How To Fix Paint Ripped Off Wall in 6 Steps

Peeling paint on your ceiling and walls can easily lower your home’s appeal. While a full makeover is time-consuming and expensive, patching up could work if the damage is not extensive. This guide will teach you how to fix chipped, flaking, or ripped off paint.

How To Fix Paint Ripped Off Wall

Fixing paint ripped off the wall is easier than repainting the entire room. However, you should still arm yourself with patience if you want to prevent future damage. Here’s how to fix your wall paintwork like a pro.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Paint scraper 
  • Wire brush
  • Putty knife
  • Putty 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Paintbrush or paint roller
  • Wall paint
  • Primer 
  • Drop cloths 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Clean rags 
  • Work clothes 

1. Prepare The Area 

Whether it’s a small chip or a larger area of peeled paint, removing the old coat and patching up the paint can be messy. You also need easy access to the work area.

For this reason, you should move the furniture out of your way and lay a drop cloth on the floor. If you can reach the damaged area without a ladder, a plastic sheet could work. However, if you have to climb on a stepladder, use a waterproof canvas drop cloth. 

Some waterproof canvas tarps have non-slip patterns on the back and are less likely to glide across the floor as you’re working on the ladder. While they are more expensive, they enhance safety.

If you’re fixing a patch near a baseboard or trimming, apply painter’s tape to the decorative elements to protect them

2. Remove The Flaking Paint 

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when patching up the wall paint is applying a new coat over the old flaking coat. However, this won’t fix your issue, and the new paint will start peeling off immediately once it dries. 

To prevent this, you must remove the paint flakes and any patches that are peeling. 

Grab a paint scraper and slide it along the wall. Apply enough pressure to lift the peeling paint gently and remove it. Don’t be afraid to peel off as much paint as necessary. Paint that has adhered to the wall properly will not peel off when passing a scraper across it. If the coat keeps coming off, that’s because it didn’t adhere properly, to begin with. 

Once you’ve peeled the paint, scrub the damaged area with a wire brush to remove all small pieces of loose paint from the surface. Wipe the wall with a clean rag when you’re done.

3. Patch The Damaged Area 

After the chipped and loose paint is removed, you may notice a level difference between the painted and chipped-off areas. Painting at this stage would leave a visible gap behind, so you must patch it up before priming and painting. 

You can use a ready-to-go filler or putty. Spread the patching compound in a thin layer, smoothing it like frosting with a putty knife. Let it dry per the manufacturer’s instructions, then apply a new layer if necessary

When the shallow parts and holes are filled, let the patching compound dry and cure for at least 24 hours. 

4. Sand And Clean The Patch 

No matter how hard you try, spreading the patching compound flush with the rest of the paint is near impossible. For this reason, you must sand the surface to smooth it out. 

Use fine-grit sandpaper (180- to 220-grit) and remove any ridges. Stop every so often and pass your fingers over the sanded areas to test the smoothness. 

If your wall is textured, such as stucco or orange peel effect, you should apply the texture to the patched area at this stage to make sure the filler is flush with the rest of the wall when you’re done. 

After sanding, wipe the entire area with a damp rag to remove the dust and let it dry for a few hours before proceeding. 

5. Apply The Primer 

A quality primer is the secret to painting that sticks to the wall for a long time. Once the patched area is clean and dry, apply a primer suitable for the type of wall or paint you want to use.

For instance, if you’re fixing paint ripped off drywall, it is crucial to use a drywall primer. Likewise, you can use masonry primer if you’re painting over brick or concrete walls. 

Some paints may require specific primers, too. Bathroom and kitchen paints, for instance, require a moisture-resistant yet breathable primer. Consider the substrate (the material your wall is made of) and the type of paint you want to apply to choose the right product. 

Apply a thin layer of primer over the patch and feather out with the paintbrush over the surrounding areas, even if it means priming a painted portion of the wall. Let the primer dry and cure per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

6. Paint The Patch 

The last step is painting the patch in the same color as the rest of the wall. Ideally, you should cover the patch with the same paint product you have used for the rest of the wall (even better if you have some leftover paint from the batch used on the wall). 

The reason you should use paint from the original batch is that the color can be slightly different between one paint tub and another, even if they are from the same brand and labeled with the same color code. 

That said, you can use the same paint color from a new tub if you don’t have any leftover paint. Even if the shade could be slightly different, the difference is often negligible, and once the paint is dry, you should not be able to notice the difference. 

If the patch is small, you can apply the paint with a brush. If it is a larger patch, use a brush or roll, depending on what you used to apply the original coat. Applying the paint with the same tool can help the patch blend in once the paint is dry.

Start painting from the middle of the patch and fan outward, blending the new paint into the old paint

Let the first coat dry for four to six hours, then repeat the process to apply a second coat. Once the second coat cures, the patch should blend into the rest of the paintwork and become invisible. 

How Do You Fix Peeling Paint On Plaster Walls?

Plaster is similar to drywall. However, it has more layers of material that are easier to chip or crumble compared to drywall. 

Paint peeling off plaster could be the result of improper priming, but it could also be the result of a degrading plaster layer. In the first case, follow the steps above to fix the peeling paint. In the latter, you must assess the wall resistance, repair the plaster layer, and then repaint as explained above.

Why Does My Paint Chip So Easily?

Fixing paint that came off the wall isn’t hard, but the task can be daunting. Knowing what’s causing the paint to chip can help you prevent future damage.

Wet Substrate 

Painting a wall that is not completely dry is one of the main reasons why the paint chips or peels easily. While cleaning the surface with a damp cloth before painting is essential, you must wait for the surface to dry thoroughly before priming and painting it. 

Improper Priming 

Using the wrong primer or improper application of the bonding agent can also cause the paint to flake or chip. Make sure the primer is compatible with the paint you want to use and formulated for your substrate (drywall, plaster, masonry, etc.). 

Environment Humidity 

While a proper application can prevent premature chipping and flaking, some paints don’t do well in humid environments. For instance, standard latex paint can look good for decades in the living room, but it will peel off easily in the bathroom or kitchen. A way to avoid this is by using room-specific paint

Dirty Substrate 

Alongside a wet wall, a dirty wall will also prevent the paint coat from adhering properly. It is crucial to wipe the dust with a damp cloth and let the wall dry before painting it. 

Temperature And Sunlight Exposure

A too high (or too low) temperature when painting can also have a negative impact on the outcome. A high temperature can cause the paint to dry too fast, preventing it from forming bonds with the bonding agent. Likewise, a low temperature can prevent adhesion. For the best results, the room temperature should be between 50°F and 90°F when painting

You might also notice that paint keeps flaking in areas exposed to sunlight. This happens because sunlight exposure can cause the paint to constantly expand and contract, weakening the adhesive bonds.

Can I Paint Over Peeling Paint?

No, you should never paint over peeling paint. If you want to fix the paint removed from the wall, always scrape off the peeling paint and flakes, repair the wall, and apply a new coat over the primed filling agent.

Why Can I See Patches Through Paint?

One of the most frustrating things is seeing patches through the new paint after you’ve fixed a peeled-off area. 

There are two main reasons why this happens: you haven’t sanded the filler thoroughly, or the paint has a different texture or color

As explained above, it is crucial to sand the damaged area thoroughly after fixing it, use the same painting method, and apply the same paint product you used originally.


How do you fix paint ripped off the wall without paint?

Whether you want to fix paint chips on the wall from tape or other damage, it is challenging to fix the paint ripped off a wall without recoating the patch. If you don’t want to paint the damaged area, covering it with wall art is your best bet. 

Can you put spackle over the paint?

Yes, you can spackle over paint. However, you should use spackle in a color similar to the color of the wall if you don’t want it to become visible. 

To Finish

Fixing paint ripped off a wall isn’t hard, but you may find the task tedious. The easiest way to avoid paint damage is to apply it correctly from the start. We hope this guide can help you paint your walls correctly and fix minor damages the right way.

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