Failure of dried paint to obscure or 'hide' the surface to which it is applied.

Possible cause

  • Use of low quality paint
  • Use of low quality tools/wrong roller cover
  • Use of an improper combination of tinting base and tinting colour
  • Poor flow and levelling (see Poor flow/levelling)
  • Use of a paint that is much lighter in colour than the substrate or that primarily contains low-hiding organic pigments
  • Application of paint at a higher spread rate than recommended



If the substrate is significantly darker or is patterned wallpaper, it should be primed before applying a top coat. Use premium quality paint for better hiding and flow.

Use quality tools; use the recommended roller nap, if rolling. Follow manufacturer's recommendation on spread rate; if using tinted paint, use the correct tinting base.

Where a low-hiding organic colour must be used, apply a primer first. Dulux recommends Dulux One Step® Acrylic Primer Sealer & Undercoat with Dulux Wash&Wear® +PLUS Super Hide to maximise the opacity of a coating system over a standard interior broad wall surface.

More problem solving advice


Development of a yellow cast in aging paint solvent-based enamels