Can You Prime Over Peeling Paint? [Comprehensive Guide]

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Can you prime over peeling paint? If you are confused with this query then don’t worry we have got your back with this comprehensive article.

You can’t own a home without performing some kind of home improvement, and painting is usually one of the most common. It is common to find that the paint on a surface is old and peeling away from it.

It is especially possible when you are buying an old home that is not under maintenance. However, this can also happen to your old home, and getting rid of that is essential to add value to the house.

Many people opt for complete repainting to get rid of peeling paint. However, there are some techniques to follow before you opt for complete repairing.

We don’t think it’s a good idea to paint straight over this, since it’s going to cause a lot of problems, and you’ll end up painting before you should have to.

This may cost quite a hefty amount of money whether you do it yourself or by a professional. The second option will, of course, cost more. Repair chipped paint should be the first step before applying paint where it’s flaking.


We have covered each nook and corner of the process on your query “can you prime over peeling paint”, including the instructions and preventive measures so that you can perform the job by yourself, without any hassle.

Causes Of Peeling Paint

To get rid of the peeling paint and prevent it from happening in the future, you must understand the causes behind this problem. Here is the list for you to understand it better.

Poor Surface Preparation

When paint doesn’t stick to the surface it’s on; it peels away. Incorrect cleaning and priming of the wall may be to blame. Things like mildew, grease, dust, and grime must be carefully cleaned before painting.

An abrasive cleaner can be used to both clean and dull old paint to increase adhesion when painting over a glossy finish. For long-term adherence and adhesion to the surface underneath it, you should also treat the surface with paint primer, which creates a binding layer.

Humidity Or Moisture

If you apply paint to a wet surface, it will not dry properly and may even peel off soon after.

Inappropriate Paint

The same type of paint should be used if you’re painting over a previous layer that has already been painted over. These three different types of paints don’t mix very well. Despite the fact that latex paint can be painted over with oil-based paint, it does not adhere well and will eventually peel.

Messy Paint

If the paint has already gone bad, it will peel as well. It’s possible that open pots of latex paint in a garage will render it unusable. It begins to emit a more overpowering stench and leaves behind a harsh texture that is prone to peeling.

As long as they are maintained out of high temperatures, oil-based or alkyd paints can endure for up to 15 years when sealed. Water-based latex and acrylic paints can be stored for up to 10 years if they are unopened.

It is impossible to mix back the solid components once they have settled at the bottom and hardened.

Poor-Quality Paint

In general, lower-quality paints may wear out and peel off sooner than paints of higher quality.

New Wood

Painting new wood can result in the paint peeling off because of the wood’s natural oils, even if it appears dry at first. This is especially true for Cedar. Uncured wood might potentially have an excessive amount of moisture.

Role Of Dampness For Peeling Paint

Moisture can cause paint to bubble and peel if it is trapped between the paint and the wall. Damp, particularly rising damp, can cause this. Moisture weakens the link between the wall and paint, causing the paint to come loose from the wall.

Especially in wet environments like bathrooms and kitchens, paint peeling is a regular occurrence. If you see peeling paint on your walls, it doesn’t necessarily signify that your home is damp. Condensation from a bathtub or shower could be to blame.

By cleaning the area, you may be able to prevent the paint from peeling if you are facing a damp problem at home. Use a sponge or a moist rag to clean the area that is impacted by damp.

As a precaution, it’s a good idea to clean the walls before painting thoroughly. Priming the walls prior to painting is another effective preventative measure that can help protect the paint from mildew and moisture.

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Can Primer Help & Can You Prime Over Peeling Paint

An essential part of any do-it-yourself painting project is priming the surface. Primer is revered as a beautiful panacea for all the ills of painting.

Even if you don’t adequately sand your surface or at all, a decent primer will ensure that the paint still adheres to the wall. Primers also aid in stain resistance and improve the color accuracy of topcoats.

However, the situation is more complicated than that. There’s no need to worry about your walls while painting them, no matter what priming you choose.

Choosing the correct primer for external walls, on the other hand, is more complicated and necessitates more consideration. This can become even more critical if you already have flaking paint on your outside walls.

Using any old primer will just provide a temporary remedy, and you may find yourself struggling with paint peeling again in the not too distant future.

Extensive exposure to rain, snow, ice, heat, and humidity can shorten the lifespan of outdoor wall paint and cause it to flake and flake. Peel Stop primer is a beautiful primer to use if you want to stop paint from peeling.

Even on external walls, this exterior binding primer is designed to prevent the paint from flaking. As with other primers, it’s a cinch to apply. Spraying is one option, but you can use any of the traditional painting techniques to get the job done.

It may be used on a wide variety of surfaces, including wood and brick. Cracks and edges are well sealed, preventing the surface from further peeling and further damage.

Basics Of Fixing Process Of Peeling & Chipped Paint

If you’re motivated and have plenty of spare time, you can peel the walls of their paint and reveal the raw wood beneath. To be fair, it’s more convenient and rational to fix a few spots rather than completely removing all the paint.

A little patch of peeling or chipped paint may be able to be simply brushed off and then primed and painted over. This method will work as long as the peeling area’s remaining edges are stable.

Even if you’re struggling with chipped or peeling paint that is many layers thick, it’s not necessarily the most appealing remedy. Before priming and painting, fill in the gaps with wood filler.

This approach, added to the visual appeal, also protects the borders of current paint from peeling again.

Safety Measures

Even residences built after 1978 had been painted with lead-dominated paint. This paint has been demonstrated to cause brain harm through scientific studies. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to its effects.

Before you begin sanding or peeling the paint, check for lead. A qualified cleanup company should remove the paint if it contains lead. To prevent dust from entering one’s lungs, one should always wear a Respirator Mask.

Any local building supply store should be able to supply these items.

Required Items:

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Painters tape
  • Putty knife
  • Plastic drop cloth or tarp
  • Patching compound
  • Tack cloth or sponge
  • Wire brush or paint scraper
  • Roller and brush
  • Primer
  • Personal protective equipment

The Main Process

Now that you have a good idea about the causes of the problems and safety measures, and the basics, it is high time to jump to the main process. So, let’s get started.

Preparing The Space

You should use glasses, a safety mask, and gloves regardless of whether the peeling paint is made of lead. Large plastic or tarp should always be placed around the work area to capture stray paint chips, irrespective of the size or type of paint used.

Remove all rugs, furniture, or any other finishings from the room and tape off any adjoining trim sections, such as the baseboards. Drop cloths will help you keep the paint on the surfaces you want it to stay on.


It’s a good idea to look for leaks in the roof or plumbing before you start any repairs, as these could have contributed to the bathroom’s peeling and cause problems with your repairs.

Once you’ve resolved that, it’s time to get to work on those cracks! Using a drop cloth to protect the floor, as well as a trash can, is recommended. Prepare your eyes and face with a mask and goggles in case specks of paint fly.

Carefully remove all the peeling or chipped paint from the walls and ceilings using a wire brush, putty knife, or a paint scraper.


Paint scrapers or a 5-in-1 tool can be used for this purpose. When it becomes impossible to remove the paint, stop. Also, be careful not to harm the wood with the scraper’s sharp edges.

Get Rid Of Loose Paint With A Brush

A wire brush can be used to remove any leftover particles. Re-work the damaged area’s edges. The paint scraper can be used to remove any extra paint that has begun to flake off.

Adding The Wood Filler

In order to repair the damage, use a putty knife to spread the filler in a thin layer across the surface. The wood filler should be applied somewhat beyond the damaged region.

We’ll sand away the extra wood filler afterward. The putty knife should be flexed to ensure a smooth finish. The wood filler should not be applied thickly since this will just add to the amount of material you will have to sand.

Make sure to apply appropriately to cover the injured area, plus a little more.

Let It Dry

In accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, wait for the wood filler to dry. This usually takes approx 45 minutes to an hour, but you should give yourself at least two hours to complete this task. The filler will peel off if you sand it before it has completely cured.

Sand It Down

It’s time to make the wall smooth once all of the patched areas have dried. Patience is an important part of learning how to repair paint chips on a wall. Your spackle will have an uneven surface if you sand too early.

When spackle clings to the sandpaper, it isn’t yet dry. Sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper. As long as it’s between 180 and 220, it’s okay.

You may sand the wall using a sanding sponge with adequate firmness, sandpaper, an orbital sander, or a flat piece of wood wrapped in sandpaper.

If you’re more of a tactile person, rub the surface to see if it’s smooth. Pick up a piece of paper and a colored pencil. Color the paper by placing it over the patch. The darker the spots, the better. A little extra sanding is now in need.

  • The sander should be held flat. Don’t go overboard with the sanding.
  • Scrub sanded parts with your fingers from time to time. For smoothness, this is a good indicator.
  • Remove all ridges created by the spackle meeting the wall. Clean up and resurface all places that have been fixed.
  • Remove any loose paint by lightly sanding the area of the wall that you’re painting.

The patched sections may need to be textured to match the wall’s texture. It’s best to use the round edge of a bit of the artist’s paintbrush to get the job done.

Make slight dents in the spackle to achieve the same look as the wall’s texture. A texture like a stucco or orange peel might be added on top of the patch if necessary.

Ensure The Smoothness

Feel for smoothness with your bare hand on the patched area. You want the mended area to fit in seamlessly. If you are unable to completely smooth the region, such as when the board has been severely damaged, an intelligent choice is to change the board.

The wood filler should be reapplied if it doesn’t match the rest of the wood.

Add The Primer

Apply and spread the primer all over the surface once the filled area has been smoothed to your satisfaction. If you’ve already had a problem with peeling paint in the bathroom, consider using an oil-based primer that has stain-blocking characteristics to provide your paint an extra layer of protection against humidity.

When you apply paint, the filled area will blend in flawlessly because you primed the entire surface beforehand. Patched areas may soak the paint at a different level than the rest of the surface if you don’t prepare the region before painting it.


Once the primer has cured, you can begin painting again. Check if you can get your hands on a sample can from your local hardware store if you don’t have enough paint on hand.

Using a brush or a roller for big areas, work from the center of the patched area outward. When in doubt, be stingy. You don’t want to mess with the paint on, and that’s especially true when you’re doing a retouch.

Before utilizing the water source in this bathroom, please allow it to dry completely.

Prevent Paint Peeling In The Future

The entire process is easy but tiresome. You wouldn’t want to spend your weekends on this project repeatedly, right? Therefore, you need to follow the preventive steps so that you don’t have to face them again in the future.

Protect From Water

Sealants prevent water and other things from coming into touch with a freshly painted surface, preventing damage. If your roof, gutter, flashing, or soffit is leaking, you need to fix it immediately to prevent water from seeping into your home’s interior.

Control Condensation & Humidity

If these two variables are not well regulated, they might lead to wet paint surfaces. As a result, they can apply a fresh layer and have it peel off the surface as soon as it’s dry. Mold and mildew can grow on old coats as a result of these substances.

Keeping the windows and door open in humid weather can help alleviate these issues. For bathrooms, in particular, installing an HVAC system can assist remove damp air and replacing it with dry.

Prepare The Surfaces

Make sure the surface is even before applying the patching material, which is essential. To ensure a smooth, consistent ceiling, you’ll need to repair any missing seam and joint compound tapes.

Removing the previous paint using a brush or scraper (or you can try using alcohol) is the first step in repainting a surface. Before painting, you’ll need to fill in any gaps or cracks using a patching material.

Apply Paint

Dirty surfaces can prevent paint from adhering correctly. A grease or oil on a surface means that the paint will not have enough support to adhere properly.

You can use an electric cleaner to get rid of mildew and mold from a concrete surface. You can use a moist towel to clean the wood on your ceiling. You can make use of sandpaper if it has any difficult dirt on it.

Protect From Direct Sunlight & Heat

Heat speeds up the drying process of paint, reducing the strength of the bonds that form. Intense sunlight, however, weakens the elasticity of paint and makes it more brittle. These factors cause paint to flake within a short amount of time.

If you’re going to paint something that gets hot, you’ll want to wait until it’s at room temperature. When it comes to the sun, all you have to do is use a suitable shade to keep your freshly painted surface protected.

Use Of Right Primer & Paint

Different primers and paints are designed to work on different types of materials. It’s possible to find concrete-specific and wood-specific versions of each product. This can cause peeling of the paint or primer is applied incorrectly, which is well known.

When painting or priming your walls or ceilings, make sure you use the proper paint and primer. If you’re having trouble making a decision, it may be time to seek the advice of a professional painter.

Right Painting Methods

It appears that improper painting techniques and procedures are a primary contributor to peeling paint. Using improper brushes or tools and applying thin layers are only two examples of bad habits that exacerbate the issue.

Make sure that you have a thicker-bristled roller or brush if you are painting on a rigid concrete surface. Using oil-soluble paint necessitates the use of a brush or roller with finer bristles.

Keep Corrosive Substances Away

Examples of compounds that corrode paint include those that are highly acidic or alkaline in nature. They cause paint to dissolve and flake off as a result of their interaction with the surface.

Because of this, it is imperative that these compounds should not come into touch with painted surfaces. In order to avoid damaging painted surfaces while working with hazardous materials, you should not splash or pour them.

This includes keeping them away from the surface.

Few Words Before Wrapping Up…

When you finally move into your new house, you can’t wait to decorate it to your liking! If this is your first time painting, here are a few pointers to keep in mind to ensure that your work looks its best.

What kind of paint was used in the house if you’re buying an older one? It’s possible that your paint will peel if you use the wrong sort of paint, don’t correctly prepare your painting surfaces, or paint in a damp room.

Before you know it, you’ll be putting yourself through all the hassle and expense. In comparison to other rooms in the house, bathrooms retain a higher humidity level. The wood trim surrounding the windows is also at risk of decay.

When wood is exposed to water, it swells and crumbles due to the expansion and contraction of the timber. The top layer of primer and paint flakes away as a result. The integrity of paint can be quickly compromised by old or poorly prepared paint.

We hope we have described all the steps for your doubt “can you prime over peeling paint” you need to follow. Get all equipment handy, and don’t skip the safety measures before starting the process. All the best!

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