How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Painting Advice for 4 Mystifying Situations

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

This sounds simple enough. The wall was good enough to be painted once. It shouldn’t be all that difficult to paint it again. This painting advice article will break down a few common situations and provide simple solutions.

Find more painting advice

Same Color - Good Condition

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Painting Advice

Same Color - Good Condition

You probably don’t need a primer if the new coat is the same type as the old paint. For example, both are oil-based.

If the current wall is also smooth and clean, you can head straight for the paint.

Browse All Interior Paints

Same Color - Bad Condition

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Painting Advice

Same Color - Bad Condition

What if you need to fill holes, spackle and sand, maybe even cut a new piece of drywall in to the existing wall? 

Your best bet is to use a good layer of primer to ensure a smooth, consistent base layer for the colored paint. In this case, your primer will mask many of the imperfections you’re trying to hide.

Learn How to Fix Small Wall Holes

Oil-based on Latex Paint

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Painting Advice

Oil-based on Latex Paint

If you are covering a latex paint with a new, oil-based paint, you will want to use a primer.

Oil-based paint will not adhere to your existing latex paint layer, so you need to create a middleman, of sorts. 

A thoroughly applied (2 coats is a good idea) primer, specifically formulated to bond with your new paint, will allow your new paint to bond to the wall properly. 

View PPG Gripper Primer & Sealer

Opposite Shades

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Painting Advice

Opposite Shades

If the wall is in good condition and the paints are chemically the same (both latex, for instance), you have a few options when the new paint is the opposite shade of the old paint.

  • You can use a primer to thoroughly cover the old color, then apply 1 or 2 coats of the new paint. 

  • Paint & primer in one paints are a newer option, which could be ideal for your situation and even shorten the project.

Compare prices and choose whichever option suits your budget.

View Timeless Interior Paint & Primer

Light Paint Over Darker Walls

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Painting Advice

Light Paint Over Darker Walls

Covering a dark color with a lighter shade will require multiple coats of new paint.

It may make more sense to cover the old color in a primer, which is less expensive than your paint. This way, you will only need 1 to 2 coats of your new paint.

The choice really comes down to what makes you (and your budget) comfortable.  

See MULTIPRIME Primer