+ rated business by the Better Business Bureau, you know you are getting top quality work from professionals who know what they are doing. If you are unsure of what kind of paint to use or still have questions about painting over alkyd paint, the pros can help. For a high-quality painting job done timely and efficiently the right way, you can count on Pro Painters.

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Eddie Shekari

Eddie founded Pro Painters in 1995 to meet the growing need for high-quality residential and commercial painting needs in Houston. In nearly 20 years, Pro Painters has exponentially grown our client base, serving residents across the greater Houston area. Our core principles have helped us achieve the highest standard of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Our years of experience have allowed us to become an extension to our customers as the all-in-one solution for home makeovers.