Can Paint Get Moldy? What to Do with Moldy Paints?

Soon after you recognize mold in a paint can, get rid of it. Some communities deal with the discarding of paints. It’s best not to put your wall in danger with such paint.

Even though moldy paints are pretty much recognizable, what if it was too little that you accidentally ignored it before painting?

What should you do now? Should you let the painted wall as it is, or fix it? Can paint get moldy? What’s the extremity of hazard the paint can cause?

Yes, paint can get moldy and can keep harming the surface along with humans around it. So, what are the required steps in such cases? Let’s break down the facts below.

What is a Moldy Paint?

When the paints caught on mold and mildew; deteriorating the quality of paint is called moldy paint. Black circles of different sizes are seen all over the paint surface. You can actually tell that the appearance has changed.

So, how can you recognize moldy paint?

Even without the appearance, there is a foul smell that comes out of the can. The consistency becomes lighter and feels watery.

How to Detect an Unusable Paint?

Two types of appearance should stop you from using the paint. One is lumps on the paint and the other is molds.

Paint can get lumpy due to several factors and you shouldn’t use such type of paint. Painting with lumpy paints is too much of a hassle and you will end up having a mediocre paint job.

Working with moldy paint isn’t a wise job. Eventually, you have to get rid of it by repainting. So, what’s the point of double hassle? Well, if you have accidentally applied the paint, then there is no chance to avoid the hassle. All that is left, is fixation.

Say, above are the signs of unfit paint. So, what are the signs of usable paints?

Use a screwdriver to open the paint lid and aromatize the paint. Usable paints will have a chemical smell. Or else, there must be a rancid smell from the paint for unfit indication.

Are Moldy Paints Harmful to Health?

People are advised to keep themselves wrapped up with precautionary tools even when they are using fresh paints. How could you expect moldy paints to be harmless?

If you accidentally apply mold paints, don’t be surprised by the following symptoms in any of the family members or surrounding people:

  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Allergic reaction
  • Coughing and dehydration in the throat
  • Red eyes due to irritation

The extremity of the symptoms depends on the kind of bacteria in the paint. If any of the family members are seen with the above symptoms, contact a doctor without a delay.

What If I Accidently Use a Moldy Paint?

All this time we were talking about recognizing and discarding molded paint. But now let’s deal with the real problem. What if you have accidentally applied the foul paint?

Unfortunately, the only resolvable way to deal with mold paints is to get rid of them even if the paint on the wall has dried.

The foul odor won’t be disappearing anytime soon and it will keep increasing with time. Black mold will be seen on the wall surface and end up giving a damp, deteriorated, disastrous look.

Even if you ignore those problems, you can’t stay away from the fact that people around that paint will keep getting sick every time.

How to Fix Moldy Paints?

We won’t be fixing the paint here. The paint cannot be fixed anymore. We will fix the wall and the situation, more precisely.

Step 01: Washing

Start with washing down the painted area. Instead of treating where the molds are, work all over the painted portion. Accept the fact that the bacteria and molds will spread to the clean parts as well. In no time, the entire wall will be affected.

Use a solution of diluted mixture for the job. In extreme cases, removal of the paint is mandatory. You have to wash the wall several times to effectively get rid of the strong foul odor.

Step 02: Protective Gears

In terms of the huge area, you won’t be able to work alone as it will be time and energy-consuming. However, whether it’s teamwork or individual, never forget the protective gear.

The chemicals and bacteria are easier to spread and enter the nasal passage while cleaning. Open all the doors and windows for utmost ventilation.

Step 03: Let the Wall Dry

As a pre-painting step, letting the surface dry is a critical step. Leave the wall without touching it as long it needs to dry. In most cases, it takes 24 hours at maximum.

However, the time may vary depending on the area and the amount of ventilation it gets.

Step 04: Repriming and Repainting

Now that you are done with the hardest step and got a surface to work again. You can’t be ignored this time.

Start with a quality primer and paint. The dried surface is much harsher now as you had scraped and rubbed all over it to get rid of moldy paint. Start with priming and leave for the recommended time for drying.

Priming will help you with dealing with the bad odor of the previous paint.

Later on, follow the conventional painting process and end with double coating. Never forget to put on the second layer only when the first is dry. These steps should be enough to discard the bad smell and presence of the old one.

Discarding every drop of moldy paint is the critical step and the ultimate game-changer. In many cases, the old paint stinks too strongly even after thorough washing.

Without ensuring that the moldy one has been removed, don’t even think about repainting it. Seek out professionals if you need to.

The Root of the Problem: Storage

Contamination of any paint is directly related to the storing condition. Improper storage leads to such kind of hassle. Even if you are done with repainting and all, you need to know the proper storing conditions to store the leftover paints.

Step 01: Temperature

Ensure a cool but not damp place for storage purposes. You are meant to avoid direct sunlight over the container, but it should not be a shabby place either.

Again, it should not be a freezingly cold place either. Let’s say the temperature should not cross 32 degrees.

Step 02: Airtight

Forget about letting your paint container wide open. You can’t even skip a single passage of air. Block the container cap and verify it is airtight.

These proper steps can save you from paint wastage and repainting hassle in the future.

Mold Resisting Paint

Is anyone out there finding the process so tiring? Don’t worry, it’s so obvious. If you haven’t accidentally applied any moldy paint, the best prevention you can take is to use mold resisting paint for the rest of your life.

Some recommendations are:

  1. Rust-Oleum Mold and Mildew-Proof Paint
  2. Zinsser Perma-White Mold and Mildew-Resistant Paint
  3. KILZ Mold and Mildew Resistant Paint


Now that you know, how can paint get moldy; avoid such undesired circumstances. There are aftermaths and solutions after you accidentally apply the moldy paint.

Even if it’s a hassle, you should not leave mold paints on the wall even for a day. People around the rotten paint will be more affected than the wall exterior.

FAQs Section

Can Mold Grow Over Latex Paint?

Latex paint usually doesn’t grow mold and mildews due to the shelf life of 10 years. But improper storage can change and reduce that shelf life. Hence, you are bound to discard that defective paint.

Can Oil Paints Grow Mold?

Oil-based paints are more likely to grow molds than any acrylic latex paint. Because molds and mildews live on the oils and resins of these paints.

Can Acrylic Paint Grow Mildew?

Acrylics are water-based and so are susceptible to damp-related issues like bacterial attack and mildew growth from improper storage. Among the water-based paints, acrylic latex is commonly known as the mold-resistant one.

Leave a Comment