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7 Common Paint Problems (Solved!)

You would be hard-pressed to find a residence which couldn’t be improved with a good paint job. To keep your paint looking crisp for a long time, however, all paint jobs require regular maintenance; not to mention good preparation before the painting has even begun. Difficulties with paint may well occur at a comparatively new house, but it’s the old houses in particular which face these problems the most. Everything has an expiry date, and the paint at an older residence will sooner or later need to be addressed. 

Below you can find some of the more common painting problems, along with their probable causes and solutions.

1. Yellowing


Development of a yellow colour in aging paint indicates yellowing. Places protected from sunlight, such as your kitchen, behind pictures or inside closets, are most likely to be affected by yellowing.

What Causes Yellowing?

Yellowing is the oxidation of alkyd or oil-based paint or varnish. Heat from sources such as stoves and radiators, or the unavailability of light also contribute to yellowing.

How to Take Care of Yellowing:

Areas affected by yellowing naturally face heat and a lack of light. Using top-quality, non-yellowing acrylic paints and varnish help to prevent yellowing. Conversely, avoid using alkyd paints in areas with low light availability as these paints tend to yellow in areas protected from sunlight.

2. Blistering


If you see small bubbles or blisters under the paint film, you can your paint job is blistering. Usually wooden sidings and trim are the most likely sufferer from blistering.

What Causes Blistering?

Blistering is usually caused by trapped water. Either the water dries quickly, leaving a hollow space, or trapped moisture expands the paint film. This could be caused by direct sunlight, heavy dew or rainfall or very high humidity. Painting on a damp, dirty or hot surface - or applying oil-based latex paint over improperly prepared surfaces – can result in blistering.

How to Take Care of Blistering:

“Prevention is better than cure” as the old saying goes. In the case of blistering, simply avoid painting under the imperfect conditions; especially under the hot summer sun, or when it’s raining. However, if you’re already affected by blistering, you must be prepared to start from scratch. Though there are some alternatives, all of them require a great deal of effort, and often your best bet is to repaint the entire affected area.

3. Chalking


When you have a fine chalky powder forming on the surface of your paint; that’s chalking. Though some amount of chalking is typical for a newly painted surface, excessive chalking is a cause for concern.

What Causes Chalking?

Cheap paints which contain high levels of pigment extenders, or paints which have been over-thinned, can cause chalking to occur. Additionally, if you do not seal a porous surface properly before painting, chalking will appear.

How to Take Care of Chalking:

Adequate preparation before starting a paint job can prevent chalking. Be sure to clean and remove all the dirt in the area you intend to paint before you start. To remove existing chalking, start by scrubbing with a trisodium phosphate cleaning solution, then rinse with water. Afterwards, be sure to give the area ample time to dry and use high-quality latex paint to do the repainting.

4. Mud Cracking


Mud cracking refers to thick, irregular cracks in your paint film with the appearance of cracked mud.

What Causes Mud Cracking?

If you apply paint too thickly to cover up a porous surface, there’s a good chance you’ll face mud cracking; and using low-grade paint only adds to the problem.

How to Take Care of Mud Cracking:

First, remove the affected coating by scraping & sanding. Then apply primer as a base, and repaint. Using a good quality paint is the key here. Low-quality alkyd, oil-based ordinary paint tend to mud-crack more often. Quality acrylic paint has a high TSS (total suspended solids) content, and as a result will reduce the risk of mud cracking.

5. Mildew


Mildew is a fungus which feeds and grows on the paint film or chalk. Odd looking black, grey or brown spots and patches on the surface of paint indicate mildew.

What Causes Mildew?

An area which is subject to a lot of moisture, is poorly ventilated or lacks direct sunlight is likely to encounter mildew. Additionally, low quality acrylic or oil-based alkyd paints are at high risk of mildew attack.

How to Take Care of Mildew:

If you’re sure that mildew is the problem, use household bleach solutions to scrub the mildew from the surface. Rinse the area with clean water and wash it with detergent to get rid of the mildew. Using top quality acrylic paint will help to protect against mildew. Additionally, you can consider installing an exhaust fan in high moisture areas.

6. Peeling


Just as the name indicates, we’re referring to the peeling off of the upper part of a painted surface.

What Causes Peeling?

Peeling occurs with the loss of adhesion between a coating and the substrate. An overabundance of moisture, improper surface preparation, and painting over a dirty or uneven surface are also reasons behind peeling.

How to Take Care of Peeling:

Simply, you have to remove all loose paints then repaint with a top quality paint.

7. Wrinkling


A rough, wrinkled paint surface skin.

What Causes Wrinkling?

Paint application which is too thick is the culprit here. Additionally, if you apply a second coat of paint over an improperly dried first coat, the risk of wrinkling increases. Painting over an unclean surface or exposing uncured paint to extreme weather – such as rain, dew or fog – can also cause your paint to wrinkle.

How to Take Care of Wrinkling:

Start by removing the affected coat by scraping and sanding. Afterwards, provide ample time to dry the surface of the first coat; the more the better. If the weather is too hot, too cold or damp, extra drying time will be required.

All paints feature a mixture of different chemicals, which will degrade over time. So, after a certain period, a need for renovation or repainting is to be expected. However, facing any of these paint problems too often is cause for concern. To avoid painting problems, try to use high-quality paints and hire professional painters from reputed companies, like Premier Painting.

Image Sources:

4. Mud Cracking

6. Peeling

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