Compatibility Between Oil-Based Paints and Vinyl Sealers

Pros discuss how to properly seal and top-coat a brush-applied oil-based faux finish or whether to switch to latex paint instead. December 1, 2005

A faux painter from across the country made a sample for an architect, which we need to match. The sample is totally brushed. It is thick and very old world. His recipe is oil primer, two coats Ben Moore oil enamel base color; brush on sealer, dry brush oil glaze and sealer again. Normally, we would use a sprayed vinyl toner to match the base coat, then go with wash coat, glaze, wash coat and catalyzed topcoat to do this. We do not get the thickness or brush marks this way. We do get the same look by going on top of the paint with our wash coat (thinned vinyl sealer), dry brushed glaze, wash coat and catalyzed topcoat.

Will the oil based paint and vinyl sealers work together without failure? I am worried because in making samples, if we went over the paint with wash coat after drying overnight, it crackled. Drying two days it is fine, but I'm worrying about the long term durability. I know in the past we have done this over latex paint with no problems. I think latex could be used if that is better.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
Use a thin coat of shellac between the oil based paint and the vinyl sealer. The solvent for shellac (alcohol) is different than the solvent for the vinyl sealer (lacquer thinner) and the oil based paint (mineral spirits?). Zinsser universal seal coat is popular, however some may recommend a dewaxed shellac. I have used Zinsser in this manner before with great results. Target coatings makes a waterbased shellac sealer that I have read is quite remarkable.

I think you sort of answered your own question. If you are familiar with the acrylic latex method, stay with it. I've done plenty of these finishes, and the only thing I do to make the finish texture correspond to the sample is to brush on the paint. In this case acrylic, as opposed to enamel. Everything else should fall into place accordingly.

Thanks. You are right. The paint is only for base color. No matter if it is oil base. Doing some samples with the latex right now.