Can You Paint Over Mold? Everything You Need to Know

can you paint over mold

Mold is a pesky problem that can wreak havoc on any home or property – both aesthetically and structurally. It can grow on many different surfaces, from wood to concrete and even wallpaper. Not only does it cause a nasty musty smell, but it can also be dangerous to our health if not taken care of properly.

To make matters worse, mold only takes 24 to 48 hours to spread once it’s taken root. This means you must be ready to act quickly and efficiently when dealing with mold in your home or property.

But how can we get rid of the mold? Can you paint over it? Here’s what you need to know:

The Harmful Effects of Mold

harmful effects of mold

Before we answer the question of whether you can paint over mold, it is important to understand why it should be taken seriously.

First and foremost, mold is a health hazard. It can cause a range of health problems, including allergies, headaches, fatigue, respiratory problems, and skin irritation. These conditions can be worsened in people with existing allergies or sensitivities, those with compromised immune systems, and the elderly.

In addition to being a health hazard, untreated mold can cause structural damage to your property. Mold feeds on organic materials such as wood, wallpaper, and drywall paper. As it grows, mold can weaken these materials, making them susceptible to decay or even collapse. This can lead to repairs that cost far more than tackling the mold in the first place.

What Happens When You Paint Over Mold?

Painting over mold without prior treatment is not a viable solution for getting rid of the problem.  It is merely a cosmetic fix that covers up the problem without addressing its underlying cause.

When you paint over mold, you could easily be just locking it in and creating a more severe problem. Over time, the mold can continue to grow and spread, causing further damage to your walls or ceilings.

Another issue with painting over mold is that the moisture problem that led to mold growth in the first place is not addressed. Mold thrives in damp and humid environments, so if you don’t fix the underlying moisture problem, the mold will likely return – even if you paint over it.

Finally, if you’re planning to sell your home, it is important to understand that painting over mold won’t fool prospective buyers. More often than not, the mold problem will be uncovered during a home inspection. This can lead to a costly repair or even the termination of a sale.

Signs of Painted-Over Mold

If you suspect that there might be mold lurking beneath your home’s interior paint, there are a few key signs you can look out for. Some of these indicators include:

peeling bubbling wall paint

Peeling or Bubbling Paint

Peeling and bubbling of interior paint can be a sign that the mold is trying to push its way out from behind the paint in order to grow and spread. This can be a result of the mold producing moisture and gasses that cause the paint to separate from the wall.

Musty Odor

musty odor

The musty odor of mold is often difficult to cover up, no matter how much paint you use. Some describe the smell as being similar to wet socks or rotting wood. So, if you notice this strange smell in your home that won’t go away, it could be a sign of painted-over mold. Pay special attention to dark and damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, and attics.

Discolored Spots or Streaks

Discolored Spots or Streaks

Mold can cause large, discolored patches or thinner streaks on your walls that are different in color than the surrounding paint. These spots may appear as greenish-blue, black, brown, or yellow.  You may also see a slimy film or fuzzy growth on the wall itself.

Allergies and Health Issues

mold health issues

Although painted-over mold is not always visible, you may experience signs in your own health. For example, if mold is present, you may develop adverse health effects such as:

  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Coughing, headaches
  • Skin rashes 
  • Difficulty breathing

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to investigate the cause to protect your health.

What Should You Do Instead of Painting Over Mold?

get rid of mold before painting the wall

The best way to get rid of mold is to have it professionally inspected and removed. A mold remediation specialist can identify the problem’s source, assess the damage’s extent, and recommend a course of action.

It is important to note that removing mold from a home can be dangerous and should never be attempted as a DIY project. Professional mold removal companies have the proper training, experience, and equipment to handle these types of jobs safely and effectively.

Once the mold is gone, you can safely repaint your walls. To get the best results, you should consult a professional painting company. They will be able to recommend and use the appropriate paints, sealants, and primers to help protect your walls against future mold growth.

Professional paint contractors will also work to ensure that your wall’s surface is adequately prepared before painting. This may involve sanding down the walls, patching any cracks or holes, and using moisture-resistant sealants. Proper preparation when painting over walls that were previously affected by mold can help extend the life of your paint job.

Need to Repaint After Removing Mold from Your Home?

repaint your home after removing mold

As you can see, repainting over mold is not a long-term solution. It can lead to more damage, wasted money, and health risks. To protect your home and your family, it’s important to have any mold issues properly addressed by a qualified professional.

If you need help to repaint your home after mold removal, Premier Painting & Coating is ready to assist. With over 30 years of experience in residential and commercial painting, we can provide you with the expertise and quality service needed to get the job done right.

Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you breathe easier in your home!