How to Hide Wall Imperfections with Paint – Best Paints & Colors!

Author: Pat Freling | Updated: | Affiliate links may be present.

You can cover up wall imperfections easily with a new coat of paint! There are several different ways to disguise bad walls or uneven surfaces.

The best paint to hide imperfections is flat paint because of its matte finish and pigmented color. Flat paint is great at absorbing light and masking any bumps on the wall. Although it’s not as durable as other paint choices, flat paint does the best job of disguising even the most dramatic imperfections.

You can still use flat paint even if your walls already have a glossy coat. Just prepare the wall for a new coat of matte paint and say goodbye to any blemishes!

Hide Wall Imperfections with Flat Paint

Use a trusted brand of flat paint to cover up bad walls. You don’t need a thick paint to hide wall imperfections – just a matte finish that will disguise the blemishes!

Flat Paint Brands

Rust-Oleum is an affordable and reliable paint brand that offers flat interior paints in a variety of colors. Choose a shade that will best match the interior and complement your home.

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You can find a paint match at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot if you already have flat paint on your walls and are looking to paint over blemishes.

For unpainted walls or surfaces with a glossy finish, start over with a brand new paint color and choose a matte that will mute any imperfections.

Another great paint brand option for your walls is Prestige. This brand offers flat paint that’s cost-effective and highly rated amongst homeowners.

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Flat paint works to conceal imperfections on the drywall as well. It’s recommended to use a flat latex primer or paint on drywall, which is a cheaper option than the top-quality finish alternatives.

How to Apply Flat Paint

Known as a concealer paint, flat paint is relatively easy to apply. Flat paint is best used in rooms with lots of natural light.

Try to avoid applying flat paint on walls with high foot traffic because it is harder to clean than other paint finishes. It’s also a poor choice for bathrooms since flat paint does not keep out moisture.

Clean your walls and remove any debris in the area before painting. Coat a roller evenly through a tray of flat paint and apply it to the wall. Follow a line-by-line pattern and be consistent in order to achieve the best results.

Some brands guarantee one coat, but layering with a second round of paint won’t hurt! Allow the paint to dry completely before applying another coat.

Using sealant is always recommended if you want extra paint protection. There are specific sealants that can be used on matte paint without giving it unwanted gloss or sheen.

Can You Use Flat Paint on Semi-Gloss Paint?

It’s possible to use flat paint on top of semi-gloss paint with some preparation and sanding.

Sand the Walls to Apply Flat Paint

In order for the matte paint to grip onto semi-gloss paint, you’ll need to rough up the wall’s surface. Use 80-150 grit sandpaper and sand from the top of the wall to the bottom.

The semi-gloss paint should start to lose its sheen during this process. You might need to sand the wall more than once until it begins to appear dull.

Remove dust and debris from sanding with a vacuum to clear the area for a new coat of paint. First, apply white primer over the old semi-gloss paint and repeat this process until you can’t see the original color underneath the new primer coat.

If the semi-gloss paint was a dark shade, it might take a few extra coats of primer to prepare the surface for the matte coat. Apply the flat paint with a roller or brush and coat the wall evenly.

Allow the matte paint to dry between each coat and your wall should look as good as new!

Prepare the Wall without Sanding

You can prepare the wall for a coat of matte paint without sanding down the surface. Use a liquid deglosser to remove the sheen from semi-gloss paint.

Liquid deglosser will have the same effect as sanding the wall. Both methods will prep the surface so the new coat of flat paint will grip properly. If you apply flat paint directly on top of semi-gloss paint, the new coat will chip and peel.

Generously apply the deglosser on a clean rag and rub it on the wall in circular motions. You can repeat this process multiple times until the semi-gloss begins to dull.

Allow the deglosser to set for about 10 minutes before applying another coat or priming. Find a primer that has the same base as the old semi-gloss paint. For example, if the semi-gloss paint was water-based, use a water-based primer.

Use a paint roller for flat-surfaced walls and a paintbrush if the walls have grooves or an uneven surface. The brush will be able to coat bumpy surfaces more accurately than a roller.

After priming, choose a flat paint that has the same base as the primer and old semi-gloss paint. Two coats of flat paint should be enough to give your walls a new matte look!

Best Matte Colors for Walls

Darker colors will better hide wall imperfections than lighter shades of flat paint.

Choose a Dark Paint Color

If you’re looking to disguise wall imperfections, find a dark shade of flat paint (like this one) to use on your walls. Go for blues and grays to create an optical illusion and hide those tricky imperfections!

Dark colors reflect less light, which will help disguise blemishes. There will be less contrast between highlights and shadows compared to lighter shades on the walls.

Lighter paint colors will brighten up the room, but they’ll also make any blemishes more noticeable. Although a darker shade might make the room appear smaller, it will do the best job of concealing these blemishes.

How to Clean Flat Paint on Walls

Flat paint requires gentle cleaning! Go easy on your matte walls with soap and water to remove stains and spots.

Clean with Soap and Water

You can use products that you already have in the house to clean flat paint. Dip a soft sponge in a water and dish soap mixture to gently remove the stain.

A tough sponge-like the Magic Eraser is not a good option for matte paint and will most likely cause further damage to your walls because of its rough texture.

If the stain is stubborn, dilute the mixture with soap for a stronger clean. It’s also recommended to add white vinegar for extra cleaning power.

Don’t get too aggressive with cleaning or the paint might start to come off. If the soap and water mixture isn’t getting the job done, you’ll have to paint over the blemish with a new coat of flat paint.

Final Thoughts

Flat paint is the best choice to hide imperfections on your walls! The matte finish will easily disguise any dents or uneven surfaces.

Make sure to properly ventilate the room during the painting process. Open any windows and keep the doors open to better air out the space.

If you’re using a liquid deglosser to prep your walls, always wear protective gear to cover your hands and face.

About Pat Freling

Pat has been into DIY painting since he was 14 years old. He's painted interior walls, decks, patio, and even the first car that he'd purchased at 18.

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