Paint – A Common Issue Facing Rehab Investors

I have been doing rehabs and investing for almost 30 years now. Along the way I have learned literally thousands of money saving techniques that I share with investors nationwide in my Rehab 101 and S.W.A.T. (Secret Ways And Techniques) system and training events. Some of the most common mistakes new investors and seasoned alike, can be avoided by knowing just a few things before you get started. In the following, you will find some valuable items that will save you a lot of pain and grief as well as a lot of money.

Many people are at the mercy of sellers and what they disclose (or don’t) when they buy a fixer property. One of the most common mistakes people make is assuming that they know what has been done to the property before they bought it. An easy part that is often overlooked on a property is how the property was painted before. Seems like a minor concern until you look at the serious side.

Latex Paint And Oil-Based Paint

You cannot paint latex paint over oil-based paint. Most fixer fans love to use latex paints. They are easier to work with and clean up with soap and water is a breeze. Most also assume that everyone before them has painted with the easier latex paint. Many problems can occur if you put latex on top of oil based paint.

Latex Paint Can Not Be Applied Over Oil Based

First off, the latex paint will seem to have a hard time covering the oil paint. It may seem to smear a bit, instead of flow evenly. The other problem is that even though it looks like your paint is covering properly, it actually is like putting water on butter. It just simply will not stick!

This is going to cause any surface painted to flake and chip. The most common areas that this is a factor will be on the doors; windows and wood trim in the home.  Literally hundreds of times in a house, someone has painted the surfaces with some cheap paint just to give a cosmetic face-lift to the property.  Now, and until this problem has been corrected, it will be a maintenance nightmare constantly requiring touch up and repaints due to the easy flaking areas that will scratch and peel anytime they are bumped or grazed by everyday living.

Testing The Paint Surface

The first step is to make sure that you are not the person who paints the latex over the oil paint to start the problem. A couple of ways to prevent this is before you ever paint a surface, test it!! You can get a product called (Goof Off) or you can use a canned product called (xylene) to test paint before you apply any coating. Both can be found in the paint dept of most hardware stores and will run you about $5.00 to buy. Testing is the same for both products. Step one is to get a white cloth and pour some of the solvent (either of the two I listed) and rub the cloth on the surface you are testing with medium scrub strength. If the paint comes off on to the rag (actually melting the paint and removing it) then the paint is a latex paint and can be painted over again with latex, and no other prep is required.

If you appear to only clean the surface and no paint residue comes off on the rag, this means the paint is oil based. Here you have 2 choices. You can paint it again with oil-based paint with no other prep needed, or you can do what I prefer. I will paint the surface with an oil-based primer such as (Kilz brand). After the oil primer dries, I can now recoat with a latex paint. Now and forever more I can paint with the latex paints, because I will be painting latex over latex.

Latex Paint and Oil Based Primer

So there is no confusion, a latex paint will not stick to oil based paint, however, latex paint will stick to oil based primer. That way you have converted the area back to using the easy latex paint.

How To Remedy An Already Existing Problem Of Latex Paint Over Oil Based Paint

So what about if you have a property that someone before has painted the latex over oil and left you with the problem of fixing the flaking paint. The solution is to follow the steps above for painting over oil…Use the Kilz primer and then paint with latex afterwards.

I recommend that if the flaking is occurring that you also use a paint additive called (EMULSA-BOND). This is a product found in paint and hardware stores. It causes latex paint to adhere to surfaces that are flaking or chalky. I hope this will help you from making a costly mistake in the future. For more information on my S.W.A.T. system and more tips on saving money doing rehab properties, please visit my site

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