cracked white wall

How to Fix Some Common Paint Issues

How can you spot, fix, and prevent the paint-related problems before they arise? Your first reaction is to cringe as you discover a relatively new scratch on the paintwork followed by a sigh. The paint imperfections in some areas appear to be more conspicuous and harder to hide. Not only must such issues be addressed quickly, but they must be investigated to identify possible underlying problems.

Read on to find out why paint problems occur and why you should be aware of them.

Paint cracks for what reasons?

Failure to adequately prepare the surface is where cracks originate. Also, over-thinning of your paint or over-applying can cause it to split. On the other hand, overly thick paint can cause mud cracks, a clumpy, swollen appearance that results from too much product on the surface. It can also cause these problems if you don’t allow your paint to completely dry between coats. Paint will become brittle over time, making it less tolerant to temperature and humidity fluctuations, and cracks can appear due to aging.

We’re not only fixing it, we’re preventing problems.

Paint may need to be applied to the entire surface if damage is extensive. It’s not impossible to correct a poorly painted spot with the right technique. In order to do so, follow the instructions below for solutions.

  1. Removing cracked and flaking paint might require scraping, wire brushing, chemical applications, or heat guns (depending on the extent and severity of the problem).
  2. Afterward, clean and prime the surface, feathering the edges to blend.
  3. You should always keep this in mind: Don’t use too thin of a coating or too thick of a coating on problem areas.
  4. Brushes may be applied by dipping the brush into the paint, allowing the paint to cover about 1/3 of the bristle length; tap lightly on both sides and do not drag against the edge of the container.
  5. Roll the roller over the ribbed portion of the tray several times to distribute the paint evenly. Remove the lint from a new roller cover, dip the roller into the tray’s well and roll the roller onto the ridged portion several times.

Make sure you thoroughly feather out all cut-in areas to prevent heavy paint build-up; then clean and prep, reapplying paint evenly. You will have to be patient and allow paint to dry fully between coats. Once you repaint a room to repair an existing blemish, you should likely use the same product you initially applied. Quality latex paint is ideal for later projects because of its adhesion and flexibility.

Peeling

Both interior and exterior surfaces can suffer from peeling paint or paint that curls at the edges.

Why do paints peel?

While moisture is the number one enemy of peeling, improper preparation and application can contribute to peeling.

  1. During the house, high humidity will cause surplus moisture, but excessive showers, cooking, or humidifying habits will also increase moisture.
  2. Usually, peeling works its way inside the house through inadequate caulking, blocked gutters, a leaky roof, or interior moisture that seeps in through exterior walls. Peeling can occur when the paint is applied to damp or low-hanging siding.

Tip: Newer homes tend to have more efficient insulation and may not provide effective means for moisture to escape. By installing mechanical ventilation, such as balanced ventilation fans, fresh air can be introduced to the building. 

Preventive maintenance and repair

The following recommendations will help create an environment that is less likely to peel. Install exhaust fans, wall vents, and/or louvers if necessary to increase interior ventilation. When removing peeling paint, sanding, cleaning, and priming are needed for exterior conditions including crumbly caulking, overflowing gutters, or loose shingles.

Why does paint blister or bubble?

Both heat and moisture can lead to blisters. 

Heat bubbles on exteriors can result from painting in direct, intense sunlight and on overheated surfaces; A newly dried latex paint that is exposed to excessive humidity may blister as well if it comes into contact with dew, rain, or other humid air. A combination of moisture from bathrooms, kitchens, cellars, and laundry rooms inside a home will eventually strip paint from its surface. When applied over a wet surface or over a water based paint such as latex oil based paints also tend to blister. Blistering can also be caused by painting over a dirty surface, not using primer, and following in incorrect method.

Fixing it and preventing it

Put bubbles in blistered paint on its backside, which will let you know if moisture or heat is responsible. In addition, if the substrate becomes exposed, the moisture or heat will indicate whether there is a leak somewhere inside the wall.

  1. When you put your fingers through the blisters and expose bare substrate when you do so, there is a moisture issue. Repair of the plumbing, replacement of the caulking, and/or increased ventilation will help resolve the moisture issue.
  2. In cases where blisters appear between different coats of paint, heat may be responsible. Remove blisters and the underlying paint or primer, then sand the surface to dull it, prime and repaint, ensuring that the surface is below 30 degrees
  3. A wooden stirrer or drill attachment is often enough to stir paint slowly but swiftly without introducing bubbles that can transfer to the surface. Stirring too fast or too long can cause the paint to bubble and would ruin the paint job.
  4. When rolling, be patient. Slow down your stroke speed if bubbles are detected during application.
  5. Keep peeling to a minimum by applying latex over latex, and oil over oil. It is possible to inadvertently use oils based paints over latex paints, but you should avoid it at all costs since it will result in blistering.

Efflorescence

If you have painted brick, concrete, or cinderblock around your home, you may encounter Efflorescence, which is caused when the salts in these building materials dissolve in moisture and then leach to the surface.

Why does efflorescence occur?

Factors that contribute to efflorescence include:

  • a lack of curing time for mortar or cement during construction;
  • inside the house there is moisture migration;
  • The penetrating water causes a waterproof basement to leak;
  • Inadequate surface preparation to remove previous efflorescence;
  • painting over pointing that needs repairing.

Fixing and preventing

Get rid of efflorescence right away. Waterproof and repair cracks externally by using butyl rubber caulk and repointing. Efflorescence can be removed in a number of ways; depending on its extent and severity, it could require a combination of methods: The easiest way to clean such a spot would be to use a wire brush, scraper, low-pressure washer, diluted white vinegar solution (wear protective gear when handling this chemical, and immediately rinse thoroughly). Water can be prevented from entering a building material when it is impregnated with a hydrophobic sealant. The use of colorless repellents and silicone or acrylic coatings may assist in preventing efflorescence. Let the painted surfaces dry completely before repainting.

Alligatoring

An alligatoring phenomenon describes a pattern akin to reptilian skin. It starts as micro wrinkles, then becomes wide cracks resembling reptilian skin. The phenomenon tends to happen with oil-based paints.

How does alligatoring happen?

Temperature changes cause paint to naturally expand and contract, and, as is clear, this loss of elasticity can eventually lead to alligatoring.

This process can be accelerated by making mistakes like coating a soft, flexible surface with a rigid, hard enamel. 

Among these are not allowing sufficient dry time between primer/basecoat and topcoat; painting over a gloss finish (the topcoat does not bond properly with the glossy finish); and painting over a glossy finish.

Fixing and Preventing

  1. Removing scale by scraping or sanding is one way to do it, while applying chemical removers is another.
  2. Prime, let the primer dry and repaint. Rinse until the paint is free of dust.

Chalking

Generally occurring on pale-colored flat paints and on improperly sealed porous materials, chalking tends to be most visible on pale-colored walls or siding in sunny, arid climates.

Why does paint chalk?

Some chalking of paint is to be expected over time since the pigments are naturally released as a result of weather changes. 

In other words, serious cases are typically a result of using poorly formulated exterior or interior paints, often containing an excessive amount of extenders.

 Chalking can be caused by over thinning paint prior to application.

Preventive maintenance and repair

  1. By power washing the surface or applying a TSP solution, then rinsing, you can remove all visible chalking.
  2. Repaint the exterior with a high-quality exterior paint after the paint dries thoroughly.