Which Paints Are Hardest to Paint Over?

Which Paints Are Hardest to Paint Over?House painting in Pleasanton serves many purposes, from covering up surface wear and tear to putting your house on the market.

The walls are an essential part of a room’s foundation and are usually the first element of the room to catch your eye. This is one reason to choose the right paint color and finish, particularly if you plan to sell your house.

Painting over old colors

Whether doing interior or exterior painting in Pleasanton, homeowners have different reasons for changing wall colors. You may have chosen a particular color to brighten up your study or office for better concentration on your homework or a job you are currently doing. Or, as your children are growing up, you may have given them some leeway in choosing colors for their bedrooms.

Or it’s simply a personal preference – you may have gotten tired of the current color and want a new one for your room or exterior siding.

Or you need to correct the choice of paint color and want to paint it over. Fortunately, paint is a relatively inexpensive way to correct mistakes or change the look of your space as you see fit.

Some colors are notoriously difficult to paint over. They include the following:

  1. Black
  2. Red
  3. Orange
  4. Green
  5. Blue
  6. Any dark color

You want to avoid seeing the old color showing through the freshly painted surface. If you apply light paint directly over the dark surface, the light-colored new paint will look uneven as the older, darker color seeps through.

You can prevent the old color from bleeding through the new paint by priming over it before applying the fresh, light-colored paint.

Here are the three primary functions of a primer:

  • It enhances the adhesion of the topcoat, reducing potential flaws such as peeling, cracking, and blistering.
  • It prevents stains, patches, and other flaws from showing through the new paint.
  • It allows for one-coat coverage.

To make sure that the primer is effective in blocking out the old paint, tint the primer with gray paint or a color similar to the finishing paint you will apply. To ensure maximum hide over darker colors, apply two coats of primer. Allow it time to dry completely before applying the next coat. Using a primer can also save you money as it prevents you from spending more on paints.

Important reminder:

Before you prime, make sure that the surface is free from peeling, cracking, or chipping paint. Clean the walls, remove peeling or chipping old paint, fill the cracks and nail holes, sand the rough spots, and caulk joints around doors and windows.

A surface that’s clean, dry, smooth, and free from flaws will improve the adhesion of the primer (and the ensuing topcoat) to it. It will also increase coverage.

Painting over glossy finishes

Painting over glossy finishes

It’s not only the problematic colors that become an issue when it comes to repainting. Painting over glossy finishes can also be a challenge.

Flat or matte finishes are becoming increasingly popular, meaning more people prefer to paint their once-glossy walls with new flat paints. Because of the newer formulations, flat or matte paints have considerably improved durability and resistance to dirt and moisture.

Homeowners may want to tone down the ultra-reflective sheen on their walls with less glossy paints like eggshell or satin.

But because glossy paints are smooth, shiny, and designed to be hard-wearing, directly applying new paint over them won’t work. The paint will never stick properly.

These slick and impermeable finishes can be tricky to paint over. But don’t despair. A proper surface prep work and quality primer with exceptional adhesion can solve these problems. By doing these steps, you can easily paint over a glossy surface.

1) Clean the surface

Use regular soap, water, and a clean sponge to wash the surface. Rinse the surface and let it dry.

2) Sand

Sanding minimizes gloss and creates some texture, improving the adhesion of the primer and paint to the surface.

After sanding, wipe down the dust with a clean, damp cloth and let the surface dry.

3) Prime


Apply one full coat of quality primer to a prepared surface following the manufacturer’s instructions.

After priming, let the surface dry for at least 45 minutes in normal drying conditions before painting.

4) Paint

Apply two coats of flat, matte, eggshell, or satin latex paints following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow a minimum drying time of two to four hours between coats.

Contact Custom Painting, Inc. for painting advice and help

If you need more advice on exterior or interior painting in Pleasanton, call our team at (510) 795-0903 or send us an estimate request here.