How to test or check paint adhesion

An adhesion test will help you determine your surface preparation.
An adhesion test will help you determine your surface preparation.

One of those first things you need to do to ensure that the new coat of paint will not fail is to test or check paint adhesion. Depending on what was previously applied, the condition of the surface and what results you desire determines the type of paint / stain you choose. Generally speaking latexes do not stick very well to oil based paints because they are so slick. Sometimes it not the fault of the coating rather the age and condition of the surface you are applying coatings to. Yet at times we do simply rely on the coating to do the best it can and we decide to live with the outcome.

If you are unsure of how good a coating is going to stick do an “adhesion test”. Go buy a gallon of the product you think will work; non-tinted (so you can take it back if you need to, but you have to keep the can clean) from the paint store. In an inconspicuous spot apply the paint / stain product and let it dry. Take some masking tape (sticker the better) and press it onto the spot where you applied the paint / stain product. Leave a tab on one end. Now take hold of the tab and pull in a good steady out and away motion. You are trying to get the new paint / stain product to release, if it will.

Now take a look at the tape and see if any of the paint / stain product came off. If you have a lot of the paint / stain product on your tape – do not use that product. If there is no paint / stain product on the tape then you have the right product. Take the paint / stain product back to paint store and have them tint it to your color and continue with your paint / stain project.

Adhesion Test (2)
Look closely and you will see this coating had poor adhesion.

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