Can I paint over old paint?

paint over old paint

Can I paint over old paint? That’s something we get asked all the time by our clients. In short, the answer is yes. That is, if the walls beneath are white, smooth, and stain-free – which, if you’re in the process of repainting, they probably aren’t.

In this article, we’ll share with you our top tips and considerations for painting over old paint, so you end up with flawless, professional results.

The condition of old paint

If your current paintwork is looking a little worse for wear, you will need to do a bit of prep work before you crack open the paint tin. Here are a few specifics.

Marks and stains

Scuff, marks, dust, dirt, and stains are all extremely common on interior walls. It’s vital to remove any of these imperfections as best you can before you apply a fresh coat of paint. Why? Because dirt can prevent paint from properly adhering to your surface, resulting in peeling and blistering further down the track. What’s more, stains can show up underneath light-coloured paint.

So, to prevent marks and stains from ruining your hard work, complete the following:

  • Wash walls thoroughly to remove surface dust and dirt – even if your walls look completely clean.
  • Remove any stubborn stains with sugar soap, warm water and detergent, or another cleaning solution.
  • Allow the wall to dry completely before you paint.

Peeling and blistered paint

paint over old paint

You cannot paint directly over the top of peeling or blistered paint. Instead, you’ll need to remove flaking paint with a palette knife or similar tool. Then, sand down the area to achieve a smooth finish. Apply a suitable primer before you paint.

Water damage

Water damage can be a little trickier to deal with. First, you’ll need to locate and repair the source of the leak – if you don’t do this, your new paint will soon show signs of water damage, too. Plus, covering mould with paint may cause it to spread to other areas of your house.

Once the leak has been repaired, give the area ample time to dry out. Clean the surface as above, and then, prime and paint as normal.

The condition of your surface

Another key consideration to make when asking ‘Can I paint over old paint’ is the condition of your walls. Are they chipped? Are there any holes in the surface? Is my plaster water damaged beyond repair

Little chips and holes can be repaired easily with plaster fillers – these are available at just about any good hardware store. Follow the instructions carefully. Allow to dry before sanding down the surface. Then, prime and paint as normal.

Larger holes may require the help of a contractor. It’s really up to you and what you feel confident repairing yourself.

The colour of old paint

paint over old paint

If you’re opting for a lighter, brighter colour than your current paint, you will need to take an extra step to ensure the old paint colour doesn’t show through. Painting a light colour over a dark colour is made easy with what’s called a white or block-out primer – these allow the true colour of your paint to shine without interference, even if it’s bright pink!

We always suggest using a primer to achieve a perfect result. Not only do primers enhance the colour, they also protect your surface.

Leave it to the pros

Sounds like too much work? No worries. Leave it to us.  Our expert team knows exactly how to prep your walls – even if they are blistered, water damaged, and dark brown – to ensure your new paintwork looks fantastic for years to come. Call now on 07 3829 5735 or fill out the form on this page, and we’ll be in touch soon.

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About Louise Kraudelt

Meet Louise Kraudelt, a knowledgeable and insightful author in the field of house painting. With a passion for sharing her expertise, Louise provides valuable information and tips on all aspects of commercial and house painting in this blog.

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