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The wall color and texture look faded and old, but i dont see many cracks in the walls. I think its probably oil-based paint and concrete walls not drywalls. I at first wanted to strip it all off and start from scratch but was told by others that these walls had many coats of even older paint under it and that means its strong and I should just paint over it. There are parts of the walls that need to be done over again though because there are big holes in the walls.

I also dont know if i should continue by using oil-based paint or something else.

  • What part of the world are you in? Oil paints for walls is almost unheard of these days in the US.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 26, 2017 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


Stripping or sanding existing paint off of a wall isn't done unless the paint is really bubbling or chipping off.

For painting walls, the best way to go is to clean the walls, put on a coat of primer, and then finish with 1-2 coats of a latex paint.

Primer will cover an oil or latex paint and give the new paint a uniform layer to adhere to. This is good because you say that the wall might need patching. The patched area and the original walls will take paint differently and could end up with a different sheen if you do not prime first.

Now, this could be somewhat region specific, but I don't think so. Interior walls are normally painted with a latex based paint. High traffic areas will use a glossier paint to make it easier to clean (bathrooms, kitchens), and bedrooms normally use a flat, non-gloss finish. Oil-based paint is still used in limited application for trim, but really most of that is also latex.

  • What is meant by clean the walls? Won't that damage the walls? Maybe it's latex paint but the cheap popular here painters use is mainly oil based so I assume it to be so. Not just patching but there are actual holes in the walls, like windows to outside. I will not to cement it or something and I'm afraid the unevenness will cause paint to crack.
    – Altoban
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:11
  • Clean means to get rid of any loose debris on the wall - spider webs, tape, dust, tacks for hanging pictures, whatever. You don't need to scrub it with soap and water unless its a greasy kitchen, just basically clean the wall. It's a step that people skip when they don't care or are in a rush.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:17

If you suspect an aklyd (oil) paint, you should defintitely do a "scuff sand" of the entire surface, not really a sanding so much as a scuffing - a kitchen scrub pad such as a Scotchbrite will suffice. The idea is to roughen the surface so the new paint has some roughness to physically engage onto.

Don't paint alkyd over emulsion (latex) unless it is very old, and you do lots of surface prep.

If you are 100% sure it is alkyd, you do have the option to stay with alkyd. This gives you a very tough paint that will stay easy to clean. damage that irrevocably mars a satin latex will wipe right off an alkyd gloss. However it will tend to be Very, Very Smelly during the first few days after application, and the family might have a big problem with that.

Check your laws, for instance in the United States, all architectural paint must have extremely low VOC (like 200g/l, impossible for any but emulsion "latex" paints) -- unless they are sold in quart or litre cans, an intentional loophole to allow folks who are "serious" to do what they want. Freedomz(tm)! And that exception does not exist in the South Coast Air Quality Management District of southern California.

You don't want to strip a concrete surface down to bare. You really don't. Or a drywall surface.

A primer will give you uniformity of texture. Without a primer, places with a different surface, e.g. Spackle, will soak in differently and present a different surface with different texture and gloss. Primer makes the entire surface the same. It also helps hide the old color, though, it is not for that.

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