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Old 07-04-2008, 06:14 AM   #1
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Oil or Latex?


How do I determine what type of paint is on a existing surface? I have to prime/paint a front door, I believe it is oil but, not sure. I've tried the nail polish remover (acetone) test but, didn't get much of a reaction from the surface color. If it is latex, will it react immediately to the NP remover/acetone?

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Old 07-04-2008, 06:57 AM   #2
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Oil or Latex?


rub with goof off,if it's latex,it will come off
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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Oil or Latex?


Acetone is not the proper solvent for the test
...unless it was painted with nail polish or Testor's plastic model paint

Denatured alcohol is the best
If you don't have any f that lying around, Oops!, Goof Off!, and the like are almost as good, and have other uses such as adhesive residue removal
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Oil or Latex?


A second way to tell if a paint is oil based or latex is by how flexible and elastic it is. If you find a spot where the paint is peeling, and you can remove a bit of peeling paint, see if you can bend it without breaking it. Oil based paints dry to a harder and more rigid film that will break before it bends. Latex paints retain their flexibility and elasticity, so even paint that's peeling remains flexible and elastic.

However, I think you already have your answer.

You said: "I've tried the nail polish remover (acetone) test but, didn't get much of a reaction from the surface color. If it is latex, will it react immediately to the NP remover/acetone?"

The fact that you didn't get much of a response from the paint is a good indication that it's an oil based paint. If you do the same thing to a wall in your house (in an inconspicuous spot), you should see a more immediate reaction as the acetone dissolves the latex paint.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 07-04-2008 at 12:31 PM.
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