Can You Paint Over Mold or Mildew?

Mold and mildew are a source of major health issues for people all over the world. You must understand that whether or not you can paint over mold or mildew depends on the type of surface the mold is on and the thickness of the mold. You’ve heard that you can and you’ve heard that you can’t. In this blog, we will go over two scenarios. One scenario where it is a good idea to paint over a moldy surface and one scenario where it is a bad idea. We’re going to look at the technical and practical sides of whether you can and why.


What is Mold?

Mold is something that is often found in the home, especially in areas that aren’t ventilated well. It is a fungus that can grow on organic materials such as fabric, paper, and wood.

Mold is a common problem in many homes. It can appear in bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and even in the attic. It can be hard to identify mold, but once you have it, it is important to eliminate it. The mold can spread throughout your home and cause health issues. It has been found to cause health problems such as allergies, asthma, and cancer.

You should not disturb the mold. The mold spores could spread throughout the air, causing more problems. If you can see the mold, you can remove it. You can use a bleach solution to kill the mold off or hand the job to a professional. If you cannot see the mold, you can do an air test to find out if you have a mold problem. You can do this by purchasing an air quality tester. You can take the tester to different areas of your home and see which areas have high levels of mold.


What is mildew?

Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on damp surfaces, like shower curtains or floors. There are various types of mildew, but they all share the same general characteristics – they grow rapidly and prefer dark, damp spaces. It is commonly found in areas that are prone to moisture, such as basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

Mildew can cause health problems for humans if it grows in living spaces where people often breathe the spores it produces or touch its residues with their bare skin (e.g., on shower walls).

The growths that appear to be mildew are different types of fungi called mold (or black mold). Mildew usually doesn’t grow as quickly as mold does; therefore, it’s usually less noticeable than mold.


Harmful effects of having mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are not the only eyesore but are potentially harmful to your health. Mold can be found all around the house, but the most common places are in the basement, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Mold can also be found in carpets, wood, and other different places. Mold can be found in different colors, but the most common one is green.

The consequences of having mold and mildew in your home are not immediately evident. Yet, the visible presence of mold and mildew will hurt your health, as well as your home. Some of these consequences may not be immediately noticeable, as they usually present themselves as a visible health problem that you will have to deal with. Mold can cause health problems such as breathing problems, asthma attacks, nausea, headaches, and other respiratory issues.

Some people may not think mold is a big deal because it doesn’t look dangerous. But it can cause serious health problems if it’s not taken care of properly.


What causes mold or mildew to grow?

Mold and mildew are fungi that grow in damp, humid environments. They feed off of organic material which can include paper, food, fabric, or wood.

Mold and mildew growth when there is excessive water in the air and on surfaces. They can also grow when there is too much humidity in the air and not enough ventilation to allow the excess moisture to escape. Besides these reasons, there are some known causes of molds:

  • Use of low-quality paint that is not mold resistant
  • Painting without priming first
  • Painting the damp area which has little access to sunlight and dry air
  • Painting moldy walls with non-mold resistant paint without removing it.

A common sign that you have mold growth is an unpleasant smell coming from a room or surface where you haven’t noticed mold before. If you think you might have a problem with mold growth, don’t let it go unchecked for too long – start by cleaning up the area with soap and water.


How do you get rid of mold or mildew?

When you first notice mold growth, do you immediately start searching for ways to get rid of it? If you do, you’re not alone.

Painting over mold is not the ultimate solution. There are ways to reduce or stop the growth of mold and mildew in your home or office environment though.

If you want to get rid of mold or mildew, you should know that it’s not easy and safe. You will need to use a bleach solution, which is strong enough to kill the mold and remove the discoloration.

To create a bleach solution, mix one cup of bleach with two cups of water. Next, use a brush or cloth to apply the solution to the moldy area. Let it sit for five minutes before scrubbing away the surface with a brush or sponge.

It’s not recommended to get rid of mold by taking a DIY approach. The best solution for this is to hire professionals. It would cost some amount but it will save your money from another side. When you call professionals, they inspect your home every nook and corner thoroughly before removing it. Their way of cleaning mold is safer and long-term.

Mold can be difficult to remove from your house especially if it has been there for a long period. Here are some ways that you can remove it:

  1. Bleach and water solution- mix one cup of bleach with three cups of warm water and spray directly on moldy areas.
  2. Vinegar and water solution- mix half-cup of the vinegar with two cups of warm water and spray directly on moldy areas.
  3. Mold Killer Spray- many stores sell this product and you should check the label to see how it should be used.
  4. TSP cleaner- TSP cleaner is a good cleaner because it is non-toxic, removes stains, removes odors, disinfects surfaces, removes mildew, kills dust mites, prevents future infestations from returning.


Can you paint over mold or mildew?

When you have mold or mildew on your walls, you might be tempted to paint over it, but is that a good idea? Paint is one of the most popular ways to cover up an unwanted blemish or repair a damaged spot on your walls. You can even paint over old wallpaper or paint an accent wall to make your room pop. But should you paint over mold? Or mildew? The answer is not as simple as you might think.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about mold, mildew, and whether or not it’s safe to paint over it. Recent studies have found that painting over mold or mildew can make the mold or mildew grow larger and stronger.

The truth is that you can paint over mold or mildew if the mold or mildew is completely gone from the surface. We’ve seen people try to repaint over mold or mildew, even though the surface is still moldy, and it just doesn’t work. This is because the paint is not a cure, it’s just a surface treatment, and the mold or mildew has not been killed by the painting.

If you are still asking yourself “is it okay to paint over mold?“ Here’s the answer:

If you are a healthy first-person, choose not to paint that way but if you are time and money first person, then move on although we won’t suggest you do so.


Should you paint over mold or mildew?

We get this question a lot at Painters Ottawa. And the answer is always the same: it depends. While it’s often possible to paint over mold or mildew, it’s best to remove the mold or mildew first, especially if the area is large.

If you have a mold or mildew problem in your home, you may have been advised to paint over it to cover it up and protect against the mold spores spreading. However, this is a bad idea. Mold and mildew can continue to grow under a layer of paint. You don’t want to cover up mold, but get rid of it completely. It is not advised to paint over mold or mildew for a few reasons. If the spores are still alive and active, you will infest your new paint job with mold and mildew. Also, if you try to cover the mold and mildew with paint, it will eventually reappear on your surface because it has at least partial access to moisture.

The simple answer to this question is yes you can paint over mold but you should not especially since the mold has covered a large area. Also, remember you should use mold-resistant primer and paint. It will not kill but prevents further growth.


How to paint over mold?

The steps for painting moldy walls are as same as a clean wall. The difference in materials and some precautions to be taken during the process. So before painting here are the things you should know:

  • Instead of using regulars paints and primers, here we need to use mold-killing paints and primers. Using water-based paint will work as nutrition for fungus.
  • Paint over the mold won’t solve the root problem. Paints can chip, peel and bubble because of dampness and it’s also the sign of mold is still growing.
  • Don’t just rely on these paints and primers. Clean the moldy surface with bleach before painting and clean it again with clean water.
  • After cleaning the surface ensure no molds are left, it’s clean and dry.
  • If this occurs time and again, call a professional for inspection and mitigate the root cause of dampness and molds.


Tips for you

  • Don’t breathe the spores – Make use of a mask or respirator.
  • Make optimal use of bleach – It can make the problem worse.
  • Don’t forget to put on gloves and take special care of your eyes if mold is on the ceiling
  • Don’t paint until the surface is dry.


What do you need before you paint over mold?

  • Face Respirator
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Mold Resistant Paint
  • Mold Killing Primer
  • Bleach


Steps to cover the moldy wall with paint


Step 1: Scrub the mold away

It’s necessary to make the surface mold-free. You can clean the area by using products available in a house like vinegar(without mixing water) or baking soda as these are non-toxic and works effectively. The acidic nature of vinegar kills the mold. Fill it in a spray bottle and spray around the molds and now it’s ready to clean. But remember to implement the safety precautions. Put gloves, wear a respirator, cover your face with glass and mask and scrub with stiff brush bristles.


Step 2: Solve The Root Problem

It’s a good idea to have your home inspected first and mitigate the cause than painting it directly. Moisture is caused by different factors such as humidity, leaks, condensation, blocked drainage pipes, etc. There are measures you can take to reduce the risk of getting wall moisture in your home.

  1. You can use a dehumidifier that will help keep the air dryer and reduce humidity levels in your home which will prevent damp walls.
  2. You can also insulate your walls with a material that absorbs water which will minimize any leakage issues before they happen.
  3. You also need to make sure that there are no cracks or holes in your house’s walls or roof which are letting water in! These are all factors that may lead to a flooded home.
  4. If the room lacks the proper ventilation, add a vent(even a passive vent). If it’s not a problem use a dehumidifier.


Step 3: Apply Primer

After you have killed molds and if you are sure the problem won’t arise again, begin with priming the surface. Use mold-killing primer instead of the regular one. Instead of painting over mold make use of primer for a clean finish. Otherwise, dark spots will be seen on the area making it look ugly and you will not need to apply multiple coats of paints. First, make sure the will is fully dry.


Step 4: Paint

Finally, now you will paint your wall. After the primer is applied and dried, apply the first coat of mold-resistant paint, Let it dry properly before applying the second coat. Don’t use water-based paint. We recommend you to use semi-gloss paint for the long term and better results, especially for the bathroom. If you use good quality paint two coats are more than enough.



Will painting over mold kill it?

No. Painting over mold will not kill it. Mold needs moisture to grow, so painting over it will trap the moisture underneath, allowing it to continue growing.


Can I paint over black mold?

You can paint over black mold as long as it is not current or active. Black mold will typically have a musty smell and will have visible spores. To prepare your surface, you have to wash it first to remove it as much as possible. In addition, you should be wearing a mask to protect yourself from harmful spores.


Can you paint over mold in the Bathroom?

Yes, you can paint over mold in the bathroom, but it is important to ensure that the mold is completely gone. Mold in the bathroom ceilings and walls is in many ways similar to mold in the rest of the house.


Can you paint over mold on basement walls?

Yes, you can paint over mold on basement walls. Be sure to follow proper ventilation procedures when working with paints, especially when you have mold colonies in your basement. The mold spores will be released into the air and may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. The most important thing to do is to make sure the mold has been removed.


Does Painting Over Mold Stop Its Growth?

Yes. Mold will grow anywhere that there is moisture and food. Painting over mold or any other material over the surface will block the light mold needs to survive, which will slow down or stop growth.


What Happen If You Paint Over Mold?

Paint will not prevent mold, thus you will still have to remove the mold. Paint will trap moisture, so if your home already has mold, the paint will not prevent additional mold growth.


When should I use mold-resistant paint?

If you are worried about mold forming on your wall because of moisture, you should use mold-resistant paint.



Mold is a problem that many homeowners face. It is unsightly and can present a health risk to occupants if left unchecked. Many people ask us if mold can be painted or if painting over mold is safe. We hope that you find this blog useful and that you can make the best decision for your situation.

Several factors determine if and when you should paint over mold. The first step is to determine whether the mold is active or not. If you have any questions or need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Painters Ottawa Ottawa – professional interior painters & exterior painters in Ottawa. We will be more than happy to help.