Problems with New Wall Paint Covering over Old Paint

I didn’t realize that there was no primer on a room in my house, and I have now put three coats of latex paint on it, and it still hasn’t covered well. What can I do? The main problem is brush marks. The room was originally white, and I painted it a orange/red color. -Joanne

Hi Joanne,

I’d start by changing from a brush to a roller, since a roller will do a much better job of covering a large wall area than a brush, and it’s a lot faster as well.

As for the paint, if the walls were previously painted white, there usually isn’t a problem covering over it with a different wall color without applying a primer if you use high quality paint. The same can’t be said for trying to paint over dark or brightly colored walls, which usually do require a stain blocking primer to prevent the old color from bleed through.

The problem could be with the paint you are using. It could be defective, old, or a low quality paint that doesn’t cover well.

Another option is to try priming an inconspicuous spot, let it dry, then paint over it to see if that helps. If so, go back and prime all the walls with a stain blocking primer. To allow your wall paint to cover better, have the paint store tint the primer so it’s a closer match to the finish paint.

Good luck with your project,


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10 Comments on “Problems with New Wall Paint Covering over Old Paint”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    May 23rd, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Hi, Angelita! Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, paint jobs and their results can be subjective. Whether you should go for the third coat of paint is entirely up to you — just be sure that, whichever decision you make, you can live with it. 🙂 Thanks for your question.

  • Angelita Rippeon Says:
    May 21st, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Just had my walls painted Honied- White . I hand a dark brick color . Two coats applied but there is shadows, I was informed that the old dark is causing it. Should I do a third coat? Or what? Disappointed.

  • phyllis heister Says:
    February 20th, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    We bought an old house that had painted woodwork. We scrubbed it down twice before applying a paint that had a built in primer. The paint is now peeling. How do we fix this problem without removing all the paint which would be a massive undertaking.

  • Lisa Ellis Says:
    May 18th, 2015 at 7:49 am

    We are painting a new construction home. The homeowner was testing paint colors on one wall. She used a brush to apply the paint… we put 3 coats of primer over it and u can see through the primer and paint where she painted. How do we get rid of that spot so it can not be seen?

  • Shirley Says:
    August 20th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I moved into a house and one wall the previous owner partially removed wallpaper and then painted over the wallpaper that remains. Some of the wallpaper is cracked. I need to paint the wall but can’t. Suggestions?

  • Denise Says:
    June 26th, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I am attempting to paint my very small studio. The existing color is a yellow with a hint of green. I am trying to repaint it a more muted yellow. I have tried three testers, all with primer, and they all come out beige on the wall. When I apply them in my white white closet, they work fine. Paint store has no idea how to handle…

  • Barb Says:
    December 25th, 2011 at 11:40 am

    How do we paint over varnishes wood work.

  • rosita augustine Says:
    November 1st, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    my fridge moved out so i was going to paint in the back while it was out, i used the wrong color grey & when i moved it back i messed it up by going out 2 far so i went & got the right grey color & painted but is darker then my other walls, need 2 be lighter how can i make my paint lighter…… help

  • Andy Kay Says:
    January 30th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Finishing existing white woodwork with Valspar White Semi-gloss with primer additive. Brush strokes drag upon application. Working on the third coat in order to cover properly. Could it be the primer additive that is causing the problem?

  • Sylvi Salinas Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I have a rip in my ceiling caused by water damage years ago. The leak has long since been sealed but the ceiling never repaired.

    I recently had my ceiling re-painted (finally) but this did not address the rip issue because the paint is bubbling along the rip line.

    Is hot-patching the ripped area in the ceiling the solution?

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Problems with New Wall Paint Covering over Old Paint