The Tiny house Blog

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
Paint roller on a wall painting

If you feel that the walls in your home have become dull, you have come to the right place. First, however, you need to learn more about why repainting old walls is essential for making your home even better. And this page on how do I paint over painted walls will take you through the right steps for an adequate result.

To paint over painted walls, there are things you need to do, such as repairing, refilling, priming, and painting. The process is not strange to experts but can be strange to beginners. Therefore, you will do lots of good by reading through this page to find out the easiest way to paint your painted walls.

How Do I Paint Over Painted Walls?

Paint gives a room a fresh look, but the process of applying it can be messy and expensive. However, if your walls are already painted, and you want to freshen them up with a new color, you can follow the steps below.

It is possible to paint over existing paint as long as you first prepare the walls. This guide will teach you how to paint over painted walls to give your space a little makeover without a lot of fuss.

Painted cabinets in a tiny home
Tiny Adventure Home

Prepare Painting Area

First, take-down any wall hangings and cover the furniture in the room you plan to paint. Then cover those with plastic drop cloths. Next, use masking tape to cover any trim, such as baseboards, door frames, and windowsills.

You should tape over electrical outlets. Also, prepare the surface by patching holes and repairing damages, sand down any repair areas with a fine grain of sandpaper. Wash the walls with soap and water to remove dirt and grease residue.

Scrape Off Old Paint

Before you begin, make sure that you scrape off the old paint on painted walls so that your new coat of paint will look its best. If your walls have been painted numerous times and the paint is starting to chip or bubble, you will need to scrape off the old paint before painting again.

You should scrape away old paint with a paint scraper. The success of your new coat of paint depends on whether or not you scrape off the existing paint. This is especially true if the old paint is oil-based or semi-gloss, which are the two types of paint that are notoriously difficult to paint over.

While it may seem easier to simply paint over that old wall, if you don't properly scrape away the paint first, your new coat will not adhere to the wall the way it should. So to avoid peeling and flaking, it is well worth your time to get out a putty knife, hand sander, or electric sander to scrape away the cracked or peeling paint in the areas you intend to paint.

If you are working with multiple layers of different types of paint on your walls (such as latex and oil-based), it is important to key the surfaces/roughen them up before beginning your painting project. Keyed surfaces create an effective mechanical surface bond between fresh coats of paint or primers.

Warning: You should not use a power washer to remove old exterior house paint; this has been known to damage bricks, clapboards, and other materials.

Repair Any Holes

The first step to painting over painted walls is making sure they are clean and smooth. Repair any holes and patch large cracks, dents, or uneven surfaces. Use fine-grit sandpaper to gently scuff the surface. Wipe off dust with a clean cloth, then clean grease stains with a solution of water and trisodium phosphate (TSP).

Apply Primer On The Wall

Before you paint over painted walls, decide if you need to apply primer over the previous wall color. The one exception is if you plan to repaint the wall with the same color. If not, a tinted primer can help even out any differences between the old and new paint colors.

Sand Over Repaired Surface

Sanding the surface before applying a new paint is the best method to create a lasting bond between the old and new coats of paint. This method allows the paint to grab onto something instead of slipping around on an already painted surface.

Without proper sanding, new paint will not adhere properly to old paint and chip and peel when dry. In addition, if you repair drywall, any small imperfections will be magnified by the new paint layer.

Choose The Right Paint

Choosing the right type of paint is essential to a successful painting project. Use a paint that is designed for the surface you are painting over. For instance, you can use oil-based paint on wood and metal, but you must use acrylic or latex-based paint for walls that have already been painted with oil-based paints.

Paint The Wall

Now that you have all the right things in place, you need to start painting the wall. First, you should prepare the paint and then apply the paint in the right way. Choose a starting point and then ensure you follow the right pattern to make the painting even on the wall.

Let The Paint Dry

You need to let the paint dry after painting, especially if you are using acrylic paint on walls. Allowing the paint to dry will help the paint stay firm on the wall. To make it dry faster, you should allow ventilation into the house so that the paint can dry very fast.

What Happens If You Don't Sand Before Painting?

Sanding exsisting painted wall

You can paint over existing paint, but you must sand the existing paint first to prepare a surface for the new paint. This is because the paint needs something to which it can adhere. Sanding is the best way to accomplish this.

Sanding is important because it helps create a smooth, uniform surface for the paint to adhere to. For some projects, you may be able to skip this step, but make sure that the surface is clean, dry, and free from dust.

In most cases, you will want to sand before painting. Sanding ensures the surface is smooth with no imperfections where the paint can stick and completely change the look of your final product.

There are some instances in which you don't have to sand before painting: if you are using a paint that is specifically designed to not require sanding. The main issue that can happen when you don't sand before painting is that the paint doesn't adhere well, leading to peeling or chipping.


Old paint tends to peel, which not only looks bad but can cause damage to the underlying surface. Therefore, it's important to remove as much of the old paint as possible before painting over it to ensure a smooth finish that will stand the test of time.

With this, it can be a challenge for you to paint old paint without any issue. So, this page on how to Paint Over Painted Walls reveals all you need to know about repainting old painted walls. The methods have been explained above as you just need to follow suit for the best result.

Learn more here!

Did you enjoy this post and find value in it? Share it with your friends with the links below!

Need more info? Get

By submitting your email, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms

Subscribe to get the latest news

This is a new way to communicate faster than any communication platforms

Thank you!
Your submission has been received! Check your inbox for an email from with more info!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or email us at Thanks!
Want all the latest tiny house inspo and news?

Get free resources, updates, tips & tricks, and special offers by joining the Tiny House Plan Newsletter.

No items found.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.

Don't see your question here? Contact us!
No items found.

Join The Tiny House Community

Occasionally: Community Events, DIY Tips and Tricks, Tiny House Guides
Never: Junk or Spam and we don't sell or misuse your email.
Welcome to the fam! We're excited to have you join the community.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or use the form below.