Can You Paint Damaged Wood?

Can You Paint Damaged Wood? | Purcellpro Painting | Willow Grove PA Painter Services

You’ve got a fence in your backyard, but it’s seen better days.

Maybe it’s been there for longer than you’ve been in your home, or maybe you built it yourself, while wearing bell bottoms and listening to REO Speedwagon.

Either way, it’s getting toward the end of its life.

But maybe you don’t want to fix it this year.

Maybe you have other expenses, maybe you’re a DIY type but you’ve got other projects to focus on this year.

Either way, you’re looking at how you can squeeze one more year out of it.

So you might be thinking of painting it.

After all, out of sight, out of mind, right?

We’re PurcellPro Painting, a commercial painting and residential painting contractor, and we’re here to help.

Let’s talk about painting rotting wood.

The Answer Is Yes

Can you paint rotting wood?


That should be the end of the article, right?

Not exactly.

The real question here isn’t whether you can, but whether you should.

Most painting companies will likely decline the job, suggesting you get your rotting wood repaired before painting over it.

But what about if you want to do it yourself?

You Can’t Just Cover Up Painting Problems

To a certain extent, painting wood adds a layer of protection to it that you don’t otherwise get with just bare wood.

This is why it’s a good idea to use stain on your wood, even you’re not planning on darkening the actual wood color.

Staining your porch, for example.

However, if there are problems under the surface, painting it won’t always solve them.

Here are some of the reasons why wood might be rotting, and whether or not painting it will help.

1. Moisture

Moisture is one of the easiest ways to see your wood begin to rot.

This is one of the reasons why when you see a wooden fence beginning to rot, it begins at the bottom where the wood is closest to the ground.

Rainwater and puddles can seep into the wood from there, causing decay.

When this happens, the wood expands, and then contracts again as it dries.

If this happens enough times, you’ll get splintering and a spongy texture.

If your wood is painted in the first place, it can protect from this.

But painting over moisture damaged wood won’t reverse the damage done.

The paint you use won’t stick as well to the wood either.

If you hate the way it looks but really don’t want to bother with repairing it, slapping some paint on it might allow you to enjoy it aesthetically for another season.

But it’s not going to last much longer.

This is, of course, for exterior paint jobs.

If you have moisture damaged wood inside, that’s a much bigger problem.

It may mean you have a water leak somewhere, which is in many cases a bigger issue.

It may cause…

don't paint over mold | Purcellpro Painting | Willow Grove PA Painter Services

2. Mold

Stagnant moisture is a perfect environment for mold to grow.

Mold is extremely unhealthy when you have it in your home, as it can cause damage to your lungs and trigger allergies and irritation.

If you do have mold in your house, it’s a good idea to call someone and get it professionally removed.

However, some people think it’s a good idea to paint over mold.

The thinking is that this will kill the mold, or temporarily contain it until you can take care of it professionally.

This is not true.

When you leave mold itself, it’s still a problem.

But when you paint over mold, you actually agitate it and cause it to release even more mold spores.

That will cause the mold to spread into other parts of your house more quickly than it would have before.

So, don’t paint over mold.

Call a professional and get it removed.

3. Termites

Thinking of going out for a fancy dinner?

If you were a termite, you’d head to a nice piece of wood and chow down.

Termites eat wood, which is a good thing in the forest because it helps dead trees break down more quickly.

But I don’t think it needs to be explained why termites eating the wood in your house is bad news.

Paint doesn’t help here.

The only way to take care of a termite infestation is by dealing with the source of them.

Calling a professional pest control company is the only option.

Painting over termite infested wood won’t do anything to stop them.

But what’s more, if you plan to sell your home, painting over termite infested wood can cause you even bigger problems.

A home inspector finding evidence of termites may make your home ineligible for sale.

But a home inspector finding evidence of termites that you deliberately tried to cover up might lead to legal issues.

So, don’t paint over termites.

Call PurcellPro Painting Today

Do you have some wood that’s not rotting that you’d like to freshen up?

If so, call PurcellPro Painting today.

Got a painting project in mind? Give us Call

We’ll arrange for a free on site estimate for any interior or exterior painting needs you have.

Purcellpro Painting Inc
642 Cowpath Rd suite 293,
Lansdale, PA 19446


At Purcellpro Painting Inc we pride ourselves on top quality painters and painting solutions for residential and commercial customers in Montgomery and Bucks counties, Pennsylvania.