Causes of Paint Bubbling, Cracking and Peeling

Paint Bubbling

Paint Bubbling

What homeowner likes to notice that their interior painting job is beginning to peel, bubble up or crack? Sometimes Summit, NJ homeowners like to think that these types of paint inconsistencies are only seen on the exterior of the home. They are surprised when they see the interior paint showing these same types of wear and tear. It seems totally out of place since the interior walls do not have the weather extremes that exterior ones have to deal with. What could make interior paint bubble, crack or peel? Actually, there are several factors that can contribute to this unsightly problem; but in many cases they can be totally avoided.

Improper Preparation of the Wall Surface

Many people like to skip this step in the interior painting project, but properly preparing the wall for painting is possibly one of the most essential components of the job. When the surface is not prepared properly, the paint can lose its adhesive properties over time. This can cause it to bubble or even start to peel off. In order to ensure that the wall’s surface is properly prepared before beginning to paint it is imperative to clean it so that there is no dust, pollen, dirt or other types of pollutants on the surface. By cleaning the surface adequately, the paint will adhere to the wall much better. For NJ homeowners who notice that the home has a widespread problem with peeling interior paint, it is advisable to contact an interior painting professional in Summit to remove the damaged paint and apply fresh coats.

When latex paints are applied over a glossier, oil-based paint that was not properly prepared, it can also cause bubbling, peeling and cracking. If new paint is being applied on a shiny surface it is important to prepare the surface by sanding it gently, and applying a coat of primer before applying the latex based paint.

Excessive Moisture

There are some failed interior painting projects that are not due to the paint at all. When there is excessive moisture in a house it can cause wooden materials to crack. Actually, wood is very susceptible to cracking and very vulnerable to being damaged by moisture. This is a common problem in rooms which have high humidity such as bathrooms or laundry rooms. One remedy is to always make sure the room is properly ventilated to allow the additional moisture and steam to escape. The other way to keep paint from cracking on surfaces that can be susceptible to moisture damage is to simply apply a coat of primer before applying paint to the surface. When moisture gathers and remains underneath paint it can begin to crack or bubble up; but applying a good quality primer underneath will help prevent it from cracking. In some cases, the paint is not cracked, but the wood that is underneath. In these cases, replace the wooden materials first, apply an undercoat and then apply a coat of new paint.

Improperly Applying Paint

There is a proper term for paint that bubbles up because it was applied improperly, ligaturing. This is because the paint tends to bubble up, peel and crack; but when it does it looks somewhat like alligator skin. This most generally happens when the paint is applied too thick and too much is being put on at one time. When it is applied too thickly, it does not have time to dry properly and it is too thick to properly expand. This means that it loses its adhesive properties. The only solution for improper application of interior paint is to remove it and reapply it correctly.

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