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Should you Paint over Mold?

If you have a mold issue on the walls of your home, it can be an unsightly view. The black and green spots don’t typically make for a beautiful home. Mold grows quickly so if your walls are wet, they may quickly become covered in it. Looking for a quick fix and wondering if you can paint over mold?

Painting over mold is one of the most common methods to hide mold. But that is the problem – you are only hiding the mold temporarily. Many people choose this solution because it is the quickest solution to hide the ugly signs of mold on their walls. Often, when people choose to paint over mold it is because of ignorance. They simply are not educated about the seriousness of mold in the home. However, it is all too common for landlords, propery managers and even some homeowners to paint over mold because it is the cheapest and fastest way to cover mold.

Painting over mold does not remediate the problem. The paint will not kill the mold, and it will only hide it for a short period of time.

Signs of Paint Over Mold

If you’ve chosen to paint over mold or if you suspect that your walls potentially have mold under the paint, you will likely see visible signs in affected areas. The entire wall may or may not be affected, but even a small amount of mold can be a serious problem. Here is what you may see:

  • The paint is bubbled, cracked or chipped.
  • White or light colored paint has turned yellow or taken on a yellow tinge (a sign of water damage)
  • The walls or ceilings are not entirely flat. They bubble and/or bow out which is another sign of water damage.

If you see signs of mold, you most likely have water damage on that wall that was not properly remediated in the past. If you suspect mold growth behind the paint in your home, you will need to determine the source of the leak and make plans to properly remediate it. Mold will not simply go away on its own, and it has a laundry list of serious health ailments that it can cause you and your family.

Paint over mold doesn’t permanently fix or hide the problem. If you suspect there is mold underneath your paint due to one of the signs mentioned above, do something about it now before the problem worsens.

Proper Remediation

You must properly get rid of mold before painting. There is no exception. Local hardware and paint stores sell mold killing or mold resistant paint. If you do your research, you will find that these claims oftentimes are not true. If you have mold on your walls, it must be properly removed prior to painting. Otherwise, the mold will keep growing and can actually eat through the paint. If the source of the water leak has not been determined, the mold problem can be exasperated. Surface mold is what you can visibly see, but most of the time, the problem is deeper into your walls.

If you suspect that there is mold growth underneath the paint on your walls or ceilings, you should hire a professional mold remediation company to start an official inspection. They will be able to do an assessment of your home and determine the extent of the mold damage as well as recommend repairs. Mold grows quickly (even under paint) so the extent of the remediation may be more than you think.

While there are sometimes that you can undertake mold remediation yourself, it is often best to hire a professional mold team simply because mold is sneaky and dangerous. If you aren’t properly trained, you could contaminate the rest of your home, make the problem worse or put you and your family at a serious health risk.

Legal Ramifications

If you are renting property and suspect that your landlord or property manager has chosen to paint over mold rather than properly remediate it, you have the right to ask for proper repairs. Your health is at stake.

If you are a landlord or property manager, always address mold concerns properly by seeking professional remediation. While it may seem tempting to simply paint over mold, you may find yourself in an expensive lawsuit should your tenants become ill from mold exposure that you knowingly covered up. It isn’t worth the trouble!


Mold is unsightly, and remediation can be expensive and take up a lot of time. It is because of these reasons that a lot of homeowners and property managers choose to paint over mold. But painting over mold is a bad idea for many reasons. Paint does not kill mold, and it will not stop the source of the mold. Mold will continue to grow under the paint, and you will see visible signs of mold again. The surface mold that you see on your walls or ceilings is likely only a small portion of the mold problem. The mold may be deep into your walls. Your best bet is to at least perform a professional mold inspection to ensure the mold is identified and the source of the leak is discovered. Once you know the extent of the damage and the leak (or source of moisture) has been repaired, you can assess your options for proper mold remediation.

Mold is a silent killer. It can affect your health and cause permanent damage, including death. From itchy skin and headaches to serious respiratory and mental issues, mold can quickly take its toll on your body. The very young and very old are even more susceptible. You often don’t even know that your health is being affected until the damage has been done. When it comes to mold in your home or property, take the proper steps to get rid of it. Do not choose to paint over mold.

Have you ever chosen to paint over mold? Have you ever seen evidence of mold under paint? We’d love to hear. Leave a comment below!


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3 thoughts to “Should you Paint over Mold?”

  1. Hi my Girl friend lives in apt. She told them about the mold in her apt. They want to just paint over it 4244 A. Hydraulic Wichita Kansas,

  2. We are renting and our wall are painted white and are starting to turn black because of the mold. When we told the landlord we bought us a bottle of vinegar. We are getting symptoms. Three of us are elderly. 72, 62, and 53. And 2 have severe migraines

  3. My son is buying a house. The inspection showed mold in the basement. The sellers have agreed to fix it. On the invoice from the repair people, it merely states “sand and paint wood in basement.” After he takes possession of the house, will we be able to kill mold if it has been covered in paint? Or will we have to remove the paint first?

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