Covering Stains on Walls When Painting

By jessica

You have just moved into your brand new home. It is a house from the 1970s and the original owners sold it to you. Is it ideal? Well, the shag carpet will have to go, but more importantly, so will the dirt, grime and stains on the walls. No matter how hard you dust, the stains just will not come off. By following the tips below, you get rid of stains and make your walls look brand new once again.

Clean Them

The first thing you will need to do is wipe the walls down. Start with a dry dust rag or duster with a microfiber cloth and wipe the walls from top to bottom. You may be surprised, and appalled, by the amount of dust and dirt you collect with just a few simple sweeps around the room.

After you have dusted, it is time to wipe them down. As tempting as it may be to use a hot, soaking rag, refrain from putting too much water on the walls. A hot, damp cloth should do the trick. You may need to wipe the walls down, let them dry, and then repeat the process. Be aware that the stains might still be there if they are very old or set in place.


After the walls have been cleaned, it is time to prime them. Use the highest-quality stain-blocking primer available to give you the best coverage. You will probably need to give the walls at least two coats of primer to cover up any stains.

If the stain bleeds through the primer, it is likely that it will show through the paint. You may need to add extra primer over stained areas after the previous coat has dried; then let the primer dry before painting. If two to three coats of primer do not cover the stain, another wall covering may be the only way to achieve a pristine wall.

When Paint Will Not Do

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you cannot cover up a stain completely. In cases such as this, you may need to reconsider using paint and opt for another wall treatment instead. Wallpaper is usually the first option besides paint, as it is a cost-effective way to completely cover a wall or decorate a room. The wide variety of styles and colors that it comes in can also make it an excellent choice for matching difficult decorating elements.

Some wallpapers are designed to be painted over, so if you have your heart set on a particular paint color, this could be the best option. Another option is to cover the walls with paneling or bead board. This is usually more expensive than wallpaper, but can also give you a surface which can be painted over.

While most stains can be completely covered with the methods above, some stains will be more stubborn than others. For example, consider cutting out stains from mildew or damaged areas and replacing that drywall with a new patch, then fill, sand, prime and paint for the look of brand new walls.

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