How to Fix Uneven Paint Sheen?

Learn how you can fix an uneven paint sheen on your walls and what may cause that unwanted effect

Painting your walls, pieces of furniture or other surfaces in your home is often the simplest, the quickest and the cheapest way to refresh your interior without spending days and a fortune on that project.

However, many homeowners often face the same issue when going to repaint their interior walls. It may often happen that the paint you apply adheres unevenly leaving ugly traces on the surface!

How is it possible to fix that?! This is indeed quite a frequent issue that people have to deal with, and today we are going to tell you more about that.

From this article, you will learn how to fix uneven paint, but also, we will tell you what makes paint adhere unevenly, and even how you can paint your walls if they are initially too far away from being perfectly smooth!

So read on to learn how to fix uneven paint and deal with uneven wall surface!

How to Fix Uneven Paint On Your Walls?

Ending up with an uneven paint sheen on your interior walls is definitely not something that you would like to experience!

If you paint your walls and then you notice that the paint was applied in uneven layers, you will surely want to redo the paint job!

Having patchy walls is not the thing that you or your guests will not notice.

In broad daylight, everyone will notice those ugly streaky and lap-marked walls of yours, especially if you used the paint with a satin finish!

But here comes another point of concern: how to fix uneven paint? Do you need to simply reapply the paint over the old layer?

Or maybe any additional manipulations are needed in order to smoothen the wall first? No worries and no fuss, dear friends, we are here to help you out with that!

First of all, you need to make sure that you have all the tools ready for the painting project.

If you need to fix the unevenly painted surface, no matter whether it is a wall or anything else, you will typically require the following stuff at your disposal:

  1. 220-grit sandpaper
  2. sanding block
  3. tack cloth
  4. terry cloth towel
  5. vacuum
  6. latex paint with primer-satin finish
  7. paint stick
  8. roller cage
  9. ⅜-inch synthetic fiber roller cover
  10. metal paint tray and one gallon paint can grid

In fact, fixing that uneven and patch-like paint on your walls is not very difficult.

You will just need to undergo a few easy actions.

  • If you have just applied your paint, and the paint you used was with satin finish, avoid the attempt of repairing it until after it cures for at least eight hours! The best thing that can be done here is that you let the paint dry overnight.
  • Next, take a piece of sanding block and wrap it with a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. Sand the entire surface of the wall lightly, not just the uneven area or areas. Like this, you will remove the sheen.
  • Now vacuum the area in order to remove any paint dust that might remain (and will actually remain!) after sanding. Finally, wipe the surface with a tack cloth so that you could capture the dust that might be left behind by the vacuum.
  • Now you need to match the color of your surface with a latex paint that includes primer in a satin finish.
  • Once you buy a can of paint, turn it upside down and let it sit in this position for two or three hours. However, note that this should be done only if you bought your paint more than two days prior to the start of your painting project! When you turn the can upside down and keep it like this for a while, you allow it to restore to the proper consistency. Also, it lets the settled pigments move from the bottom of the can. You will also need to shake the can of paint vigorously before removing the lid! Finally, remember to make use of a paint stick in order to mix the pigments and paint together until the paint becomes smooth and even in color.
  • Now you need to get the paint ready. Start with sliding a ⅜ -inch nap synthetic fiber roller cover over a roller cage. Then, once this is done, double check that the roller cage supports the roller properly. If the cage fails in supporting the roller, then it may result in the uneven paint application!
  • Now dampen your roller cover with water and, using a terry cloth towel, squeeze the excess water from it.
  • Now let’s prep the can of your paint for the upcoming paint job! Hook the grid of the can of your paint over the back of the paint tray, dip the prepared roller into the paint, and roll it along the bottom of the tray. Like this, you will make sure that the entire roller is thoroughly saturated with paint.
  • Now you can make use of the paint can grid to remove the excess paint. make sure that you pay very close attention to the ends of the roller cover at this stage! This is where paint tends to accumulate quite often!
  • Now you can apply the paint to the surface. Roll moving from the bottom of the surface and up to the top. Move in a straight line. While doing this, you need to be sure that you keep the roller cover half-loaded with paint throughout the project. This can be achieved by reloading the roller often. Also, pay attention to any paint build-up or runs! Catch them quickly with the roller before starting the next stroke!
  • While applying the paint, make sure that you overlap the previous stroke with the next stroke slightly. Also, it is essential to use the same application technique throughout the entire painting project, and work quickly. Remember that the first stroke must not get dry before you start applying the second one! Also, we would recommend you avoid applying the paint to the surface in sections. Finally, remember that you should not stop until you cover the entire surface with satin-finish paint.

With the help of this brief guide, you will be able to deal with the unevenly painted wall and fix it quite quickly without too much effort and time.

You just need to be sure that you follow the suggested sequence of actions precisely step by step, and you will be able to enjoy the smooth and even painted wall (or any other surface) pretty soon.

How to Fix Uneven Paint On Your Walls
Credits: IgorVetushko, via Crello.com

What Causes Paint to Adhere Unevenly?

Of course, even though you are now aware of what to do in order to make your walls smooth and evenly painted back again, you might still be wondering about what leads to uneven paint appearing on your walls at all.

Does it mean that anything is wrong with the roller? Or was the paint bad?

Or was it you and your lack of painting experience?

First of all, stop blaming yourself! It’s not always your fault that leads to patchy walls. See, ending up with the uneven wall paint and that streaky, lap-marked appearance of the surface in its light sheen can have a few other reasons. And improper application is only one of them.

What else could it be, you may be wondering? You might be surprised, but overlapping dry paint with the new wet coat of paint also causes these uneven stripes to show up!

This commonly happens when we stop painting before we complete the project or if we paint a surface in sections.

What Causes Paint to Adhere Unevenly
Credits: IgorVetushko, via Crello.com

Also, you can simply have an initially uneven wall! In this case, it is not your fault, of course, but you can make sure that you make it smooth and even before you start applying paint onto it.

For example, this can be done by sanding the surface.

Yes, it will take some time, but at the same time, you will have an ideally prepared surface that your paint will adhere to just fine.

Finally, paint may sometimes adhere in uneven layers if we forget to wash the roller or if we start painting when the roller still has leftovers of the paint that we used before.

Paint Sheen Differences Explained In 5 MinutesPaint Sheen Differences Explained In 5 Minutes

Related: 11+ Tips How to Dry Puffy Paint Fast?

How to Paint Uneven Walls Correctly

If you know for sure that it is not you who is the reason for the uneven paint application, you might want to take a closer look at your walls.

If your walls are initially uneven, with small cracks or holes, then your paint will not adhere properly and evenly for sure.

But how to paint an uneven wall like this, you may ask? Well, there are several alternative options that you can use.

We are not recommending you to patch your walls or sand them since it is quite a time-consuming and effort-consuming procedure. Instead, you can opt for a much simpler method!

To paint uneven walls, consider using a special paint. Such paint is much thicker than the usual one and it is designed for being able to fill all the holes and even all the curves and cracks – of course, if they are not too deep or big!

How to Paint Uneven Walls Correctly
Credits: IgorVetushko, via Crello.com

Please note that this type of paint will only be helpful for you if the walls that you are going to paint have superficial faults!

Any serious damages must be fixed by the professionals before the paint can be applied!

Where can you buy such paint? Well, paint for uneven surfaces is usually sold in any hardware store.

It can come under different names though, so be careful when reading the labels on the cans of paint! You need the one that has one of the following names:

  • elastomeric paint
  • high-build paint
  • crack-free paint
  • smoothover paint (this one is basically a filler and an undercoat, two in one)

These paints have a much better coverage in comparison to ordinary paints since they possess a higher level of thickness.

But just like a usual paint, this special one can also be applied with the help of a paint roller or a trowel.

How to Paint Uneven Walls Correctly
Credits: DragosCondreaW, via Crello.com

As for the smoothover type of paint that we have mentioned, it is quite a popular option on the market.

Simply because it is a filler and a paint all in one, and because it is relatively cheap! In addition, it can be used for fixing quite many issues with the walls, such as minor bumps, hairline cracks and surface scratches.

The only downside of it is that it can’t be applied directly on the old coat of paint. So first of all, you will have to remove the old layer by sanding.

Also, if the wall that you are going to paint is very uneven, this paint will not work well on it.

How to Paint Uneven Walls Correctly
Credits: AndrewLozovyi, via Crello.com

What Are the Alternative Options to High-Build Paint?

In case you are looking for the alternative option instead of using a high-build paint, we can name you a few different options.

Your choice will most likely depend on the current state of your walls and the type of decorative finish that you want to have.

  • Stucco. This is a rather cheap way to cover up a wall which offers a wide range of different finishes from smooth to textured. Usually, stucco is either white or stone-coloured, but it can also be mixed with a colorant or you can easily paint it over. The main advantage of this option is that it can be applied to very uneven walls.
  • Decorative plaster. It is thinner than stucco and comes with a range of different finishes. On the other hand, it is more expensive.
  • Wallpaper. These can be thin or thick so you can choose depending on the state of your walls. In addition, they are very affordable and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

So, now you know more about how to deal with uneven walls and how to apply paint onto them.

What Are the Alternative Options to High-Build Paint
Credits: serezniy, via Crello.com

Also, we have told you what makes the paint adhere unevenly so now you can figure out what is the cause of this issue in case you have already faced it.

And since you also have a few alternative options regarding what paint to apply to deal with the minor flaws, you will surely cope with uneven paint issues easily in future.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can you apply paint over the uneven old paint?

No. You need to take the old paint off first.

⭐ Does paint look uneven when it dries?

It may look like that if you apply a too thin coat.

⭐ Will paint level out?

Yes, it will.

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