How to Paint Over Damp Wood

by Patti Richards Google
Use both a brush and roller for a smooth finish over damp surfaces.

Use both a brush and roller for a smooth finish over damp surfaces.

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

If you want a paint job to last, the key is in surface preparation and choice of paint. If you have an area with peeling paint, chances are the problem is moisture. Painted surfaces that are not completely dry when painted will peel over time. These surfaces require repainting often to keep them looking good. Even if a wall is completely dry when painted, a moisture problem from within the house can cause the paint to peel. Dealing with damp surfaces involves discovering the reason for the moisture and correcting the problem prior to painting.

Items you will need

  • Scraper
  • Caulk and caulking gun
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Fan
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brushes
Step 1

Check the roof of your home above the area where moisture is a problem. Repair damaged shingles and flashing around chimneys and stack pipes, and maintain gutters and down spouts to prevent water backup.

Step 2

Caulk around windows and doors, and repair any loose siding that comes in contact with the area where moisture is a problem. Use a putty knife to fill any holes with wood filler if you are painting wood siding.

Step 3

Scrape loose paint at least 1 foot beyond the deteriorated area. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any loose paint, paying particular attention to areas underneath windows and the undersides of shingles. After scraping, use sandpaper to sand the edges of the deteriorated area, feathering the edges of the good paint and sanding the entire surface.

Step 4

Use a fan, trained on the area where you've scraped, and allow the surface to dry for two to three days. Choose a warm, dry day for your paint job if possible.

Step 5

Prime the area to be painted with a latex primer. If the area to be painted is an exterior wall, use a high-quality exterior paint primer. Latex-based products allow some moisture to pass right through the paint if your moisture problem is coming from the inside of the house and pushing its way out. Allow the primed area to dry thoroughly.

Step 6

Paint the primed area with a high-quality latex paint or exterior house paint. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. Use a fan trained towards the drying paint on low speed to speed up the drying process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy the best quality paint that you can afford to ensure proper drying.
  • Sand lightly between coats of paint to guarantee good adhesion.
  • If mold or mildew has developed on the surface of areas where moisture is present, hire a professional to remove it safely. Once the area is cleaned, use a mildew prevention primer to prevent future mold and mildew growth.

About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images