This weekend when making a built in cabinet, I accidentally got some wood stain on my painted drywall. (Yes, I know I should've taped...). Now, I have to touch up the wall. However from what I have read online, there isn't a sure fire way to make it work. I was wondering if anyone here knew how.

Here is the situation:

  • Wall is painted with a latex based paint.
  • Stain is Varathane Classic penetrating wood stain

My goal is to be able to touch up the wall, and not damage the wood. They are butted right up to each other (roughly 1/16" space).Is there a better primer that works for this kind of thing? Or would sanding it be the better option? I have not tried anything as of yet, as this was last night...and I will resume working on the project today after work. So we have a clean slate to work with.

2 Answers 2


You don't sand painted drywall. Hit up your paint store and ask them what stain-blocking primer they recommend. Apply that per the instructions, blending it out to prevent hard edges, then paint. If the paint on the wall is more than a few months old you may need to paint the entire wall to get good color uniformity.

You might use a soft cloth and a bit of paint thinner to try and gently scrub some of the stain away so it's less likely to bleed through the primer.

  • Paint is 3 weeks old. The cabinet is part of the reno on the whole room. On the darkest wall in the room too.
    – J Crosby
    Dec 21, 2020 at 16:57
  • It's not necessary to report those things here. If you have a clarifying question, feel free to ask it.
    – isherwood
    Dec 21, 2020 at 16:58

The thing about wood stains is it's really a kind of paint. when people talk about stains on drywall they normally mean blemishes cause by water damage, or ink, etc.

That's an oil based paint product so putting acrylic paint over it should work just fine. because it's oil based the water in the acrylic latex pains wont pick up the pigments and you'll be able to paint over it with ease.

If the wall paint is a light colour you may need a gray undercoat to conceal the stain.

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