How to paint over scratches on wall

As hard as we try to keep our homes looking clean and fresh, marks seem to appear out of nowhere on the walls over the months and years – especially if you have small children! So – while it is easier to live with these marks and scratches, for those houseproud folk amongst us, I present a guide on how to repair marks on the wall and paint over them, so they look as good as new.

The first thing you will want to do is get the right supplies. You will need some kind of paint comfortable with, a medium-size brush with fairly fine bristles, an artist eraser (optional), and a soft piece of cloth for wiping excess paint off your brush. For this example, I am using a matte creamy white color with zero shine. However, you can use whatever paint color is suitable for your walls and preference.

How to paint over scratches on wall, Zazzy Home

To begin, start with sanding the area down lightly, which will help to give it an even texture and also remove any loose bits of paint or varnish on the wall – one of my previous tutorials talks about sanding and preparing your walls before painting them: How to make your old walls look like new! (Part 1) . It would be best if you didn’t try to sand down the patch too much, though, as this may make it harder for you to repaint it later without showing through.

Next, mix up some paint; not too runny and not too thick. It would be best if you were aiming for a creamy consistency that is easy to work with and will help you achieve an even color all over the wall without any bleeding (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything). If it’s runny, add more paint; if it’s too thick, add some water.

Now get to brushing! Dip your brush in the paint mixture and then sweep gently across the scratched portion of the wall – do not press too hard and try not to make any overlapping strokes. Be careful not to use up all your paint, though, as the excess on your brush can mark the wall when you wipe it over. Don’t worry about getting paint onto other parts of the wall at this stage; you can clean up any spills after you have finished painting over the whole section.

How to paint over scratches on wall, Zazzy Home

I recommend doing a few practice runs on some spare cardboard or newspaper before beginning, as it can take a little bit of time to get used to how much pressure and paint to use, and also how fast to move your brush – I know from experience that rushing will result in sliding paint off the wall!… which is never a good look even if it does mean more spare paint for another project. But do not be disheartened by this as often marks that were once thought beyond saving can be brought back from the brink with just a little bit of care and attention!

Now that we’ve got the basics covered let’s begin!1. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol and let it dry completely. If you use plaster, make sure that you apply spackle or drywall compound first to fill up the scratch.
2. Apply the paint color of your choice over the entire surface of the scratched area using a flat stick or Purdy brush. Ensure no lumps on the paint application as this might cause uneven texture once dried. Let paint dry completely.
3. Lightly sand the painted area to create a smooth texture.
4. Apply a second coat of paint color once the scratch is completely dry and sand again to give it a smooth finish.
5. If you are satisfied with the results, you can apply a coat of paint sealant over the painted area to protect it against chipping and peeling off the wall.

And that’s it – your wall should look good as new!

How to paint over scratches on wall, Zazzy Home

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t give up if you’re not aiming for perfection on the first go. It can take a few tries to get it right, but believe me when I say it is well worth it once you finally do! You will soon notice that your tricky little wall won’t be so much trouble anymore. Good luck and happy painting!


Meet Jeff. For the last 10 years, he's been repairing and fixing problem homes - from leaky roofs to faulty wiring. He started blogging about his experiences as a way to help others who might be struggling with home repairs, and he's become something of an expert in the field. Jeff is always up for a challenge, and he loves sharing his tips and advice with others. When it comes to home repairs, Jeff knows what he's talking about. So if you're looking for some help and guidance, be sure to check out his latest guide!

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