I painted my hallway and it looks absolutely terrible, I really messed it up good. It doesn't look too bad when looking at it face on but, when the sun is shining down the hallway, it looks terrible as you can see in the photos. It really does depend on the light as to how bad it looks, but I'm really unhappy with it and would like to fix it.

I used Dulux once Jasmine White and I used a Harris Trade Micropoly 9" x 1.75" roller sleeve.

I'm wondering how I can fix it? I'm not sure if I should paint over it, or sand all the paint off, water the paint down next time to make it easier to work with?

Honestly, I have read about it so much, and thought about it so much, over the last few days that I don't know what the answer is!

Hopefully someone can help me.

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  • 2
    What was the surface condition prior, and did you use a primer to assure the underlying surface had the same underlying color and absorption? Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 22:09
  • 2
    It looks like some spackle was used on the wall (the dull areas)?
    – ojait
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 23:54
  • hi folks, I did not use a primer before painting. The underlying surface was indeed the same colour and same brand of paint. Some spackle was used, but the dull areas are much bigger than the spackled areas.
    – ubuntuuser
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:39
  • 1
    The imperfections in my remodels often annoy me immensely. When I show the imperfections to others, they don't understand why. Put on another coat. Hang some pictures, the imperfections will be less noticeable.
    – Mattman944
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:52
  • did you sand before painting?
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 10:18

4 Answers 4


Am I correct when I say the walls have dull and not dull sections? It appears that way looking at photo #3 on the upper left wall.

If that is your concern (having the walls painted with a consistent sheen) than you will need to re-paint them.

I've found most paints can be judge for quality on how much they cost (most of the time). Choose a reputable brand of paint (there's alot) that's within your budget. $30-40 USD per gallon is common.

Choose the type of paint. You'll need an indoor latex ...eggshell, flat, semigloss?. Choose a paint that is a paint and primer in one can. I've found this type of paint to be much better at covering an old color in one coat. It contains more solids and binders so it will be thicker and cover much better than a paint with no primer. It's usually not much more than a regular gallon of paint.

Some suggestions for a quality paint job:

-If you will use more than one gallon of the same paint color mix them together so the color is uniform.

-wash/clean the surface to be painted. No rinse TSP is a good grime cleaner and should be used before paint is applied.

-use a 3/8-1/2 inch napped roller pad. Any brand will work. Load the roller fully and evenly with paint. Apply the paint with the roller in vertical lines that slightly overlap the wet edge. Re-fill often or if you find yourself applying force to extract paint from the roller.

You shouldn't need more than 2 coats of paint to cover the old color unless it's very dark. To cover the sheen problem in your photo's one good coat with a paint and primer should suffice.

  • Thanks for your comments. I neglected to wash the walls down before I painted them. Again, this was something I just realised I should have done and it was a big error on my part. I will have to buy a new roller pad as it seems my 1.75" is a little too thick.
    – ubuntuuser
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:46

If you're sure the wall itself is flat and there's no major paint drips/lines on it, you could try another coat on one of the walls and see if that makes a difference. I can't really tell if there is just a difference in sheen on your walls or if there are surface issues.

Also, The less shiny the paint, the less obvious the imperfections when light hits it.

I wouldn't ever try sanding wall paint. Depending on the paint, it can peel off like a sunburn from the heat of the friction if there are drip lines. If there's major surface issues, you could mud over it and sand it down to re-smooth wall. I also personally wouldn't water down the paint.

Just my opinion... we'll see what others say. ;)

  • Thanks for your coments. There are areas on the wall that it looks like the paint has gone on too thickly. I now believe that I should have watered down the paint a little, to make it easier to work with. It has been a costly mistake!!
    – ubuntuuser
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 9:44
  • 1
    @ubuntuser- you should never water down paint (unless it's extremely hot weather and than only very little) or the label states it's acceptable (which they usually dont). If it's too thick spread it around more.
    – ojait
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 14:51

Curious if you ever got the wall to look good ? I’ll be honest, to do that wall right there takes a very experienced painter. Especially using anything that is satin paint and up, but even flat could do it as well if you don’t do it right. You can clean that wall with tsp or whatever you want it won’t do anything to make that paint dry even . Not even 20 more coats. That’s not the issue . But for a small fee of 75.99 sent to my venmo I can tell you what to do and how to fix it 100% ……….. oh alright you always had a way with words . I’ll just tell you . Here is the mistake you made that painting it 20 more times wouldn’t change the look . You must end each roll in the same direction . So the last roll on the line go the top , come down and take the roller off the wall . Think of it as carpet if you go up it leaves one color and come back it leaves another from how the light hits the carpet fibers . Same concept your paint roller is leaving a little pattern with the hairs on the roller . You have a lot of light coming in and it’s going to reflect off the stipple your roller is leaving differently if you end some going up an some going down……. Now the reason more coats won’t fix the problem is you’ve let the first coat of paint harden already and now that pattern is going to be their no matter what you do. So realistically 20 coats would fill in all the stipple and make the wall flat and prob would work but no one is doing that . So 1 stripe 3 passes up and down dip roller again and move over over lapping your last roll about 30% and keep repeating that till you make it down the wall . It’s faster then it sounds . For anyone interested in the future you want to paint the wall in rows , straight up and down . DO NOT DO A W. Dip your roller roll it off on a screen starting in the middle push up , then come all the way down do it 2 more times to flatten the paint out and get it even . It’s all about applying it evenly and fast enough you don’t have a lot of open time .

But first you need to sand the wall and get that stipple evened out before painting again . 120 - 150 grit if you don’t want to work too hard then wipe walls down with just a wet rag . Don’t use tsp it’s not that serious and you have to then clean the tsp off the wall to avoid issues with paint adhesion . It’s a waste of money if you ask me .

After sanding the stipple ( lightly ) don’t go World war 3 on it , get you a very very very cheap ceiling flat paint heck Walmart ones are the best and get it tinted to the color your gonna use . Get a roller with a short nap and use the technique i told you above to prime the wall with the cheap paint . Now don’t get all worried if it has lines it’s a cheap paint it’s not going to cover like a dream it’s just to give you a good foundation to restart . But apply it with good technique. Once it dries depending on the can re coat time . Then you can apply your good paint . If you’re using satin or eggshell and up add a paint extender to your paint like flotrol to your paint to allow it to flow together better.and give you more open time . Do not go back over a line once you’re done . It will leave a hot spot and dry darker because that paint has already started to set up and if you go back it will change the stipple on any area you go back and touch and make it deeper Remeber 1 line and re dip 1 line re dip keeping that paint going on evenly if done correctly as it’s drying you should see the beautiful stripes coming up on your wall and drying out left to right. With yours you can def see the roll marks going everywhere. So I’m sure this is the problem and will fix it .

Note :::: any waves in the wall with natural light coming in hitting the wall like that will cause dark spots that can only be fixed by floating the hollow spots out with mud . It’s like being in the ocean . When the sun hits it every wave is darker on the lowest point in between each wave same thing with your walls if they are not flat and light is hitting the wall like that it will show darker spots where it’s more hollow . As you can see where lights not hitting the wall looks better . You can also put a blind up on the door to block that light from highlighting the wall and flat paint helps a lot with that as it don’t reflect light . Hey how bout them cowboys !!!!

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 7:30

Looks like the underlying surface isn't flat which is going to bring that look. Short of plastering the wall, not much you can do.

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