Categories Painting

Can You Paint Over Mold and Will it Kill It? 

Can You Paint Over Mold?

If you’re thinking of repainting an older bathroom or basement, you may ask,”Can you paint over mold?” The answer to this question is always a resounding no. It doesn’t matter what type of paint you use or how many coats you apply in an attempt to kill it. Your paint may look really great for a while, but eventually the mold will continue to grow through the paint. There are additives in certain paints that are successful at proactively preventing mold from returning but they won’t kill existing mold. 

Mold and mildew are indicators of moisture problems. You’ll have the most success if you can pinpoint why there is an overabundance of moisture, remedy that, and take measures to kill the mold before painting. 

In this article, we’ll go over how to recognize mold, how to get rid of it, and the best products and paints to use that will prevent it from coming back. 

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Can You Paint Over Mold? 

As stated above, you can’t paint over mold. Well, technically you can but you won’t be happy in the near future when it comes creeping through your beautiful finish. Painting over mold can cause your paint to bubble and peel. Covering mold with paint will not kill the mold, just mask it for a while. Visible mold is often an indicator that you may have more hiding behind your walls and ceiling. If you suspect this could be the case, we recommend contacting a professional mold remediation company to come take a look. Not only is mold unsightly but it can lead to some pretty severe health issues.

What Does Mold Look Like?

Most types of bathroom mold are gray, black, or brown spots with a fuzzy or wooly texture. It’s important to be able to identify mold or mildew in your home. Once spotted, take action promptly to get rid of them. 

Most Common Places to Discover Mold Around Your Home

Sometimes mold and mildew can be growing for years without you spotting it. This is unfortunate because in addition to the damage mold can do to your home, you could be breathing it in and also hurting your health. We’ve compiled a list of the most common places to look for mold both inside and outside your home: 

  • Under kitchen and bathroom sinks 
  • Bathroom walls and ceilings 
  • In your attic which could mean you have a leaky roof 
  • On the shady parts of your home’s exterior 
  • On your exterior porch area 

Does Kilz Kill Mold? 

Even though its name may lead you to believe otherwise, Kilz mold and mildew primer won’t actually kill mold. It will however be very beneficial to use after you’ve successfully removed any mold, in preventing it from returning. 

Does Zinsser Kill Mold 

By now you may have noticed the recurring theme to this article. Both Zinsser and Kilz claim to kill mold. This is misleading because you need to remove the mold before applying either of these products. Both products do work extremely well at inhibiting mold but only after your surface has been completely cleared of it first. 

What Doesn’t Work 

There are several things that just don’t work in regards to painting over mold. For example, regular interior paint won’t kill mold, and might actually be a source to feed the fungus you’re trying to eradicate. Don’t rely on mold-killing primer or paint. It’s in your best interest to use a good cleaner to neutralize the surface first.

How To Dispose Of Paint

How to Remove Surface Mold Before Painting 

Now that you know just how important it is to completely eradicate mold before just covering it up, lets learn how to remove surface mold before painting: 

  • Protect yourself by wearing the proper face mask, gloves, and safety glasses. Touching or breathing in dangerous mold can be detrimental to your health. Take extra caution if you have a compromised immune or respiratory system. 
  • Remove the source of the moisture before you do anything else. This could include replacing an air duct that is spreading mold in the air or fixing a leak that is causing mildew to grow. It may be helpful to contact a professional plumber if you can’t fix or find the source yourself. 
  • Replace any damp or damaged drywall. Most of the time, mold can’t be permanently removed with a simple surface cleaning. This means you’ll need to cut out the section of drywall that is affected and repair it before moving forward. This can be a tedious step but a very important one. If you have to remove the drywall in the future, you will have wasted your time and money painting over it in the first place. 
  • Scrape off the peeling or bubbling paint using your basic paint scraper from your local hardware store. 
  • Clean the surface with mold-removing detergents. Allow it to sit on the surface for the allotted time recommended by the manufacturer then rinse thoroughly. 

Interior Use

For Interior use we recommend using Fiberlock Shockwave detergent. For exterior use, Mold Armor or Jomax are the brands to look for.

  • Allow plenty of time for the surface to dry. This step is important because you definitely don’t want to prime or paint over a surface that is even slightly damp. 
  • Apply a mold-inhibiting primer to the entire wall or ceiling you’re working with. It will take a little extra time but painting the whole wall instead of just the portion with mold will give a much better end result. 
  • Apply ceiling paint designed for humid areas such as bathrooms. 
  • Install a heavy-duty bathroom fan that has enough power to clear most of the moisture from the air. Run the fan during your shower and for 30 minutes after you get out. This is a great way to prevent future mildew or mold growth. 

Can You Paint Over Mold Conclusion 

Painting over mold is never a good idea. It will always grow back unless it was completely cleared beforehand. While Idaho isn’t a particularly humid state, that doesn’t mean you won’t have mold problems. Small amounts of mold and mildew are relatively easy to clean with a standard cleaner and some elbow grease. If mold keeps returning or you have a particularly stubborn issue with mildew, contact a plumber for expert help. 

If you’ve removed the mold and are looking for an experienced Boise painting contractor, turn to Boise Home Painting. Our skilled team of painters can take on any painting project and guarantee you’ll love the finished product. We serve the entire area including Eagle, Nampa, Meridian, Caldwell, and more! Plus, we do interior and exterior painting. Get your free estimate today!

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