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Expert Guide to Repainting a Peeling Wall

Repainting a wall is not an easy task, especially if the very surface you want to repaint is covered in peeling paint. Expert Guide to Repainting a Peeling Wall - ToolBox DivasWalls like that need a lot of work before you actually start painting them. Therefore, in order to help you repair and restore a wall to its former glory, we’ve come up with a list of tips to guide you through the process.

Understand Why the Paint is Peeling

Regardless of how diligent you were with painting your wall, sometimes the fresh coat will start peeling off sooner than expected – at times no more than a year after applying the paint. Understanding why this happens will not only help you get to know your wall’s surface, but will also prevent such an occurrence from happening again. Cutting corners when repainting is the known cause of paint peeling. If you don’t sand, scrub or do the paint job in wake of the stormy season, it will only increase the chances of this unfortunate occurrence.

Fix before Repainting

At this point, it should be obvious that exercising proper steps before approaching the repaint is of utmost importance if you ever want your wall(s) to remain fresh longer. The main cause of peeling paint is moisture collecting under the coating surface. The moisture causes wood to swell and shrink repeatedly, which inevitably leads to paint cracking and, consequently, peeling off. Checking the wall for water damage should be your first step.

Once you took care of these issues, you should proceed to remove the loose paint. Paint scraper, like this Red Devil Painter’s 6-In-1-Tool is an essential tool for this job. Remove all chunks of paint after you’ve covered the ground with drop cloths. Now, sand the surface with a disc sander, while particularly paying attention to smoothing the edges between painted and scraped areas. Finally, patch the small issues with an exterior spackling compound. Pay attention to different materials – areas near window frames and glass are particularly prone to peeling.


Finally, the painting part! The most important factor to take under consideration here is choosing quality paint, regardless of the shade, color and finish. Expert Guide to Repainting a Peeling Wall - Toolbox Divas The “top-down” rule is a must – there is a reason why experts have been using this technique since the dawn of wall paint. This rule will make sure that you haven’t missed a single spot, while providing a seamless, smooth surface. Finally, go over the paint surface once again after you’ve applied the first coat – the wall may look perfect once it’s still wet, but after the paint has completely dried, the inconsistent areas are likely to appear, at which point it might be too late.

Tools for the Job

Make no mistake, repainting a wall that’s covered with peeling paint is more demanding than a regular repaint. This means that you’ll need a lot of tools that you might not have, so here’s a list, just to make sure that you won’t have to make unnecessary trips to the store:

  • Drop cloths – If you care about your floors as much as you do about your walls, this is a must.
  • Heavy-duty paint stripper – It makes scraping the paint much easier.
  • Paint scraper – Probably the most important tool. As its name implies, it scrapes peeling paint off the walls.
  • Sandpaper – Crucial for smoothing things out.
  • Wire brush
  • Regular painting paraphernalia – Items such as a paint tray, paint roller, 2-inch flat paintbrush, etc.

Repainting a wall covered with peeling paint will be a daunting task – if you’ve ever painted a wall, this will doubtlessly take double the time. However, if you don’t approach the task properly, not only will you be looking at another repaint as early as a year after the first repainting session, but your wall is likely to look less than decent in a matter of months after you’ve stored your paint roller away.


Article written by Lillian Connors. If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. As the Co-Editor at SmoothDecorator, she cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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