7 Ways to Fix Paint Ripped Off Wall

Paint ripped off walls is one of the worst nightmares when it comes to a paint job. Ripping wall paint can also happen long after painting, mainly due to humidity or a physical shock.

Some people even ripped wall paint off when removing painter’s tape.

There’s more than one solution to fixing paint ripping from walls.

You can repair ripped wall paint by sanding and applying primer before painting the affected area. You may need to color match your wall’s paint for even results. Serious paint rips require painting the entire wall again.

All painting ripped-off wall paint techniques have their limitations. Color differences between the newly-applied paint and the old paint are going to be minimum to significant.

There are no color differences when you fix ripping wall paint while painting the entire wall.

The biggest visual differences are seen when applying new paint to fix old paint which already suffers from discoloration and dust build-up.

Still, most people prefer not to paint the entire wall as this is the most expensive solution to fixing paint chips on walls.

A few tips before you begin.

  • Peel off a small painted sample to have it color matched in a paint store
  • Always try to clean the area 1-2 inches further out than the limit of the rip
  • Wear appropriate protective gear

This being said, you are ready to try out one of the following methods.

1.     Remove peeling paint and paint over

The simplest method to fix paint chips on walls is to remove peeling paint and to paint over it.

Evidently, this method is only recommended for the most superficial paint rips. Surface-level rips can be fixed by removing paint with a putty knife and painting over the ripped area.

This method has its limitations when it comes to the durability of the fix and to the final look of the painted area.

Some of the most visible differences in paint nuances are seen using this method as paint dries since you haven’t applied a primer or a fixing putty to make paint adhere properly.


  • The easiest method to paint
  • The cheapest method to paint


  • Visible touchup whenever paint dries

2.     Sand the area and paint over

A more elaborated method of fixing paint ripped off walls also involves sanding.

You start by removing all peeling paint with a putty knife or a cutter.

The second step is to sand the area to even it out. Sanding removes the rough edges the paint chips created so that you have a smooth-looking surface once paint dries.

Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice this method still leads to uneven results in terms of paint color. The surface will not be perfectly even which tends to stand out more with high-gloss and semi-gloss paint.


  • A nicer finish when you sand
  • Better paint adherence


  • It will still look like a touch up

3.     Sand, primer, and paint the peeling paint area

If you have more time on your hands you can also consider applying a primer. Sanding, priming, and applying paint is the type of touchup a contractor would be hired to do.

You begin by removing chipping paint with a putty knife.

You then sand the area down, apply primer with the putty knife and let it dry.

Once the primer is dry, you can paint over it, preferably with a brush.

Most paint fix-up jobs are based on brush use and not on roller use as brushes control a smaller amount of paint application.

This can lead to a good fix which will only be truly bothersome to the eye in the long term. As the old paint on the wall starts to look faded, the fixed-up area still looks fresh.

If paint peels soon after you paint a wall the newly-applied paint evens out and it should look very close to the wall’s paint.


  • Very good visual results
  • The touchup might not be visible


  • The newly-painted area will remain fresh for longer

4.     Use patching material

Patching materials are created instead of primers. They have extra adhesiveness and they might even be recommended instead of primers. Here’s when to use it.

You should consider this fix whenever there are holes in the wall you need to cover.

A putty knife can be used to fill in the holes and to even out the patching putty before painting.


  • Great for deep rips
  • Recommended to fill holes in walls
  • Best for beginners


  • Sanding might be required after the patching putty dries

5.     Fix outer layer drywall rips with oil-based primer

The most troublesome ripping paint problems come when you accidentally remove the outer layer of the drywall.

Unlike many beginners believe, you cannot simply paint over the inner drywall as this promotes humidity in the patched-up area as well as a different final color aspect.

Peeling drywall with ripped paint can be fixed by applying an oil-based primer.

Primers based on oils are thicker and made to block stains and humidity.

You need to allow higher curing time for oil-based primers before painting the area.


  • Ideal for professional-like results
  • Oil-based primers are very easy to apply due to excellent adherence


  • Oil-based primers take longer to cure

6.     Apply drywall repair tape

Drywall repair tape is a small net that adheres to deep drywall rips or drywall that has had its outer layer ripped.

This is a type of professional fix which may still end up looking bad if you don’t install the repair tape properly.

Your main options here are

  • Paper tape
  • Mesh tape

Paper tape is easier to apply with drywall repair putty. You can have paper tape entirely covered by the repair putty so that it evens out deep grooves, holes, and chips in drywall.


  • Easy fix for drywall chips
  • Recommended for holes in drywall


  • Mesh tape might not be easy to install for beginners

7.     Repaint the entire wall when the rip is at eye level

The most viable solution to repair paint ripped off walls is to simply repaint the entire wall. You can fix all of the drywall dents first and then apply primer and a fresh coat of paint for an even result.

Painting the entire wall comes with benefits such as an even color across the walls.

This solution is recommended for just about all paint rips that are 2 feet above the ground as these are visible in the eyesight.

Some contractors don’t even consider fixing chipping paint locally as they recommend repainting the entire wall.

The main reason to paint the entire wall is that you get the chance to rip off paint from the entire wall yourself so that it doesn’t peel later.


  • Even wall color
  • Reduced risk of further paint chips


  • It takes longer to repaint the entire wall