Can You Paint Acrylic Over Enamel?

Enamel paint is known for its durability and resistance to chipping and fading, making it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, is a water-based paint that dries quickly and is known for its versatility and ability to be used on a variety of surfaces. So, what happens when you try to paint acrylic over enamel?

Generally speaking, you can paint acrylic over enamel. But it will need some preparation, like cleaning and sanding first. Enamel paint has a glossy finish that interferes with the proper adhesion of acrylic paint. Once you’ve sanded down the enamel paint to create a rougher surface, you should be good to go with applying your new layer of acrylic paint.

In this article, we will go over the proper way to paint acrylic over enamel so that your new paint job will last for years.

Can You Paint Acrylic Over Enamel

Is Any Acrylic Paint Can Apply Over Enamel?

If you are new on your painting journey, you may be wondering if acrylic paint can be applied over enamel. You can certainly use acrylic paint over enamel, but you should learn a few things before you start.

Enamel is a type of paint made with an oil-based formula, which makes it durable and long-lasting. It is also a glossy paint, so it is often used on surfaces that need to be protected from wear and tear, such as cabinets and trim. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, is water-based and has a matte finish.

When you paint with water base acrylic paint over enamel, the new paint will not adhere as well and is more likely to peel. For this reason, you should always prime the surface before painting with acrylics. This will ensure that your paint job lasts for years to come.

And when using oil based acrylic paint over enamel, you don’t need to prime the surface. But sanding is essential for both types of paint to adhere to the surface. Once you have sanded the surface, you can start painting with your desired color.

On the other hand, using a primer with oil-based acrylic paint over enamel will cost you more time and money for the project, whereas priming is unnecessary with oil-based acrylics.

So, before applying acrylic paint over enamel, read the acrylic paint cover to find out if it’s oil- or water-based.

How To Apply Acrylic Paint Over Enamel?

Painting over enamel is awesome because it gives your project a new lease on life! And it’s not as difficult as you might think. Here are a few tips on how to apply acrylic paint over enamel:

Materials You Will Need

  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Damp Cloths
  • Primer (optional for oil based)

Step 1: Prep the Surface

The key to a successful paint job is all in the prep work. If you’re painting over enamel, you’ll want to start by sanding down the surface to create a smooth canvas. Once you’ve sanded, wipe away any dust with a damp cloth. Enamel paint has a glossy finish, so if you paint over it without sanding, your new paint job won’t have a good finish and will likely peel.

Step 2: Clean

After sanding, you’ll want to clean the surface to remove any grease, dirt, or dust. Take a damp cloth and wipe down the area. You can also use a mild cleaner or degreaser.

Step 3: Prime

If your acrylic paint is made with oil base paint material, then priming won’t be necessary. However, if you’re using water-based paint, you’ll need to add a primer to help the paint adhere to the surface.

Step 4: Paint

Now, it’s time to paint! Apply your paint in thin, even coats. Allow each coat to dry completely before adding the next. Depending on the paint and the surface, you may need to add 2-3 coats for even coverage. Once you’re finished painting, step back and enjoy your newly painted surface!

Can You Paint Enamel Over Acrylics?

Enamel is great for a high-gloss, durable finish but can be tricky to work with. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, is easy to use and forgiving, making it a great choice for beginners (and experts!) painting projects. So, can you paint enamel paint over acrylic?

Yes, you can! As long as acrylic paint is not sealed with a varnish or other topcoat, enamel paint will adhere to it just fine. However, if the acrylic paint is peeling off or chipping, you’ll want to sand it down and prime it first to get a good grip on the surface.

One thing to remember is that enamel paint dries hard and glossy to highlight any imperfections in the surface beneath it. If you’re not happy with the results, you can always sand it down and start over. But if you’re looking for a high-gloss, durable finish, enamel paint is a great option!

How to Paint Over Enamel Paint Without Sanding?

Enamel paint is known for its tough, glossy finish, but it can be difficult to work with if you’re not used to it. Enamel paint dries quickly and doesn’t always respond well to traditional painting techniques like blending and glazing. It can also be tricky to paint over enamel paint without sanding first.

If you’re looking to paint over enamel paint without sanding, the best thing to do is use a primer designed specifically for use on enamel surfaces. These primers will help the new paint adhere properly and create a smooth surface for you to work with. Once you’ve applied the primer, you can then proceed with painting as usual.

Just be sure to use latex or acrylic-based paint so that it will adhere properly and not peel off down the road.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint Over Enamel Primer?

Enamel is an oil based paint, so the primer used underneath it is also an oil based primer. But acrylics can be found in both oil and water based formulas. So using acrylic paint over an enamel primer is possible?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint over enamel primer, but you need to ensure that the paint is compatible with the primer. If you are using water base acrylic paint, you need to sand the primed surface a little before painting to ensure that the paint will adhere to the surface.

However, oil based acrylic paint is safe to use over an enamel primer without sanding the surface beforehand. This is because the paint’s oil will help it bond with the oil-based primer.

Just make sure that you use a compatible paint over your enamel primer, and you should have no problems.

Enamel Vs. Acrylic Effect Which One Looks Great?

Learn more about acrylic paints:


It is safe to paint acrylic paint over enamel. Just sand down the enamel painted surface to remove the shine. But when it’s about priming, it’s not essential if you are using oil based acrylic paint. As long as the surface is properly prepared, the two types of paint will adhere to one another without issue. If you are unsure about the compatibility of the paint, it is always best to consult with a professional before starting your project.

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