Do You Have to Paint the Whole Wall After Patching? We Answer

Do you have to paint the whole after patching? This is a common question many homeowners and home improvement enthusiasts ask. Sometimes, one can paint the patched area only, or the whole wall. Mainly, the choice depends on the condition of the wall after patching.

Mainly, after repairing the damaged spots, you need to ensure the patched wall sections match the rest of the wall surfaces. You can ensure the paint matches by painting the entire wall or the patched area only. In this post, we are going to discuss why you have to paint the whole wall or sometimes only the patched area.

Can You Paint Just a Patch on the Wall?

Yes, you can repaint the patched area to match the rest of the wall surface.

Common flaws on walls that are patched include scratches, chips, and marks. Notably, your wall requires touching up or patching at some point to fix these minor defects and prevent incurring huge costs repairing and repainting the whole surface in the future. The patching process is easy, cost-effective, and saves you time.

After patching, you can then paint the patched area only. But, when is painting the patched area only necessary and not the entire whole? The following are some of the circumstances under which you can repaint the patched areas only and not the entire wall.

  1. When the paint on the walls is less than a year old.
  2. If the minor blemishes are in inconspicuous areas.
  3. When the paint is not severely damaged by wear and tear or water damage.
  4. When you don’t want to change the color of the walls to a different color.
  5. When you are using paint with a similar sheen as the existing paint.

How to Paint a Patch on a Wall Without Painting the Whole Wall?

To obtain the desired results, you have to paint the patched area properly and follow the best procedure. Importantly, painting patched spots is easy, and you can do it and get the best results, even as a beginner. The following are the easy-to-follow patch painting steps.

1) Inspect the walls

Usually, minor defects are difficult to detect unless you are keen. Therefore, to identify and repair any defects early, it’s important to take time and inspect your walls for any signs of damage.

2) Decide if the wall requires patching

After inspecting the wall and assessing the level of damage, you should decide whether patching the blemishes is enough.

Patching is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way of fixing small issues affecting the wall surface appearance.

3) Repair the damages

The common wall repair work entails the filling of the holes and leveling dents. You can use a putty knife to fill the holes and deep scratches. Once you have applied the filling compound, scrape off the excess compound. Then, allow the compound to set.

The filling compound can take a few hours to dry and set; hence, patiently wait until it’s fully dry. Notably, the time the filling compound will take to dry will depend on the temperature and humidity levels in the area as well as the depth of the holes filled.

4) Sand and clean the area

After repairs, you may need to sand the area. Usually, the patched surface is rough, and you should make it smooth by sanding it.

Notably, the paint will not adhere properly to the wall surface if you apply it on a dirty or dusty surface. Therefore, using a sponge or a clean cloth with soapy water, clean the sanded patched wall areas.

Importantly, sometimes, you may realize that your wall is dirty and only requires cleaning for the paint to appear fresh and perfect without the need to paint it.

5) Prepare the paint

Shake the can well before opening or stir the paint once you open the can. Also, if the paint is thick and difficult to apply on walls, you should thin it using water or turpentine. The choice of thinner to use depends on the type of paint. Importantly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions when thinning the paint.

Also, once you have thinned the paint, you can test it by applying it to a small, inconspicuous area. Usually, thinning lightens the paint color; hence, it’s important to test and ensure it still has the level of pigmentation you desire to use.

6) Apply primer

Before you paint the specific spots, apply a primer. Primer enables the paint to adhere and blend better to the wall surface. Importantly, you should use a high-quality primer.

7) Paint the surface

Once the primer has dried, the surface is ready for paint. For the patched surface to match the existing wall paint, it’s important to use the same brand and color of paint as the one used on the existing painted surfaces. Mainly, you want the touch-up area to match the rest of the wall; hence, the choice of paint you use is very important. Therefore, to avoid causes of disparity between the two surfaces, you can use the leftover paint if there is.

Alternatively, buy the exact brand of paint and color as the existing one on the rest of the surfaces.

When painting, start applying the paint in the middle of the patched area and work outwards to the edges. Importantly, if the wall was painted using a brush first, then use a brush to paint the patched spots. Then, feather the edges and ensure the new paint extends slightly past the edges for an unnoticeable transition.

Best Tips on How to Paint Patches on Walls

The following are some of the best tips you can apply for best results when patch painting.

1) Use the leftover paint

When doing touch-ups, you need to ensure that the patched area finish matches the rest of the wall paint. Therefore, instead of discarding the leftover paint, you can keep it and use it for touch-ups in the future. Importantly, if you want to use the leftover paint in the future, it’s important to store it properly.

2) Apply only a little paint

You shouldn’t use too much paint for touch-ups. Usually, using too much paint leads to streaking. Therefore, only apply a small amount of paint and if you realize you need more paint to achieve the desired uniformity, then you can add a coat of paint.

3) Choose the painting technique

The choice of painting technique you use will determine the outcome. Mainly, you should use similar tools you used for the first painting. Also, ensure to make paint strokes in the same direction as for the first painting.

Using the same technique will enable you to achieve a matching texture of the touch-up as of the rest of the wall.

4) Ensure safety while painting

Your safety is paramount at all times. Therefore, ensure you are not exposed to paint fumes during painting. Mainly, if you work in an enclosed room or don’t wear safety gear, you are likely to experience eye irritation, headache, or dizziness. This is due to exposure to fumes.

Therefore, b reduce the level of exposure to paint fumes during painting by opening windows or doors and ensuring you are painting in an open area. Also, you wear face masks to reduce the amount of fumes you inhale during the painting process.

Factors to Consider When Deciding to Paint the Whole Wall

While painting the patched spots is sufficient in most instances, sometimes, you need to paint the whole wall. Importantly, the decision to paint the entire wall will depend on many factors. Some of the factors to consider before you decide to paint the entire wall include;

  • The age of the paint. If you have stayed for over three years, and the paint has peeled or appears dull, then painting the whole wall after patching could be the best decision.
  • The size of the damage. If the area you are repairing is huge, and painting the patched area only won’t be an option, then you can paint the entire wall.
  • The quality of the old paint.If you had used poor-quality paint on the walls, then after repairs, you can decide to repaint the walls using high-quality paint that will last longer.
  • Your preference. Sometimes, it can be purely your personal preference that you don’t like the outcome when painting the patched areas only. In that case, you can decide to paint the whole wall.
  • Desire to change the color or the texture of the wall. Repainting the whole wall is inevitable when you want to change the color of the entire wall.


You can paint the patched area or the whole wall depending on the condition of the wall and your preference. Painting the whole is expensive since you require much paint to cover the entire area, and it’s time-consuming. However, repainting the whole wall sometimes is the best option, especially if the walls look faded and you are looking for a lasting solution. Repainting gives the walls a fresh appearance.

On the other hand, painting patched areas only is the most preferred option, especially when there is no major reason you should incur huge costs to repaint the entire wall. Painting the small patched areas saves you time and money. Therefore, unless it’s really necessary, you can patch and repaint the patched areas, and your wall surfaces will look perfect.