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Interior Paint Problems: Poor Hiding of Stains or Colors

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Comparison of paint color hiding.

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

Poor color hiding occurs when paint fails to obscure or hide the surface to which it is applied.

The capability of a paint to hide existing colors and its correct application make all the difference for good interior painting results. With quality, high-hiding paint and proper preparation, you can achieve excellent coverage of your surfaces.

What Causes Poor Hiding of Colors?

  • Using low-quality paint
  • Spreading paint too thinly or unevenly
  • Thinning or diluting the paint
  • Improper priming
  • Painting a porous or absorbent surface
  • Using incorrect or poor quality tools
  • Inadequately mixed paint

How to Avoid Poor Hiding of Colors

  • Choose high quality paints with high hide capability
  • Avoid thinning your paint. Most paints are designed to be applied without thinners.
  • Use the correct primer. If you are making an extreme color change, painting a much lighter color over a darker one, or are painting on an extremely porous surface, apply a second coat of primer tinted with the color of your finish coat.
  • Use high quality brushes, rollers and other tools designed specifically for the job
  • 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 result.

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