can you paint over mold?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Are you grappling with mold and contemplating painting over it? This common dilemma is often met with a simple answer: paint cannot kill or eliminate mold. This article will provide comprehensive insights into why painting over mold isn’t advisable, how to remediate the issue properly before taking up a brush, and ways to prevent further growth under your fresh coat of paint.

Get ready for an enlightening journey behind the layers of that seemingly harmless wall stain!

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Why You Shouldn’t Paint Over Mold?

Painting over mold is not a recommended solution as it simply hides the problem instead of addressing it, poses health risks due to inhalation of mold spores, causes bubbling and peeling of paint, and requires fixing the moisture issue before painting can be effective.

Hiding the problem instead of addressing it

If you paint over mold, you are putting a “band-aid” on the problem. You cannot see the mold anymore but it is still there. It keeps growing under your fresh paint. The true issue here is not only that ugly spot on your wall.

It’s about the healthy air in your place too! Mold can cause bad things to happen to people and pets like throat pain or coughing fits after a while. So, if you just cover it with paint, those troubles won’t go away either.

Health risks associated with mold

Mold causes health problems. Some of these are nasal stuffiness, throat irritation and coughing. Being near mold might make your eyes water or skin rash. In serious cases, it can cause lung infections.

Mold is even worse for people with allergies or asthma. They may have more severe reactions to mold. This makes getting rid of mold important before painting a wall.

Bubbling and peeling of paint

Mold makes paint peel and bubble. This is not a good sight. It means that the mold is growing under the paint. The mold eats the paint and turns it into food. When you see peeling or bubbling on your wall, it’s often because of mold growth.

You can’t stop this by painting over it again. Instead, clean up the mold first for better results.

Spread of mold spores

Mold spores can easily spread through the air and create new colonies in different areas of your home. When you paint over mold, you might think that it’s gone, but the truth is that mold spores can still be present underneath the paint.

These tiny particles can become airborne again if there is any moisture or humidity, causing mold to grow back and potentially affecting other parts of your home. It’s important to properly remove mold before painting to prevent its spread and ensure a long-lasting solution.

Need to fix moisture issue before painting

Before painting, it’s important to address any moisture issues in your home. Mold thrives in damp environments, so if you paint over mold without fixing the underlying problem, it will continue to grow and spread.

Make sure to identify and fix any sources of moisture, such as leaks or condensation, before applying paint. This will help prevent future mold growth and ensure that your painted surfaces stay clean and healthy.

Remember, painting over mold is not a solution – proper remediation is necessary to protect your home and your health.

How to Properly Remove Mold Before Painting

To properly remove mold before painting, start by ensuring the affected area is clean and dry. Next, follow step-by-step instructions for safely removing the mold. It’s important to use a moisture-resistant primer or paint to prevent future mold growth on the painted surface.

Step-by-step instructions

Removing mold before painting is crucial for a successful and safe painting project. Here are the steps to properly remove mold:

  1. Identify the extent of the mold growth: Inspect the affected area and determine how much mold needs to be removed.
  2. Protect yourself: Wear gloves, safety goggles, and a mask to avoid inhaling mold spores and protect your skin from contact.
  3. Contain the area: Create a barrier by sealing off the affected area with plastic sheets or tarps to prevent mold spores from spreading to other parts of your home.
  4. Remove any loose mold: Use a brush or vacuum with a HEPA filter to carefully remove loose mold from surfaces. Avoid brushing or scrubbing vigorously, as this can release more spores into the air.
  5. Clean surfaces thoroughly: Use a mixture of water and detergent or a commercial mold cleaner to clean all surfaces affected by mold. Scrub gently but thoroughly to ensure complete removal of mold residue.
  6. Dry the area completely: After cleaning, allow the area to dry completely before proceeding with painting. Mold thrives in moisture, so it’s important to eliminate any sources of dampness.
  7. Apply a moisture-resistant primer: Before painting, apply a moisture-resistant primer designed specifically for use on areas prone to mold growth. This will help prevent future mold growth and ensure better paint adhesion.
  8. Paint with mold-resistant paint: Choose paint that contains built-in mildewcides or fungicides to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on painted surfaces. Apply two coats for maximum protection.
  9. Maintain proper ventilation: Proper airflow helps prevent moisture buildup, which can contribute to mold growth. Ensure that rooms have adequate ventilation through fans or open windows when possible.
  10. Regularly inspect painted surfaces: Keep an eye out for any signs of new mold growth on painted surfaces and address it promptly if detected.

Importance of clean and dry surfaces

Clean and dry surfaces are crucial when it comes to painting over mold. Mold thrives in damp environments, so it’s important to remove any moisture before applying paint. Cleaning the surface thoroughly helps prevent further mold growth and ensures that the paint adheres properly.

Additionally, using a moisture-resistant primer or paint can help protect against future mold issues. Making sure the surface is clean and dry is an essential step in effectively addressing mold and preventing its return.

Use of moisture-resistant primer or paint

To prevent mold growth on painted surfaces, it’s important to use moisture-resistant primer or paint. These products are specifically designed to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

By applying a moisture-resistant primer before painting, you create a barrier that helps prevent moisture from seeping into the surface and creating an environment for mold to thrive.

Similarly, using a paint that contains mold inhibitors can further protect against future mold growth. This extra step can help ensure that your painted surfaces stay free from mold and maintain their appearance for longer periods of time.

Preventing Mold Growth in Painted Surfaces

Take proactive steps to prevent mold growth on painted surfaces by using mold-resistant paint, ensuring proper ventilation in damp areas, and conducting regular maintenance and monitoring.

Proactive use of mold-resistant paint

Using mold-resistant paint is a proactive way to prevent mold growth on painted surfaces. Mold-resistant paint contains additives that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew, helping to protect your walls from damage and potential health risks.

It’s important to note that while mold-resistant paint can help prevent mold, it does not kill existing mold or get rid of it completely. To effectively address a current mold problem, proper remediation and cleaning techniques should be followed before painting with mold-resistant paint.

Regular maintenance and monitoring are also necessary to ensure long-term protection against mold growth in your home.

Ensuring proper ventilation in damp areas

Proper ventilation is crucial in damp areas to prevent the growth of mold. Mold thrives in moist environments, so it’s important to keep the air circulating and dry out any excess moisture.

Make sure there are vents or fans installed in these areas to promote airflow and reduce humidity levels. This will help inhibit mold growth and create a healthier environment for you and your family.

Regular maintenance and monitoring

To prevent mold from growing on painted surfaces, it’s important to have regular maintenance and monitoring. This means inspecting your walls, ceilings, and other painted areas for any signs of mold growth or water damage.

If you notice any dampness or discoloration, take action immediately to address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem. Keeping your home well-ventilated and dry can help inhibit mold growth and protect your painted surfaces.

Regularly cleaning and dusting these areas can also help prevent the buildup of moisture or dirt that could contribute to mold growth. By staying vigilant and taking proactive measures, you can keep your painted surfaces free from mold and ensure a healthier living environment for you and your family.


Don’t paint over mold. It’s not a solution, it just hides the problem. Mold can cause health issues and ruin your paint job too. Instead, properly remove the mold before painting and take steps to prevent it from coming back.


1. Can you paint over mold?

No, it is not recommended to paint over mold as it can continue to grow and spread underneath the paint.

2. What should I do if I find mold before painting?

If you find mold before painting, it’s important to address the underlying issue first. Remove the mold by cleaning or hiring a professional remediation service before considering any painting.

3. How do I prevent mold growth before painting?

To prevent mold growth before painting, ensure that surfaces are clean and dry, and fix any leaks or sources of moisture in your home.

4. Is it safe to be around painted over mold?

No, it is not safe to be around painted over mold as exposure to mold can cause health issues such as allergic reactions or respiratory problems.

5. Why is it important to remove mold instead of just painting over it?

It’s important to remove mold instead of just painting over it because this ensures that the root cause of the problem is addressed and prevents further damage or potential health risks associated with untreated molds.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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