It may often be difficult to know when your walls need a fresh coat of new paint, especially because they're often overlooked by some home dwellers. Adding a new color can completely change a room’s look and feel—even another layer of the current color can make a difference.
We asked home design and paint experts to offer their top tips for knowing what signs to look for when your walls need to be repainted.
Meet the Expert
- Rick Hernandez is the president and owner of Sepi Painting & Waterproofing. He has previously worked with Sherwin-Williams Paint Company as an outside Representative.
- Kathie Chrisicos is the president of Chrisicos Interiors, which is located in Boston. She was the past president of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA).
- Yama Jason is an interior designer at Parlun Building.
When your once-vibrant walls begin to look dull and sad, it’s a good sign that your coat of paint has reached the end of its life. You might even find that the color looks uneven. Be sure to look at your walls in various kinds of lighting to really see how it looks. Switch on your overhead lighting or draw your curtains back so natural light can filter through. This way, you can determine what you may need.
“Over time, exposure to sunlight, moisture, and other environmental factors can cause the paint on your walls to fade or change color,” says Rick Hernandez, president and owner of Sepi Painting & Waterproofing.
Excess moisture exposure can be more than unsightly. “If you notice mold or mildew growing on your walls, it's important to address the problem as soon as possible,” he says.
Shading isn’t the only indicator that your paint has worn out its welcome. You might notice small bubbles popping up or some slight (or not-so-slight) peeling in some areas, especially in humid rooms like the bathroom.
According to the pros, none of this should be happening if the paint was put on properly or if it was the correct paint for the dynamics of the space.
“If the paint on your walls is peeling or cracking, it's a clear sign that the paint is no longer adhering properly to the surface,” says Hernandez.
Every home is going to get stains on the walls, especially in the kitchen or other high-traffic areas. Most stains can be removed by a quick wipe with a towel, a professional cleaning service, or even a Magic Eraser if needed. However, if that fails to get a stubborn spot off the wall, it's time to consider refreshing the space.
Kathie Chrisicos, president of Chrisicos Interiors, recommends repainting over your existing color or giving something else a try if nothing seems to remove the stains.
“See how you can blend the addition of new pieces, especially if you adore your current wall paint,” she says. “This is the time I recommend a refresh, whether using the same paint color or introducing a whole new look!”
Feelings of Disconnection
Even if there are no evident reasons to change your paint, feel free to repaint your walls if you're not feeling your current room color.
If you're feeling disconnected from your current space, take the time out to really understand where that's coming from because your home should feel comfortable and uplift you as you walk in. The color may be the culprit if there's nothing else bothering you.
“The colors we live in can impact our emotional and mental well-being,” explains Yama Jason, an interior designer of Parlun Building.
“An uninspiring environment can be demotivating, so it may be time to brighten up your interiors with a lick of fresh paint if you lack motivation,” says Jason. “Your environment may not be as calming or comfortable as it could be. Repainting your walls could help.”
When you think of things that way, the price of a coat of paint seems like a bargain for improved peacefulness in your surroundings. Whether your walls are looking dated, faded, or funky, consider a change of color to freshen your space.