How To Treat Damp Walls Before Painting

how to treat damp walls before painting

How to treat damp walls before painting is a common conundrum for home owners. Damp walls are an extremely habitual problem in homes, especially those that reside near the coast. Whilst it can be alarming when this is identified in a survey of a home you are purchasing, or you are starting to see mould or damp patches develop in your home it’s best to act on this immediately before it gets any worse.

If you’re looking to paint straight over the damp for that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ feeling, stop. Damp will continue to permeate anything on the walls, and continuing to cover it in more layers will actually make the problem worse as it won’t be able to breathe. How to treat damp walls before painting is one of the most commonly asked DIY questions on Google, so if you’re reading this now, so are many other home owners. Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow before painting damp walls to ensure you get a smooth, damp free finish.

How To Treat Damp Walls Before Painting

Find The Source of Damp

Unfortunately this is the only way that you can guarantee that the damp will not permeate through new coats of paint. It’s something you need to be able to identify to stop the issue causing internal damage too. There are many different things that can cause damp which makes it one of the hardest things to treat. On some occasions the reason can be obvious. Blocked gutters can be a common reason where damp follows the pipe on the inside of the walls, simply getting the gutters cleared out and allowing the walls to breath as the damp dries out is a simple solution. However, damp can be a much harder problem to identify, it could be caused by condensation and poor ventilation, rising damp, the house might not have a damp course treatment, there could be a leak, among many other issues. If there isn’t a tell tale reason for the damp, consult an expert or get a more in-depth survey of the property carried out.

Dry Out The Walls

Once you have identified and solved the issue of damp, you need to allow the walls to dry out. If the area has been damp for a while it will take slightly longer to dry out. There is no point painting until then as the damp stain will continue to permeate through paint. You may want to use a dehumidifier to speed up this process, it can usually take a few weeks to dry out adequately enough.

Wash The Walls

If the walls have been damp for a period of time it’s likely that they will have developed damp stains, or even mould over this time. It might look daunting, but damp and mould marks can easily be wiped clean. Use a good damp remover spray or something more basic like elbow grease and a clean, damp cloth to wipe the walls clean.

Fill Any Holes & Cracks

Part and parcel of painting any old, uneven walls includes filling any holes and cracks in the paint. If you aren’t skimming the walls or plastering, this part is key to ensure you have a smooth, flawless finish once painted. Fill any of the holes and cracks with filler on problem areas and leave to dry. You may also need to use a scraper at this point to remove the cracked parts and any old painting jobs that have drip marks, blotches and stains.

Sand The Walls

Once the filler has dried it’s time to sand back all of the area to get that smooth finish that is required for painting. This is just as important as filling the holes. After doing so, clean the surrounding area of any dust and the walls so no debris fly onto the walls when painting.

Apply Stain Block

Before you start painting, apply stain block to the entire area that was previously affected by the damp. This will stop any further stain from the previous damp rearing its ugly head through your lovely new paintwork. Stain block comes in a paint form or spray, it’s down to personal preference what you prefer but I find a spray so much easier, and less hassle than paint.

Paint Your Walls

If you have followed all of the above steps, you’re ready to start painting! You should have provided a great line of defence against the damp, and the result should be flawless. If the walls start bubbling, it is a sign that moisture is still present. This is incredibly annoying, but if it happens you do need to go back to the stage of letting the walls dry out for longer if the damp issue has already been solved.

Damp walls can be an incredible, and unsightly annoyance, but as soon as the issue causing the damp has been identified, you can get your walls looking great, and damp free again. Not sure what colour to go for? Mink is set to be one of the hottest interior colour trends for 2022, take a look at my blog on what colours go well with Mink.

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