Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is It Oil or Latex?

I have been doing a lot of painting these days which has kept me very busy and my house a mess!  One area of the house I painted was their stairwell to the new playroom.  I knew something was off a few days later when I saw little flakes of paint on the floor and the door itself peeling of its' paint.  

At first I thought that my darling boys were the culprits but they assured me that they hadn't picked at it too much :o)  The real issue, as many of you may have already guessed, was that I had put latex paint over oil paint.  Shucks!  All that time and energy painting during those precious nap times ... gone!  

Our home which is relatively new to us, is 24 years old and it never even occured to me that some of the paint might be oil and needless to say I have a lovely mess on my hands.

In discussion with my local BM specialist over this mess he suggested that next time I use one of these little guys BEFORE I start painting if I wasn't sure: 

For $0.99 you get something that looks like a baby wipe that tells you if the existing paint it oil or latex.  Just rub the wipe on the paint job (somewhere indiscreet of course) and if the paint rubs off, it is latex.  If the paint becomes polished then it is oil.  Genious!  They aren't paying me to say this, I just thought that I should pass it along to save any of you the mess that I have got myself in *sigh*.

Just why or why couldn't I have had this BEFORE I painted the stairwell??  At any rate, I used it to test the stair risers and low and behold I've got me some more oil paint, just this time I know it and can prime it accordingly.

Hopefully your painting endeavors are going more "smoothly" than mine!

- Kristin - 


  1. Interesting! I just purchased a 50 plus year old home. Good to know that the paint detector is available!

  2. I have had this mess to contend with once. So maddening! Neat product to have on hand, that is for sure.

  3. Good tip!
    I am having my own paint disaster. Different reasons, but still so frustrating! I feel your pain about all those precious naptimes wasted.

  4. What kind of primer are you going to use to cover the oil based paint?

  5. Awesome to know about that product! Thanks for informing us. Wow, I feel for you... sounds like a mess to clean up.

  6. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    Airless Sprayer


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