Archive Monthly Archives: July 2012

Troubleshooting Paint Problems

Potential Issues when Painting


Foaming / Cratering
This is where small bubbles appear in the paint while wet. Often small craters or holes appear on the surface as the paint dries.

POSSIBLE CAUSES: Using certain old, latex paints. Over-rolling / brushing with wet paint. Over-shaking of the paint tin. Painting a porous surface with a high gloss or semi gloss product.

SOLUTION: Most paints will have small bubbles when painting, however these should come to the surface and disappear as the paint dries. Use a sealer or primer before painting onto a porous surface.



This is where a thicker or darker layer of paint appears where wet paint has been painted over dry paint.

POSSIBLE CAUSES: Allowing the paint to dry in patches instead of maintaining a wet edge. Using paints with a low solid content.

SOLUTION: Always keep the edge of the new paint wet by not letting it stand and drying out. Paint to an edge (corner, doorway) if you plan to stop painting for a while. Always paint, smaller, manageable areas, rather than trying to do areas that are too big.

Flaking or Peeling Paint Problems

Flaking / Peeling Paint

This describes the lifting of the paint from the underlying surface in the form of flakes or scales.


Flaking/peeling is also one of the more common paint problems and can have several (or even multiple) causes. Peeling of paint will often follow a situation in which the paint film has blistered or cracked. Water then ingresses
under the film and begins to lift it from the substrate.

Another common cause of peeling is when a layer of paint beneath the topcoat fails (often due to age), and
the weight of the paint causes it to lift off the substrate. This is easily checked by examining the peeled flake. If the topside and underside of the flake are different colours, then usually this will indicate that one of the layers below the topcoat has failed.

Poor surface preparation.
Painting on a damp or dirty substrate will cause the film to peel. Using an unsuitable or incorrect primer or undercoat will cause the film to peel.


To rectify, all the peeling paint must be removed by sanding or scraping. The edges of the unpeeled paint must be sanded to “blend in” with the layers below. The relevant primer needs to be applied to exposed areas, and the entire wall should be repainted.


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