Painting to Cover Stains on Walls

Painting is just like magic. It has the power to turn the appearance of any room into an entirely different space. You would even forget that the walls used to look drab and riddled with stains and flaws. Commercial painters in Dublin and nearby cities work like magicians – only they use no magic tricks but the right paints and tools for the job.

Stains on walls are one of the common problems painters encounter during a project. There are different kinds of stains, but some are easy to remove with just a simple wipe, while others require scrubbing and harsh chemicals.

Paint finishes

Consider the finish types on the walls when choosing paints to cover stains and other imperfections.

Paint finishes

1) Flat

Much like the name suggests, a flat finish has no shine. It is the dullest of all paint finishes as it does not reflect light. These characteristics make flat paints excellent for hiding stains, blemishes, and other imperfections like brush strokes. Flat paints are ideal for low-traffic areas, such as bedrooms and study rooms, as well as surfaces that don’t get a lot of abuse, such as ceilings.

It is a common notion that flat paints are the least durable and most challenging to clean of all finish types, which is true. However, some professional painters and designers insist that application is the key. When applied correctly, flat paints can become durable and clean up nicely.

Besides, technology has paved the way for improving the formulations of flat paints, making them durable and even washable.

2) Matte

In the world of paint, the terms “flat” and “matte” come to mean the same finish. But compared to flat, matte gives off a very low luster due to its minimal reflectivity. A matte finish is also slightly more durable than flat, and you may use it for areas with moderate foot traffic. But like flat, matte is also excellent in hiding surface stains, blemishes, and other flaws.

3) Flat Enamel

“Flat” and “flat enamel” may sound similar, but the two have slight differences. Flat enamel is usually formulated to dry with a very thin film over its surface. This film makes flat enamel significantly more durable than regular flat and matte and can withstand high traffic. This means you can use flat enamel for hallways, children’s rooms, and even kitchens and bathrooms.

But like plain flat, flat enamel has a non-reflective finish, making it excellent for hiding surface stains, flaws, and other imperfections.

If you’re thinking of paints that could resist stains, paints with very low to no luster, in general, are not recommended. They are susceptible to marks, stains, and scuffing, and that’s the reason why such finishes are best for low-traffic areas.

Using a stain-blocking primer (or stain block)

Using a stain-blocking primer (or stain block)

The name says it all. But does stain-blocking paint actually work?

In general, a stain-blocking primer does work. Most stain-blocking primers on the market are usually water-based. They are explicitly designed to deal with various stains on walls and ceilings. Stain-blocking primers effectively cover imperfections like graffiti, red wine, smoke, and water stains. They further prevent the migration of stains from the surface through the finishing paints.

Surface preparation is the key.

No matter how good your paints or coatings are, they will need help sticking to a dirty surface. The stains are likely to show through the new paint. To prevent that from happening, prepare the surface before painting.

1) Clean the walls

Cleaning the surface will at least make the stains less noticeable if not completely removed.

Some stains are more difficult to remove than others, requiring different treatments.

  • Common stains or marks – These are generally removed with regular soap and water, a solution of water and vinegar, or a ready-to-use cleaning eraser.
  • Oil or grease – Dishwashing soap and water or special wall cleaner.
  • Crayon or pencil marks – For pencil marks, try to remove them with a regular pencil eraser, gum eraser, or cleaning eraser. For crayon marks, use WD-40 – it is proven effective at eliminating waxy material.
  • Coffee stains – Dishwashing soap, an all-purpose cleaner, and a soft-bristled brush will remove this type of stain.

After cleaning the walls, rinse them thoroughly. Then, let the walls dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

2) Prime

After the walls have been cleaned, rinsed, and dried, it’s time to prime them. Use the stain-blocking primer to give you the best coverage from stains.

To ensure that the stains won’t bleed through the new paint, you may need to add another coat of the stain-blocking primer after the first coat has dried.

3) Paint

After priming the walls, apply them with good-quality paint.

But what if paint can’t cover stains?

But what if paint can’t cover stains?

Sometimes you can’t cover stains completely, no matter how hard you try. In this case, you may need to opt for another wall treatment instead of applying multiple coats of paint.

Wallpaper is usually the first option as it will completely cover stains. Besides, it can add flair to your room.

But if you still want to add paint, fortunately, some wallpapers are designed to be painted over. This is the best option if you have a favorite color in mind. Just make sure that the wallpaper is correctly installed in a way that its seams won’t show through the new paint.

Patching is another option. Consider cutting out the stained area and replacing that area with a new patch. Next, fill the patch with a spackle or joint compound. Then sand, prime, and paint over the patched area to achieve the look of brand-new walls.

While it is possible to cover most stains completely with the paints and methods mentioned, other stains will be a bit more stubborn. If you have wall stains that need to be painted over, interior and exterior painters near me will gladly provide solutions. Please send us a request for a free estimate today!