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Interior Paint Problems: Poor Color Hiding

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Comparison of paint color hiding.

                       Paint Color Hiding Comparison
              (Photo courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute)

When paint doesn't cover an existing color or stain, it is said to have poor color 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 Color 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 color
  • Poor flow and leveling
  • Using incorrect or poor-quality tools
  • Use of a paint that is much lighter in color 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 Color 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 color 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 colors-such as yellows, reds, and oranges-inherently offer weaker color hiding. Follow the steps above to achieve the best paint hiding results.

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