How Can You Tell Whether Your Existing Paint Is Oil or Latex-Based?

oil or latex exterior paintWhen it comes to exterior painting, it’s best to try and kick any roadblocks out of the way that you can before you get the project rolling (no pun intended). You probably started with the normal painting questions: what color should I use, what brand is best, and maybe you did some research into the ideal brush and tools for the job. Awesome! There’s another important detail, however, that sometimes gets overlooked:

What if you aren’t sure what kind of paint was used before? Was it latex or oil-based?

This is important to know because applying mix-matched paint can lead to real adherence and longevity issues, and those are roadblocks you definitely don’t want to encounter.

Oil or Latex?

The question of the hour! Here are a few tips to help you sort it out:

  • Old Cans? – This may seem simplistic, but it’s so simple it might just work. If you bought an older home, there is a chance that old, leftover paint cans were left somewhere in the shed, basement, or garage by the previous owner. Scout around to see if you can find the leftovers!

  • The Bend Test – If your exterior paint is at least several years old and is peeling off your siding, snap a piece off and bend it between your fingers. If it is flexible, it most likely is latex. Conversely, if it is more brittle and cracks there is a good chance it is oil-based.

  • Soak Test – Try soaking the peeled piece of paint in acetone, or fingernail polish remover. A latex-based paint will drastically soften.

Do You Need a Professional Painting Service?

A guaranteed way to make sure that quality, correct materials are used for your home painting project is to hire a reputable painting company near you. As an added bonus, doing so also reduces your risk of sunburn and hours spent on a stepladder! If you need a hand, we hope you might consider giving us a call at DeVuono Painting! It would be a pleasure to put our services to work for you.

For answers to a couple of other residential painting questions, please take a moment to look at an interview I recently completed with New Hampshire Homes. Feel free to share the link as well!

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