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How to Prevent Poor Paint Colour Hiding

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Painted walls with good vs. bad paint colour hiding.

                       Paint colour hiding comparison
                     (Photo: The Paint Quality Institute)

When paint doesn't cover an existing colour or stain, it is said to have poor colour hiding.

The failure of dried paint to obscure or "hide" a surface when it has been uniformly applied indicates either a low-quality paint or improper surface preparation.

What Causes Poor Colour Hiding?

  • Using low-quality paint
  • Spreading paint too thinly or unevenly
  • Thinning or diluting paint
  • Use of an improper combination of tinting base and tinting colour
  • Poor flow and levelling
  • Using incorrect or poor-quality tools
  • Use of a paint that is much lighter in colour than the substrate, or that primarily contains low-hiding organic pigments
  • Application of paint at a higher spread rate than recommended
  • Inadequately mixed paint

How to Avoid Poor Colour Hiding

  • Choose high-quality paints with high-hide capability, like our Aura® paints
  • Avoid thinning your paint. Most paints are designed to be applied without thinners.
  • If the substrate is significantly darker or is a patterned wallpaper, it should be primed before applying a top coat.
  • If using tinted paint, use the correct tinting base. Where a low-hiding organic colour must be used, apply a tinted primer first.
  • Use high-quality brushes, rollers and other tools designed specifically for the job. If rolling, use the recommended roller nap.
  • Follow manufacturer's recommendations on spread rate.
  • Allow proper drying time between coats.

Note: Certain paint colours - such as yellows, reds, and oranges - inherently offer weaker colour hiding. Follow the steps above to achieve the best paint hiding results.

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