How To Fix Paint Streaks on Walls

Using a roller as part of how to fix paint streaks on walls

Paint streaks on walls are one nightmare no homeowner wants to face. Whether DIY or professionally painted, paint streaks are an eyesore. This is why it’s important for anyone with a paintbrush to know how to fix paint streaks on walls.

If a recent paint job left streaks on the walls, you might be wondering if you’ll have to repaint the whole room. While you might need to break out the paintbrush, you can fix paint streaks without starting over. Learning how to fix paint streaks on walls helps you become a better DIY-er.

Hiring professional painters remains the best way to avoid paint streaks, having to fix peeling ceiling paint, or other interior paint issues. However, should you prefer to fix it yourself, this guide on correcting paint streaks will help.

How Do Paint Streaks Happen?

Overloaded paint rollers lead to paint streaks on walls

Even painting professionals suffer from paint streaks early in their careers. As an amateur painter, don’t be upset if you discover streaking after your paint job. Instead, understand how it happens and learn how to avoid it in the future.

Cheap Paint and Equipment

If you get bargain paint vs expensive paint, you’ll find its price mirrors its quality. Poor-quality paint doesn’t offer a consistent coat and tends to be so thin that it requires more than the average number of paint coats.

Cheap paint rollers leave streaks behind them, while low-quality paint brushes leave brush hairs in your paint.

Walls Not Properly Prepared

Your walls need attention before you paint. Damage like chipping, peeling, or loose paint creates streaks and sunken areas in the finished wall. Neglecting to sand your walls, wash them, and prime them weakens your paint as you apply it.

Rollers Not Loaded Properly

While painting your walls, it can be tempting to try using as much of the currently-loaded paint as possible. This attempt to avoid waste, while well-intended, isn’t the best way to paint walls. In fact, this only causes streaking that you have to deal with later.

Applying Too Much Pressure to Rollers or Brushes

Too much pressure when applying your roller leaves streaks on either side of the applicator. If you keep an eye on your paint roller, you can catch this issue before the streaks dry.

How To Fix Dried Paint Streaks

Painting house interior with roller

You can fix wet paint streaks by attending to them as soon as you notice them. If you’re wondering how to fix paint streaks on walls after your paint has dried, you can repair them with your choice of these two methods:

Method 1: Wait Until the Paint Streaks Dry

The simplest way to fix paint streaks involves waiting for the paint to dry before applying another coat. This method works best if you have uneven streaks due to loading your roller infrequently and so need to fill in places where your old paint shines through.

Method 2: Sand It Down and Touch It Up

For thicker paint streaks and raised roller marks, use sandpaper to grind the streaks down. After you’ve gotten your streak level with the rest of the wall, touch up the paint and carefully blend the new paint with the old for best results.

Streak-free Wall Painting Tips

Painting a wall to avoid streaks

Fix Wall Damage

Loose paint should be scraped away with a paint scraper and disposed of before applying new coats. You should patch holes, dents, or other surface damage by applying spackle with a putty knife. Sand down the uneven edges of wall repairs before using your primer.

Don’t Use Chalk Paint

A current DIY trend, chalk paints often leave streaks behind that drive homeowners crazy. If you’ve set your heart on using chalk paint, be ready to do multiple coats for streak control.

Remember To Use Interior Paint Primer

Always use primer as a foundation for your painting projects. Without a coat of primer, the paint may layer incorrectly. If you have water marks or other stains on your wall, find a stain-blocking primer to cover them.

Sand Your Walls Between Coats

Sanding and washing your walls helps your primer layer better. To create this effect throughout your paint job, sand your walls between each layer of paint. The only paint coat you shouldn’t sand is your final one.

Use a Slow-drying Paint

The faster your paint dries, the easier it is to create streaks. Using slow-drying paint gives you time to get to every corner and correct streaks before they dry.

How To Paint Walls Without Leaving Streaks

Using paintbrush to paint around an outlet

Applying interior paint without leaving streaks behind takes practice. Professional painters who know how to fix paint streaks on walls learned from experience and developed the skills you’re about to learn.

Accomplish streak-free painting by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Create an Outline

Use painter’s tape on your trim to avoid errant paint splatters, then paint inwards from your baseboards, crown moldings, and room corners to create outlines.

Step 2: Use the Right Tools

While working on the edges of your room, you should use a paintbrush. After you have outlined your walls, switch to your roller to quickly paint larger spaces. If you see places that need touch-ups, use your brush to fill them in.

Step 3: Paint One Way Only

Whether you paint up and down or side to side, changing your paint style during your project may result in streaking.

Step 4: Paint in 3-Foot Sections

To evenly distribute your paint, pick a spot and paint a 3-foot wide area. Move to another place 3 feet away for the next section. The edge of your new section should overlap with your previous one. Using this method creates a clean, smooth appearance.

Step 5: Watch Your Paint Dry

You don’t have to stick around the whole time, but you want to let each coat of paint dry before applying the next one. Try not to apply more than two coats to avoid a thick, chunky look to your paint job.

You Don’t Have To Fix Streaks If They Don’t Happen

Use the tips you’ve learned in this article the next time you plan on painting a room. If you don’t want to learn how to fix paint streaks on walls, hire your local professionals. Contact Rea Pro Construction through our contact form today for a quote on your paint project.