After a big prep intensive paint job, blisters and bubbles are THE last things you want to see; but Paint peeling and blisters happen all the time; EVEN to professional painters. Latex and acrylic paint are especially prone to blistering and bubbling, but these problems can occur with any kind of fresh paint finish. They can happen on interior or exterior surfaces, and they’re more likely to arise when preventive measures haven’t been taken. You might ask several experienced painters and you might get as many answers why paint bubbles and blisters; likewise from paint dealers and manufacturer reps. I have been a painting contractor since 1990 and I will will share my experience with old homes.
Where Do Blisters and Bubbles Come From?
Blistering is what happens when the top coat of paint parts ways with the coats beneath it. Sometimes the top coat can take away multiple coats of paint with it.. almost like a piant stripper!! Unfortunately, this phenomenon is nearly impossible to predict. It may appear suddenly or occur gradually, over the course of many months. Blistering is likely on a moist surface that wasn’t properly dried before it was painted. Applying paint to areas of a house that tend to be humid, like basements, requires particular care.
Painting an exterior just before it rains can be every bit as harmful as putting paint on a wall that’s already wet. If a storm is expected, refrain from painting for a total of eight hours: the four hours preceding its arrival, and the four that follow. A humid day can lead to water-filled blisters, which must later be scraped and touched up. This is not a hard firm rule… painting must go on and reputable painting contractors must still proceed with the project; in our experience it is only once in two years that a paint coat is dmaaged from rain heavy enough in the four hour “after period” to effect a
If a wall is unclean, do not prime or paint it. If a surface is covered in oil-based paint, it’s best to use oil, not latex, when repainting it. Mixing types of primer and paint on the same wall can lead to problems, especially on exteriors. Heat causes surfaces to expand, and latex and oil paints behave differently in that situation. Ultimately, the latex may take the oil clean off the wall.
Consider that chemistry can also play a part in the formation of bubbles. In hot weather, the upper stratum of paint may dry quickly, which traps and subsequently vaporizes the paint’s solvents. The solvents, in turn, increase in volume, which creates — you guessed it — bubbles. To avoid this fate, paint in the shade whenever possible, and don’t paint at all when the temperature outside is 85 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
If all else fails, a conditioner can help keep freshly applied paint from dying too quickly. Water-based paints are compatible with Flotrol, while Penitrol works with oil paints; these are commercially available paint “extenders” designed to help improve paint flow for brush and roller work. Linseed oil can be used to extend drytime for solvent based finishes. Dont go crazy with extenders the performance of your paint may suffer. Thinning paint with water or mineral spirits may seem like a good idea, but it only makes things worse… often speeding up the drytime.
Preparation might be the most important part of exterior painting. A surface that’s experiencing blistering or bubbling is certainly not beyond repair; scraping it and applying a new coat of paint should do the trick. That said, do not take a Band-Aid approach to persistent problems. If blistering and bubbling recur, they may not stop until you figure out what’s creating the trouble and take appropriate action.
What are Paint Blisters and How to Avoid Them..On interior walls
There is more to painting a house, inside or out, than choosing paint, buying paint brushes and slapping paint onto the surface of walls. Before even beginning to paint, you need to know what is already on the walls and how to prepare them for the paint. For example, if the walls are papered, especially if paper has been pasted over paper, painting the walls may well rip that paper right off the walls in chunks. Paint blisters are another real possibility if you do not correctly assess and prepare the walls before painting. There are any number of things to avoid when painting and blisters are one item to be avoided.