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Should you Paint over Mold?

by Melissa

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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Darcey Chapman August 12, 2018 - 12:58 am

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,

Merry Loww January 31, 2019 - 2:30 pm

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

Lori February 12, 2019 - 9:36 am

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?

patty September 13, 2019 - 3:50 pm

I need help to get out of my apartment. I’ve been living here for almost 14 years now and there was mold in all the apartments here. and so did the landlord know about it too. it’s really bad. I was life lighted when I died the bed at the hospital. I stayed in ICU for 2 weeks. I have COPD now I cannot breeze I get sores on me I Weaz all the time now and just lately found mold. My Doctor says I will die if I don’t get out of here.
my daughter has Severe chronic anxiety attacks to the point she is canceling out her eyes rolled back into. She can’t breathe due to the anxiety attacks she stays sick sinus Chester infections. I’m afraid it’s also hurt her mentally we are now seeing a psychiatrist that says she has . I just sent here to Georgia to get her away from the mold. I am still at my apartment and afraid I am going to die due to non-hitting me up to get out of here. I have no family here to help me move our to help me get a better place to live. I don’t know what to do please help me figure out what to do.? My landlord is trying to addict me now after 14 years and never have been wrote up for anything she is trying to evict me. Please help me figure out what to do. I can’t continue to live like this and neither can my daughter. Any advice would be much appreciated thank you! Oh and do you think I should get a lawyer? Please tell me where to go from here ? I feel like at time I could die at anytime.Thank you so very much for any Advice and or help in getting out of this hell hole.

Shannon September 22, 2019 - 5:50 pm

I hung a oicture up. And u can see the out lines of pic under paint thats black mold

Andrew Cigna October 18, 2019 - 12:00 am

Can any of these paints be tinted a medium-dark teal?

Drusilla M Kothenbeutel October 21, 2019 - 10:45 pm

A tornado took off half of my roof. I had a very large area on a wall turn black. The landlord only sanded and painted and put in new insulation, but did not dry out walls. Now I see mold in 2 closets back to back. I suspect it was due to my neighbor’s water heater bursting. All land lor did again was replace laminate tiles and painted. Do I have recourse this time?

Tyler Johnson October 28, 2019 - 7:57 am

I agree that painting over the mold would be bad. I wouldn’t want it to continue to grow under the paint, ruining it. I’ll have to make sure to get any mold removed if I find some while painting.

Lisa December 6, 2019 - 3:07 pm

For 27 years we lived in a house we had built that had extremely high humidity which caused the windows to constantly be covered with condensation, causing mold to grow. I cleaned them with bleach often as advised. There was no odor or other signs of mold anywhere in the house. Our family of 5 developed health issues from brain problems to lung problems, and many other ailments from which we will never recover. We finally realized that this was an extremely serious issue and had our home tested. The company found high levels of different species of molds that weren’t even visible. We had to leave and lost everything we owned. Please, don’t take any form of mold lightly. Your lives depend on it.

Carrie January 28, 2020 - 3:09 pm

My neighbors house was foreclosed on an the company that bought it is flipping it they have a massive mold spot on the house they scraped part of it off then painted a dark color so it could or be seen

Andrew Cigna March 2, 2020 - 4:15 am

Wonderful !
It’s fully deep informative blog. This blog help to understand the mold properties.Keep us update.

Elizabeth Thompson April 7, 2020 - 12:49 am

I have been living in a rental apartment for 9 years. I’ve had 5 floods 2 major floods in the master bedroom and closet .the closet had mole growing up the wall.the landlord painted over it. The wall next to the closet has streaks coming from the top of the wall. The other bedroom had mold after they put in New windows. Mold was climbing up the frame of the window and the ledge I told the manager of the apartment but again maintenance painted over it. A few weeks later the mold returned on the window frame and ledge once again they painted over it. Now the paint on the ledge is dirty looking and chipping . they use wall paint to paint over the mold. I’ve started having sinus problems about 4 years ago also breathing problems not realizing that it could be the mole that was causing the problem. I in the process of moving the end of this month .i will be seeking legal help.

Alexis August 19, 2020 - 5:41 pm

I just moved into an apartment that has mold everywhere. It’s obvious they just keep painting over it, and when my roommates called they said they can’t do anything about it unless it’s an active leak. There’s mold covering the ceiling of the bathroom, the kitchen counter is rotting and molding from the inside out, the dishwasher can no longer be screwed in because it’s so rotted. The paint above the windows is all cracked and there’s mold underneath the blinds. I’m a college student and am not prepared to start threatening, but our health, especially with covid going on, is much more important than my social anxiety.

Windy September 16, 2020 - 6:43 pm

Zinsser Mold Killing Primer is highly suggested. Had a humongous mold spot on the inside wall of the closet. I threw away the things that the mold touched, moved everything out of the closet, scrubbed wall with bleach water, then with only bleach, let it dry for a few hours. The paint peeled and revealed more mold. So I used a paint scrapper to remove chipped paint, put vinegar in a spray bottle then sprayed the wall then scrubbed, then sprayed again and let it dry. Once it dried, I applied the Zinsser Mold Removing Paint on the entire wall, a few coats, let the wall dry then moved things back into that closet. I now use Arm & Hammer Moisture Absorber Hanging Bags in the closet now to catch the moisture.

Corkco Canada Inc October 9, 2020 - 8:08 pm

Thius post is really amazing.

Eve Connolly September 18, 2021 - 4:04 am

We bought a home and after two weeks my husband started to have problems breathing.We had a company check for mold in the basement and it was loaded with mold. The company remediated the mold for an large some of money. However, they did not check the inside of the home and my husbands symptoms continue. We are having him see a doctor to check if he is alergic to mold. should the company have checked the inside of the home as well??


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