Mold Lookout 101: How To Tell If Mold Has Been Painted Over

The best way on how to tell if mold has been painted over is to be observant. If you notice tinges of yellow on a newly-painted wall, then that’s one indication of a painted-over mold stain.

In this article, you’ll learn about the signs of painted-over mold and the causes of mold stains. Moreover, we also included steps on how to remove mold stains on painted walls. 

how to tell if mold has been painted over


Does paint completely cover mold stains?

The short answer is it doesn’t. Paint conceals the dark patches or stains caused by mold.

However, it will likely reappear on top of the color if you haven’t fixed the problem first. Even if you use mold-resistant paint, it won’t kill the current mold that you have.

Moreover, later on, the color will begin to peel, bubble, and chip. These signs are because of the mold issue and moisture issue underneath. 

It is counterproductive to paint over mold growth without addressing the mold problem. 


How do mold stains happen?

The stains on the structures of your home are not always a result of mold. Sometimes, they may be due to natural wood staining or iron stain.

However, discoloration with fuzzy colored (white or black) growth is mold growth. 

Puffy Lux

Mold stains happen due to mold growth, but they do not immediately show up. Sometimes, the only indicator that you have mold in your house is the musty smell. 

However, after some time, mold results in discoloration of the surface it rests on. Then, that leads to mold stains. 

Ultimately, water damage leads to mold stains. Water damage makes the environment perfect for mold growth, which then leads to discoloration.

The forms of water damage that you need to be mindful of are leaks, high humidity levels, and flooding. Here’s an article about signs of water damage on wood that may be of help to you.


Signs That Mold Has Been Painted Over

Paint can cover up many issues within the household, like child scribbles on the wall or dirt build-up. However, unlike these issues, you cannot paint over mold stains.

You’ll read about one of the reasons below. For now, here are the signs that mold has just been painted over. 


1. Uneven wall surface

An uneven wall surface is an indication of significant water damage. A newly-painted wall with an irregular surface is likely a covered-up paint job.

As mentioned above, water damage results in mold growth. Unresolved water damage should be a cause of concern.


2. Cracked, chipped, bubbling, or peeling paint

Newly-painted walls should not crack or peel unless there is moisture behind it. These signs are indicative of poorly-adhered paint. 

If your walls are experiencing such signs, then there may be a moisture problem, and paint was used to cover it up. Mold only needs a maximum of two days to grow in such environments, so it’s better to have it checked immediately. 


3. Yellow hue spots

Light and neutral color paints are typically the go-to colors of sellers looking for new tenants or buyers. These colors make it easy to investigate if they harbor stains.

For example, stains on a ceiling are pieces of evidence of water damage. Ceiling leaks trickle down to walls, which means that the moisture problem has spread beyond the roof but is only just covered up.

Also, a tinge of yellow in more than one area of the house is suggestive of mold growth that has been painted over. 


Why is it important to know if mold stains are just covered by paint?

As a buyer, you have to know if the house you are buying does not cover a mold issue using paint. Sellers typically paint over problem areas, especially if they do not have the means to have them repaired. 

However, as mentioned above, a paint job is a temporary solution to a more complicated problem. Later on, the mold stains would resurface and cause you problems.

If you accidentally purchased a home with water damage, then this article about buying a water-damaged house without knowing may be helpful.


Steps In Fixing Mold Stains

Step #1. Make a cleaning solution using a 1:3 ratio of bleach and water, respectively. Afterward, pour the solution into a spray bottle. 

Before dealing with the mold, put on protective gear to avoid prolonged exposure to mold. 

Step #2. Spray the cleaning solution on the mold-contaminated areas of the wall. Ventilate the room as you work because bleach fumes, as well as mold spores, will be trapped in the area otherwise. 

Then, let the diluted bleach soak on the moldy areas for a couple of minutes.

Step #3. After spraying the mold, fetch a scrub brush to get rid of the stains. Repeat steps two and three until you remove the stains. 



Knowing how to tell if mold has been painted over is crucial as a buyer and a homeowner. We hope this article about mold stains and paint was helpful to you.

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