The Complete Guide to Fixing Patchy Paint


Why Is My Paint Patchy?

Often, patchy paint can be attributed to one (or a combination) of three things: poor prep work, low-quality paint, or a rushed job. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors to see how they might affect your paint job.

Poor Prep Work

One of the most common reasons for patchy paint is poor prep work. If you don’t take the time to properly prep your surface before painting, you’re setting yourself up for trouble from the start.

Make sure to clean your surface thoroughly and remove any old paint or debris that could interfere with the new coat of paint. Once your surface is clean, apply a primer before painting. This will help create an even surface for the paint to adhere to, resulting in a much better overall finish.

Low-Quality Paint

Cheap paints often have fillers and binders that separate from the pigment as the paint dries, resulting in an uneven coat. In addition, low-quality paints often don’t have the same level of pigmentation as higher-quality options, which can also lead to an uneven appearance. When it comes to painting, it’s important to use high-quality paints for the best results.

Rushed Job

Finally, rushing through your paint job is another common mistake that can produce patchy results. It will show in the final product if you try to hurry through the process without taking the time to do things carefully and correctly. Make sure to take your time when painting and avoid rushing through the process to achieve the best possible results.

Best Paint To Cover Patchy Walls

When it comes to painting over patchy walls, there are two main things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. the type of paint you use
  2. the technique you employ

Let’s start with the former:

Latex paint + Primer in One

Latex paint is a type of water-based paint that is quick-drying and known for being easy to clean up. It’s also one of the most popular types of paint on the market, making it easy to find and reasonably priced. Because it’s water-based paint, it goes on evenly and is less likely to show brush strokes.

And, because it’s a primer and paint in one, you can save time by skipping the laborious task of priming your wall before painting.

Semi-Gloss Paint

Like high-gloss paint, semi-gloss paint reflects light well and can help camouflage any patchiness on your walls. Semi-gloss paint is also easier to apply than high-gloss paint, so if you’re not confident in your painting skills, this may be the better option.

The main downside of semi-gloss paint is that it can amplify any imperfections in the surface beneath, so make sure your walls are as smooth as possible before applying this type of paint.

Flat Paint

Flat or matte paints are great at hiding imperfections-but because they don’t reflect light, they can make small rooms feel dark and cramped. Flat paints are probably not the best option for you if you have patchy walls in a small room that doesn’t get much natural light. However, if you have patchy walls in a large room with plenty of windows, flat paints can help create a cozy and inviting space.

How To Fix Patchy Wall Paint

1) Prep the area: Before you start painting over the patch, you first need to ensure the area is clean and free of dust or debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe the area and let it dry completely.

2) Choose your paint: When choosing the paint to cover up a patch, it’s important to match the sheen of the original paint. This will ensure a consistent look once the patch is painted over.

3) Paint the patch: Using a brush or roller, apply the paint evenly over the patch until it’s completely covered. For best results, wait for the first coat of paint to dry completely before adding a second coat.

4) Touch-up: If any spots need touch-ups, apply more paint to those areas until they blend in with the rest of the wall.

How to Stop Patchy Paint When Using a Roller

Use the Right Paint Roller Cover

One of the most common mistakes people make when painting with a roller is using the wrong cover. There are three main types of roller covers: dense foam for smooth surfaces, microfiber for semi-smooth surfaces, and woven fabric for rough surfaces. Choosing the right type of cover will make a big difference in the quality of your paint job.

Use Light Pressure

Using too much pressure when rolling paint onto the wall can cause streaks and an uneven paint job. Instead, use light pressure and let the paint roller do most of the work.

Roll in Strips

To avoid leaving visible brush strokes:

  1. Roll your paint in strips rather than in a large area.
  2. Begin at one end of the wall and roll evenly across in 3-foot sections until you reach the other side.
  3. Reload your roller frequently to ensure even coverage and avoid streaks.

Let Paint Dry Between Coats

Before adding a second coat of paint, ensure the first coat is completely dry-otherwise, you risk ending up with patches of wet paint that will never fully dry or set properly.

Avoid “Wet Edges”

If you find yourself with some “wet edges”-areas where fresh paint meets already-dry paint-use a brush rather than a roller to even things out and avoid potential visible lines or patches. Once you’ve removed any wet edges, continue rolling until the entire surface is completely coated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Paint Over Old Patchy Paint?

Painting over old, patchy paint may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can actually be quite easy. First, you will need to clean away any dirt or debris from the surface of your wall so that the new paint has a smooth surface to attach to. Next, you should assess which areas of the wall have suffered damage and determine what type of paint you will use to fix them.

Once you have selected your paint type and prepared the surface appropriately, all you need to do is simply apply it in a smooth, even coat. With a little patience and care, you can create a great new finish for your wall that looks just as good as brand new.

Graham Walsh

I want to share everything I know about home improvement in order to help you. Whether you're a home enthusiast or an industry professional, I have the information that you need.

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