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How to Repaint Stained Walls

Primer can go a long way in helping you achieve a professional look.
Primer can go a long way in helping you achieve a professional look.
Yagi Studios/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Paint is an interesting design tool. It adds color and depth to indoor environments and can help create optical illusions that make rooms look larger, smaller, wider or narrower. Paint can make dingy rooms look clean and brighten dull corners. Paint can even mimic the look of stone and other textured materials.

Painting is one of the least expensive and most effective updates you can make before putting your home on the market. It's also an easy do-it-yourself project. If you've seen rooms with really poor paint jobs, you've discovered one thing that paint can't do. It can't prep a surface to make it paint-ready in one easy step. Yes, there are paint-and-primer-in-one products that make the process easier, but if a wall is badly stained, grimy, greasy or slick, paint either won't adhere or won't provide good coverage. That doesn't mean stains can't be painted, they just have to be carefully prepped first.

Where painting is concerned, the lion's share of the work is in the preparation. When it comes to dirty walls or walls that have surface treatments that aren't paint friendly, good prep isn't just a smart idea, it's the foundation of a decent painting project.

There are paint products available these days that can paint almost any surface, including flexible plastic, but some types of stains can still be particularly resistant and troublesome. Let's take a look at some ways stains can sabotage a great paint job and discuss a few quick workarounds that will turn a wall of shame into a wall worthy of your best artwork.