Determining what type of paint is on a surface

 

Make sure to check if a previous coating was water or solvent-based.

Make sure to check if a previous coating was water or solvent-based. Here are two simple ways to find out:

  1. Lightly swab surface with a rag moistened in alcohol. A water-based coating will soften and stain the rag.
  2. Look behind a picture frame. Yellowed paint is a clear sign of solvent-based paint.

If you are still unsure, apply a base coat before the finishing coat.