How to Paint over Washable Paint?

Have you ever spent hours painting a room with washable paint, only to realize that the color just isn’t right? Or maybe you’ve accidentally smeared a spot with dirt or grime? The frustration of wanting to change something that you’ve already spent time and effort on can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, because there’s good news! You can paint over washable paint with ease and transform your space into something new and fresh.

But how to paint over washable paint? To paint over washable paint, clean the surface thoroughly and let it dry. Then, sand lightly and apply a coat of primer. Once the primer is dry, apply your desired paint color. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat, if necessary.

how to paint over washable paint
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We will explore here every single detail about painting over washable paint. Let’s know more.

What is Washable Paint?

Washable paint is a type of paint that can be easily cleaned off surfaces with water and mild soap. It is designed to be used by children and is commonly used in classrooms, art projects, and at home. It is typically made with a water-based formula, making it easy to clean up after use.

Washable paint is made with non-toxic ingredients that are safe for children to use, and it typically comes in bright, bold colors that are easy to apply and mix. The paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including paper, cardboard, and even fabric. Washable paint is a great way for children to express their creativity and develop their artistic skills, while also being easy to clean up and maintain.

Can You Paint over Washable Paint?

Yes, with proper preparation and the right type of paint, it is possible to successfully paint over washable paint to achieve a new look or protect the underlying surface.

Washable paint is designed to be durable and easy to clean, and it is commonly used in high-traffic areas or areas where there may be frequent exposure to moisture. However, if you want to change the color of a room or update the look of a surface, it may be necessary to paint over existing washable paint.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the new coat of paint may not adhere properly if the surface is not properly prepared. It is important to clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or grease that may be present. If there are any holes or cracks in the surface, these should be filled and sanded smoothly before applying a new coat of paint.

Another consideration is the type of paint that should be used for the new coat. Different types of paint have different properties, such as sheen level, drying time, and durability. It is important to choose a paint that is compatible with the existing washable paint and that will provide the desired finish and level of durability.

How to Paint over Washable Paint?

Have a look to our steps that will result in a smooth and even finish when painting over washable paint.

Following materials:

  • Paint of your choice
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper (medium grit)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheeting
  • Cleaning solution or soap and water
  • Rag or sponge for cleaning

Clean the surface:

Before painting over the washable paint, clean the surface thoroughly. Use a cleaning solution or soap and water to remove any dirt, dust, or grease. Dry the surface with a clean rag or sponge.

Sand the surface:

Sand the surface lightly using medium grit sandpaper. This helps to create a rough surface that helps the new paint to adhere better.

Apply primer:

Apply a layer of primer to the surface. The primer helps to create a smooth surface and ensures better adhesion of the new paint. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

If the washable paint is still in good condition and adhering well to the surface, there may be no need to prime the surface before applying the new coat of paint. However, if the washable paint is flaking or peeling, it is recommended to apply a primer before painting to ensure good adhesion of the new coat of paint.

Use painter’s tape:

Use painter’s tape to cover any areas that you do not want to paint, such as trim or baseboards.

Paint the surface:

It is important to select the appropriate type of paint for the new coat. For instance, if the existing paint is an oil-based washable paint, it is recommended to use an oil-based paint for the new coat. Similarly, if the existing paint is a latex-based washable paint, it is recommended to use a latex-based paint for the new coat.

Use a paint roller or paintbrush to apply the paint to the surface. Start with a thin layer and wait for it to dry before applying additional layers. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.

Apply a second coat:

 Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat of paint. This helps to ensure that the surface is fully covered and provides a more even finish.

Remove painter’s tape:

After the second coat is dry, remove the painter’s tape carefully.

Clean up:

Clean your paintbrush and roller thoroughly with soap and water. Dispose of the drop cloths or plastic sheeting appropriately.

What Can You Put over Washable Paint?

When using washable paint, there are several things you can put over it to help protect the paint and make it last longer.

Clear Acrylic Sealer:

A clear acrylic sealer can be applied over washable paint to protect it from moisture, dirt, and other environmental factors. It creates a protective barrier that will help keep the paint looking fresh and new for a longer period of time. It can be brushed or sprayed on and dries clear, leaving the original paint color unchanged.


Applying a coat of wax over washable paint is another option for protecting the surface. Wax provides a protective layer that repels water and other liquids, making it ideal for use in areas that are prone to spills or splatters. It can also add a subtle sheen to the surface, giving the paint a polished look.


Varnish is a clear coating that can be applied over washable paint to protect it from damage. It provides a hard, durable finish that resists scratches, scuffs, and stains. Varnish can be applied with a brush or spray and dries to a glossy or matte finish.


Polyurethane is a clear, protective coating that can be applied over washable paint to protect it from wear and tear. It is extremely durable and resistant to scratches, scuffs, and stains. It can be applied with a brush or spray and dries to a clear, glossy finish.

The type of washable paint you’re using will determine whether or not it’s suitable for use with polyurethane. Some washable paints contain additives that can affect the adhesion and performance of the polyurethane, so it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional before applying polyurethane over your washable paint.

Mod Podge:

Mod Podge is a popular sealer and adhesive that can be used to protect washable paint. It is a versatile product that can be applied in multiple coats to create a protective layer that is resistant to moisture, heat, and other environmental factors. It dries clear and can be applied with a brush or sponge.

Keep in mind that Mod Podge is not waterproof, so if the project will be exposed to water or moisture, additional waterproofing may be necessary.

Each of these products has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to do some research and choose the best option for your specific needs.

What is the Difference between Washable and Normal Paint?

Washable paint and normal paint differ in the following ways:


Washable paint, as the name suggests, is a type of paint that can be washed off easily with soap and water, while normal paint is not designed to be cleaned and may require special cleaning solutions.


Washable paint is typically less durable than normal paint and may require more frequent touch-ups and repainting.

Stain Resistance:

Washable paint is generally more stain-resistant than normal paint and can withstand spills and stains better. Washable paint contains special additives that make it more resistant to stains and marks, allowing it to be cleaned without damaging the paint surface. Normal paint does not contain the same additives. It may require solvents or harsh chemicals to remove stains and marks.


Washable paint usually has a flat or matte finish, while normal paint comes in a variety of finishes such as matte, satin, and glossy.


Washable paint is generally easier to apply and may require fewer coats than normal paint.

Application area:

Washable paint is a good option for high-traffic areas, households with kids and pets, and places prone to spills and stains, while normal paint may be a better choice for areas where durability and finish are a priority.


Washable paint is often more expensive than normal paint due to its additional features and benefits.

Is Washable Paint the Same as Acrylic?

Washable paint and acrylic paint are not exactly the same, but they do share some similarities. While both washable paint and acrylic paint are water-soluble and can be cleaned up easily with soap and water, they differ in their composition, texture, drying time, color range, and intended usage.

Acrylic paints are made with pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion, whereas washable paints are typically made with a water-soluble vinyl or acrylic polymer. This means that acrylics are more durable and resistant to fading, while washable paints are designed to be easily washed off with soap and water.

Acrylic paints have a thicker texture and can be used for impasto techniques or layered for a textured effect. Washable paints have a thinner consistency and are designed to be applied in one even coat.

Acrylic paints dry relatively quickly, usually within a few hours, whereas washable paints may take longer to dry, depending on the brand and formulation.

Acrylic paints come in a wider range of colors, including metallic and fluorescent hues. Washable paints, on the other hand, are typically available in basic primary and secondary colors.

Acrylic paints are generally used for fine art and crafts, while washable paints are designed for use by children and are commonly used for school projects and finger painting.

Can You Wash off Washable Paint?

Yes, washable paint can be washed off with water and soap. Washable paint is designed to be easily cleaned up with water and soap, making it a popular choice for children’s crafts and activities.

When washing off washable paint, it’s important to act quickly, as the longer the paint sits on the surface, the harder it will be to remove. Simply rinse the painted area with warm water and gently scrub it with a sponge or cloth. For tough stains, you can add a small amount of mild soap to the water to help break down the paint.

It’s worth noting that although washable paint can be easily removed from most surfaces, it may not come off completely from all surfaces. For example, washable paint may leave a slight stain or discoloration on certain fabrics or porous surfaces. It’s always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area before washing off washable paint to ensure that it won’t damage the surface or leave any unwanted stains.

Can You Use Washable Paint on a Wall?

Yes, you can use washable paint on a wall. Washable paint is specially formulated to resist stains and allow for easy cleaning without damaging the paint finish. It is an excellent option for high-traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms, where walls are more likely to get dirty and require frequent cleaning.

Washable paint is available in both latex and oil-based formulas. Latex-based washable paint is more commonly used as it dries faster and emits fewer fumes. Before applying washable paint, it is important to clean the wall thoroughly and ensure it is free of any dirt, grease, or grime. Once the wall is clean and dry, apply the paint with a brush or roller as you would with regular paint.

How long does It Take for Washable Paint to Dry?

Washable paints, in general, may take longer to dry compared to non-washable paints. This is because washable paints often contain more water, which can affect the drying time.

The exact drying time for washable paint can still vary based on factors such as the type of paint, the thickness of the application, and the environmental conditions. Some washable paints may take as long as 24 hours to dry completely, while others may dry within a few hours.

To get a more accurate estimate of the drying time for a particular type of washable paint, it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or to conduct a small test on a sample surface. Additionally, it’s important to note that even if the paint appears dry to the touch, it may not be fully cured, so it’s best to wait at least 24 hours before handling or applying another coat of paint to the surface.

Is washable Paint Permanent?

Washable paint is not considered permanent because it is designed to be easily removed from surfaces. It is formulated to be more water-soluble than other types of paint, which allows it to be easily washed out of clothing, skin, and surfaces.

However, some washable paints may leave a stain or residue if they are not washed out immediately or if they are applied to porous surfaces such as unfinished wood or concrete. So, while washable paint is not permanent, it may leave a mark if not washed off promptly or if used on certain surfaces.

Final Words

I’ve found that painting can be a therapeutic and rewarding experience. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of transforming a room with a fresh coat of paint. While it may seem daunting to some, with the right materials and techniques, it can be accomplished by anyone, regardless of skill level.

It’s important to remember that preparation is key when it comes to painting over washable paint. Taking the time to clean and prime the surface will ensure that the new paint adheres properly and lasts for years to come. Additionally, choosing the right type of paint and tools is essential for achieving the desired finish.

So, if you’re feeling hesitant about painting over washable paint, don’t be afraid to give it a try. With a little bit of practice and determination, you’ll be able to tackle any painting project that comes your way.

About the Author

Ivan McCloud