(503) 330-4928

Essential Steps to Prevent Paint Failure

by | Sep 22, 2023 | Exterior Painting, Interior Painting

Painting your home’s interior or exterior might seem straightforward, but there are nuances to ensuring a lasting finish. In this short article, we’ll delve into the causes of common paint pitfalls and learn from the insights of professional painters. Let’s begin!

How to Prevent Paint Failure: An Overview 

Paint failure can be caused by many factors.  Some of the reasons paint can fail are in our control and some are not.  Doing the right prep work is always the most important part of making sure paint does not fail.  Also understanding why paint fails and what are the underlying issues is super important to fixing problems and making sure they do not happen again.  

Common Paint Failure Problems and Their Cure 

Whenever you paint a surface you need to make sure that it is clean, dull, and dry.  We always clean exterior surfaces that are getting painted to make sure we get good adhesion with the underlying substrate.  On interior surfaces, you may not need to clean if they are not dirty but we do recommend cleaning any doors or millwork that are getting painted.  

Making sure surfaces are dull can make a big difference in the paint’s success.  Painting a very glossy surface can cause the new paint to not adhere very well.  We normally see this in doors and trim.  We recommend either light sanding to de-gloss the surface or using a de-glosser to help remove the sheen to achieve a dull surface.  Adding a primer to very glossy surfaces can also help with adhesion.    

One reason we tend to see paint failure on doors and millwork is the types of paint that were used previously.  In most older homes we find that the previous paint was oil based on the doors and millwork.  If you paint over an old oil with latex paint and do not prep and prime the surface you can have serious adhesion issues.  Many times the new paint will come right off with your fingernail if this happens.  

Blistering Paint 

Blistering paint tends to happen on the exterior of homes that have wood siding and have been painted multiple times.  Paint blisters are extremely common in homes that were built in the 1960’s and earlier as they may have 10-20 layers of paint on them.  The blisters occur from the siding not being able to breathe causing bubbles to happen.  We also see this with doors that have been painted many times, especially in darker colors as they get too hot.  

Paint blisters are not very easy to fix and they tend to keep happening on homes that have had them previously.  The best way to fix paint blisters is to replace the siding or have all of the old paint stripped off the siding.  Both of these options are very expensive so most people just fix blisters as they happen and touch up after. Paint blisters can be very frustrating for a homeowner but they are really a siding issue and not a paint failure.  When you get a blister it is all of the old paint layers coming off at the same time typically.  

Paint Cracking 

Paint cracking is usually found in an older oil paint that has dried up and gotten brittle.  We see this more when the siding gets direct hot sun but it can just happen over time with oil primers and paints.  This can cause the latex paint to crack on top of an old oil in some cases.  Once the cracking happens you may need to strip all of the old paint off completely to solve the problem with a chemical stripper or sanding the surface.    

Peeling Paint 

Peeling paint can be caused by a lack of prep work or a previous coating that is failing.  Again if you make sure the surface is clean, dull, and dry you will likely solve most of the peeling paint issues.  If the coating under your paint decides to start peeling you can’t really fix it without removing that old coating.  

Paint Mold & Mildew 

Mold and mildew usually grow on surfaces with a lot of moisture and not enough ventilation.  We see this in bathrooms with showers that have poor ventilation or the fan does not work very well.  If you have a bathroom that gets used a lot like this you can use paints that are made for high moisture areas to cut down on the mold and mildew.  Benjamin Moore makes a product called Aura Bath & Spa paint for these areas and they work really well.  

Eliminate the Risk of Paint Failure with Absolute Painting! 

Most paint failures can be avoided with the right prep work and the right knowledge on how to avoid them.  A good painting contractor should be able to help you figure out the best way to avoid problems or at least warn you of pre-existing problems that will cause issues in the future.  

If you’re looking for a reliable painting company in the Portland metro area, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team below. 

Request Your Free Painting Estimate

Share your contact information below and we’ll follow up to learn more about your project needs!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.