The California Paints Blog

Recognizing and Solving Interior Paint Problems

Posted on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 @ 01:05 PM

Odds are if you have owned a home, you have experienced one or two interior paint problems.  When I say paint problems, I’m not talking about a dilemma choosing between paint A and paint B (although I’m not doubting that is indeed a dilemma, just not the one we are focusing on today) or accidently rolling paint onto your ceiling when painting your walls (whoops).  I’m talking about waking up one day and noticing the paint on your wall is cracking, bubbling or peeling.  Now this may be due to many reasons.  Today I’d like to explore these reasons and learn a few easy methods to correct these problems and make your home look as good as new! I’d also like to present a few options to prevent such annoyances! When you use the right paint on the correctly prepared surface, there should be little reason for these problems to arise in the future. 


Paint flaking in my apartment due to lots of cracking...looks like my landlord should read this blog post!

Problem: Interior Paint Blistering (bubbling)

What it is: Blistering occurs when the top coat of paint starts to rise from the surface underneath, creating little bubbles on your walls.  Well, that’s no fun!

Why it happens: The most common reason paint bubbles is because paint or primer is applied to a wall that hasn't been cleaned properly.  Sanding dust and general dirt must be removed before primer or paint can be applied.  If dust or dirt particles are trapped under the paint, the film will bubble over time.  Moisture can also be a major cause.  Moisture presence before, during or after painting can lead to bubbling. Bubbling is also common in areas where the surface temperature was too high when painted.  Remember, surface prep is key!  Lastly bubbling can occur when an incompatible alkyd paint is used over a latex paint.

How it’s fixed: Remove bubbles by scraping or sanding them away.  Make sure the surface is free of dust and dirt.  Apply a coat of primer (let it dry) and then you can apply your coat of paint! Sounds easy enough! Just be aware if you have bubbling in one area, odds are it will continue to occur in other areas.  The best cure is to fix not only the blistering area but all areas in which this paint job occurs.

How it’s prevented: Now, I know you all are diligent about your surface prep before starting your project.  That’s a given.  But if you are painting a room where moisture is common such as a bathroom or kitchen, try using a product like Super Scrub that includes Mircoban.  Also make sure to avoid painting in humid conditions.   Painting in high humidity may not only cause paint problems but each coat can take much longer to dry!

Problem: Interior Paint CrackingCracking

What it is: Cracking paint can be caused by variety of reasons.  Cracking paint can lead to flaking paint.

Why it happens: Where bubbles can be the result of painting in humid conditions, cracking can occur when paint dries too quickly.  It can also occur when a lower quality paint is used.  Lower quality paint can lack flexibility and will fail to adapt to normal changes in temperature or substrate expansion.  Poor surface preparation could also be a cause, as well as improper painting techniques, such as not letting paint dry fully between coats. 

How it is fixed: Scrape flakes or cracks away, fill any necessary holes or voids, and sand down.  Clean the walls of dirt and dust.  Prime and paint!

How it’s prevented: Proper surface preparation before painting is the key to preventing most painting problems.  Remember to paint in dry weather where the temperature will not vary too much throughout the process.  Try using Fres Coat Unite.  It is the perfect paint for a variety of jobs because of its excellent coverage and extreme durability!

Problem: Mildewmildew

What it is: Mildew is visible mold on painted surfaces.  It is most common in rooms such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens with too much moisture and little sunlight or proper air circulation.

Why it happens: Mildew occurs in rooms that are humid and have little means of removing this moisture such as direct sunlight, proper temperatures, or appropriate air flow.

How it is fixed: Remove mildew with a mildew removing cleaner, rinse with water, and then allow the surface to dry.  Take measures to increase air circulation in these rooms for further prevention.

How it’s prevented: Again the perfect solution against mildew is using paint such as our new and improved Super Scrub that contains Microban. Microban protects against mildew. 

In Conclusion

All of these interior paint problems are easily prevented by proper surface preparation and execution.  Avoid the trouble and take your time! Painting your interior should never be a rush job. Most importantly, remember it is best practice to refrain from applying oil-based paint directly on a latex paint! Go green and stick to latex interior paints when possible.  California Paints offers the perfect variety of interior paints so you should never have a problem finding the best paint for your project! 


Free Download:2012/2013 Trend Book (PDF)

Topics: interior paint, surface preparation, interior primer, common paint problems, primers, paint solutions, cracking paint, peeling paint, flaking paint

Subscribe Here!

Connect with Us

Most Popular Posts

Latest Posts