By Katja Kromann

Oil based primer and latex paint - a match made in heaven?

Oil based primer and latex paint - a match made in heaven?

Did someone pull you aside in the school of life at a very early age and make you pinky swear never to mix an oil based product with a water based one? That happened to me. It seems to be a sort of an unwritten truth in the world of painting.

So I was really surprised when I read about it over on Katie's blog

Do you ever read a tip on a blog and think, yeah, but does it really work? Let's find out!

Meet my two partners in crime. Valspar Signature paint and Zinsser oil-based primer.

I am trying this technique for painting B's bed that we built

First up, to find out which color to get for the bed, I used a swatch of the fabric I will use on the tufted headboard. I got a really close match with Valspar's Lincoln Cottage Black. It's a very nice deep charcoal color.

Next, I taped off the bed frame to avoid getting certain parts such as the bed frame brackets painted. Ok, let's get started already.

I did not want gobs of paint on the Rockler rail brackets, so I covered them in green Frog tape and then cut along the edge of the brackets with my craft knife. That worked swimmingly.

Here are a couple of progress shots of the bed getting painted last weekend.

Since I could not paint all sides of the boards at the same time, I opted to paint all of the insides first. 

I began by applying the Zinsser primer. It goes on like you would expect of an oil based product although it did not smell as badly as I remember, but I was still glad I was painting outside. It has to kind of be dragged on. Sort of like nail-polish but with a bit more force. 
I let it dry and experimented with sanding it a bit. I had a bit of stroke marks happening, but decided to wait it out.

After it was dry, I put on the latex paint and I was so surprised at how well it went on. It went on like butter. It felt so smooth and nice. In the above photo the paint is still wet.

After it dried, I did a little scratch test on this inside frame before moving on and had a little freak out moment because the paint scratched right off. This is where I started second guessing the whole thing, I have to admit. 

I took another look at the Zinsser primer can and it does say: for use with any top coat. ANY... That includes latex paint, right? and glitter glue maybe? "any" is such a large category.

I was trying to decide what to do next. I dragged out my water-based primer, deciding if I would use that on the outside instead, but then threw caution to the wind with a: "Let's live a little" and continued with the oil based primer for the other side.

Gave that side two coats of the charcoal gray latex paint as well.

BTW, we put these felt pads under the bed when we assembled it.

Then today after letting the paint dry and cure for a week I did another scratch text:

And had a calm moment :) It works. The paint holds up and seems to really be sticking to the bed well. I love how smooth the paint looks - although it is nothing near streak free as you can see in the above photo.

Would I use this method again? Yes I would. It feels like such a good combo. 

I am still sort of shocked that I did not end up with a big bubbly mess. Nothing of the sort. My scratch test this morning has sealed the deal for me. LOVE. Is it a match made in heaven. Mmmm it's at the very least a match made right here on earth! :D

Here is the bed again after it was all set up in the room.

See here how we build the bed. And here how we made the tufted head board.


#Oil based #primer and #latex paint - a #match made in heaven #review

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Katja Kromann
About Katja Kromann

I am a Danish American decorating life in Seattle. I love all things design and DIY.

I can’t think of anything more fun than coming up with project, making it, photographing it and sharing it with you on my websites.

I am a Graphic Artist, a remodeller and home maker by day. My Portfolio
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