Tips & Techniques

Poor Hiding (Coverage)

May 08, 2017
This refers to the failure of dried paint to obscure or hide the surface to which it is applied.


  • Using a low-quality paint.
  • Using low-quality tools or the wrong roller cover.
  • Using an incorrect combination of a tinting base and tinting colour.
  • Poor flow and levelling.
  • Using a paint that is much lighter in colour than the substrate, or that primarily contains low-hiding (low-coverage) organic pigments such as light yellows and pinks.
  • Applying paint at a higher spread rate than recommended.


If the surface you are painting is a patterned wallpaper or significantly darker than your paint, it should be primed before you apply a topcoat. Low-hiding organic colours also require the application of a primer before painting. 

Top-quality paint offers better hiding and flow. If you are using a roller, always fit a roller cover with the appropriate nap length for the paint that is being applied. Follow the manufacturer's spread rate recommendations and, if you are applying tinted paint, ensure that you use the correct tinting base.