Skip to Content

Dealing with Moldy Paint: Removal and Repainting

What are you supposed to do next when you accidentally use moldy paint? Should you leave it? Or should you try to get rid of it as soon as you can? Does it have any health problems when left to dry? Well, you will learn a lot about moldy paints in this article. 

In most cases, bacteria causes paint to be unfit for use. It can become watery, have a foul smell or even become moldy.

To begin with, fresh paint is a bit dangerous if mishandled. You should always adhere to the paint usage and application precautions.

When it comes to spoilt paint, you should be very careful. This is because moldy or sour paint is dangerous. If you apply it, it could cause these symptoms when inhaled by someone;

  • Coughing
  • Skin rash
  • Irritated eyes
  • Allergic reaction

However, the severity of these symptoms may depend on the kind of mold and bacteria in the paint. Thus, it would be best if you did not use paint that seems to have mold or is somehow sour. Just discard it and order a fresh can. 

I Accidentally Used Moldy Paint: How to Deal with It

Moldy Paint

As stated earlier, moldy paint smells bad. It has a foul smell or even a sour smell. Sadly, the smell won’t fade anytime soon.

Besides, the painted area may continue to develop more molds even after the paint seems to have dried.

Thus, the problem can only be solved now. The best idea would be to get rid of the moldy paint.

Otherwise, the paint will continue to produce a foul smell. People around or using the room might constantly complain of allergic reactions, skin rash, coughing, or even irritated eyes. Follow these tips to remove the moldy paint to avert future health complications. 

  • Wash the painted area

You can use a bleach mixture to wash the paint down. In some cases, you may have to wash the painted walls severally to effectively eliminate the foul smell and even remove the paint successfully.

If you had painted a reasonably large surface, it could prove to be too much work to wash the entire area alone. Thus, you can hire someone to wash it for you. However, make sure you provide them with any necessary gear to protect themselves from the health effects of bad paint. It would be great to ensure all the windows and doors were open during the washing process. 

  • Let it dry

After you have successfully washed down the stinky paint, you can let it dry. You can wait for about 24 hours to have the surface dry completely. After the waiting period lapses, you can now launch a repainting project using fresh paint. 

  • Repaint the surface

To begin with, make sure you have bought good paint. You should not repeat the mistake once again. In some cases, the initial stinky paint might not have completely faded even after thorough cleansing.

However, once the surface dries up, you can add a coat on top of it. Begin by applying one coat of paint and then another one. The two coats will cover give the walls a fresh look and a good smell. 

In addition, you may have to follow up the repainting project with a good primer to help keep the foul smell at bay. You can always hire painters to help you with the painting project.

This is because it is not an easy task to repaint a whole mansion singlehandedly. Also, you may need to store some of the paint that remains after the project. If that is your case, you should learn more about proper paint storage in the following section. 

Proper Paint Storage

It is always imperative to store new or used paint in a cool, dry place. Make sure the storage area does not get any direct sunlight.

In addition, the storage space should never get any colder than 32 degrees. If you want to preserve an opened can, close and seal it up before storage. Make sure the seal is airtight. 

How to Know Paint is Unfit for Use

Moldy Paint

Moldy or sour paint is not good for usage. At this point, you should be thinking of ways to find out when paints have a problem.

You have already learned how to store used properly or fresh paint cans in your home. In this section, you will learn the signs that indicate unfit paint:

  • Lumps-lumpy paint can be frustrating to use. It mostly leads to a mediocre paint job. Thus, you should discard it if you find out that it is lumpy. 
  • Moldy paint – should be thrown away if there are signs of mold in it. It will produce a mildew smell once you paint it on your walls. Eventually, you will have to wash it and repaint the surface. This is both time-consuming, expensive and may not lead to a great paint job even after reworking it. 

To find out if the paint is okay for use, remove the lid using a screwdriver and get a whiff of the paint.

If the paint is fit for use, it will have a chemical smell. Otherwise, it will have a rancid smell, an indication that it is not fit for use. You can therefore discard it and order fresh paint. However, if you follow the storage tips shared above, you will never have any issues with stored paint. 


If you accidentally used moldy paint, that is not the end of the road. You can still remove it by washing it with a bleaching mixture.

While doing this, Make sure the windows and doors are wide open to improving aeration in the room. Also, you can put on some protective gear to prevent inhalation of the stinky paint.

It would be best if you allowed the washed walls 24 hours to dry before you started repainting them. You can work on it alone or hire an expert painter to help you out.