Accidentally ripping paint off one of your walls is not a good feeling, and unfortunately, many of us have been there. It’s all too easy to tear away paint when you try to peel off tape or Blu Tack, or get rid of other sticky substances. It’s also easy to snag paint with something you’re moving and accidentally rip a chunk off.
This leaves you with an unsightly hole in your paintwork, and you might need a quick and easy fix to make it look good again. Nobody wants to leave paint tears on their walls, but do you need to redo the whole room because of one mark – or can you just fix that area? Let’s find out!
To fix the ripped paint, you’ll first need to sand down the area and remove any other loose paint. You can then apply an appropriate primer, followed by two coats of a matching paint color. Let the paint dry completely, and check that you have achieved a good color match with the rest of the wall.
How Do You Repair Paint Rips on a Wall?
To repair a rip, you essentially need to strip off the old paint and add new paint to the wall. This will involve sanding, priming, and painting, using a color that matches the rest of the wall. If you can’t create a match, you’ll need to repaint the whole room – but let’s focus on fixing a rip first.
The first thing you need to do is remove all the loose paint. You may need a scraping tool, or you might be able to do this with a coarse grit sandpaper. Clear away all the loose paint, even if this means making the hole considerably bigger. You can’t add new paint to a surface that isn’t sound.
If there is any damage to the wall, use an appropriate filler to tidy it up and make it firm and good again. Allow the filler to dry and then sand it so you have a smooth surface.
Once you’ve got rid of all the excess paint and the wall is ready, take some 180-grit sandpaper (or finer sandpaper if the surface is already good) and thoroughly sand the area. This will prepare it for the primer. You can sand by hand or using a power sander, but remember to wear protective gear.
Next, wipe the area down and add a coat of an appropriate primer to the surface. Allow it to dry. Sand the primer with 220 or higher grit sandpaper when it is completely dry, and then you’re ready to start fixing the paint!
You’ll need identical paint to the one you originally used to paint the room, or the rip will show. Once you have acquired the paint, wipe the surface down, put the first coat on, and leave it to dry. Don’t worry if it appears lighter than the rest of your wall; paint often gets darker as it dries.
Leave this coat to completely dry, and then add a second coat, and allow it to dry too. You should now have a perfect repair, making the original damage invisible.
What If You Can’t Get a Paint Match?
The above method only works for repairing the wall if you know what paint you used on the room originally and you can get a perfect match. Even with a match, there’s a risk that the new area will look brighter and cleaner, and the rest of the wall will look grubby or dull by comparison.
If that’s the case, you unfortunately will need to paint the rest of the room in most cases. If the wall just looks dirty, you can try cleaning it using a product such as sugar soap, and this may help to reduce the difference between the old and the new paint. A lot of the time, however, you’ll have to paint the whole area instead.
In these cases, you might want to hire professionals, or you can do it yourself. The whole room will need to be emptied, and then it can be sanded and painted as described above. This is an opportunity to change your color scheme if you want to!
Why Does Paint Rip?
Sometimes, the paint ripping away will be logical – but in other cases, you might be frustrated and puzzled by how easily it comes off the wall. This suggests that there is an issue with the paint’s adherence and either it was badly applied, or it is losing its bond now.
If that’s the case, you may need to sand down the whole room and re-paint it. Even well-applied paint will not last forever, and may gradually start to peel and flake off the walls. This is particularly true if it ever gets exposed to moisture, so kitchens, bathrooms, shower rooms, and wet rooms tend to need painting a lot more frequently than other rooms.
Usually, paint rips when you pull something away from the wall, so you should be careful when you do this. Ideally, you should avoid sticking things to the walls with tape or Blu Tack anyway if you can, because these are notorious for damaging paintwork and pulling it away.
If you have stuck something to the wall with either substance, try to be very gentle when you pull it off. Peel it slowly, using your nails to separate it from the paint, and work a little at a time until it has come loose. This should reduce the risk of damaging the paint.
Note, however, that if your paint is already in bad condition, it will probably come off with the tape or Blu Tack no matter how careful you are in removing it. It may already have bubbled, and will rip easily.
If you’ve accidentally ripped paint off a wall, you can usually fix it just by applying some filler (if necessary), and then sanding, priming, and painting the area, using a matching color. In some cases, however, this will be a sign that the whole room needs to be repainted.