A Guide to Preventing and Fixing Paint Bubbling on Walls

While paint may seem straightforward, amateur artists can run into frustrating situations (like failed surfaces or symptoms such as paint bubbling) uncovered only once a job is nearly finished. Our tips below comprise solutions for warding off such stressors so you can dodge common painting blunders and perform repair works for bubbled walls.

Why Does Paint Bubble?

Bubbles in paint on walls may be caused by exposure to either moisture or heat, causing one (or more) layers to unlink from its underlying foundation. There are also other factors that can produce unsuccessful adhesion between the wall and the applied coat of paint; these include:

  • Residue on the wall: Painting is not usually possible on hot, dirty or moist surfaces. Watch out for signs of water damage, Mold or mildew.
  • Damp walls: If you’re working in high humidity or in an area of the house that is prone to damp walls, like the bathroom or the basement, the moisture makes it hard for the paint to adhere.
  • Air in the paint: Whether from shaking the can or rolling the paint on too fast, introducing air bubbles to paint makes blisters more likely to form.
  • Working with the wrong tools: When you paint on a textured surface, using a specialty brush or roller can help. And when you paint over existing paint, try to match types. Oil-based paint tends to bubble when put over latex.
  • Skipping primer: If you don’t prepare your wall the right way, bubbles are far more likely to form as the paint dries. Cleaning your wall and using primer both help reduce blistering.
  • How to Prevent Paint Bubbles

Before applying coats of paint, you can avoid having puckering and blisters by knowing what causes paint bubbling and addressing it ahead of starting. With this in mind, here are the tips for preparing your home for an interior painting job.:

  • Erase the dirt: For not-too-intense messes, just pass a damp towel or sponge along with some warm water over each surface to be painted. Increase cleaning power by adding some detergent to this warm solution. However, remember to use a damp cloth once more after that in order to eliminate soapy residue. Discover additional advise for guaranteeing a gleaming outcome in our article on washing walls more thoroughly.
  • Dry it out: Avoid paint bubbles on the wall from moisture by taking care of damp walls before you break out the brushes and rollers. Let your wall dry completely before beginning to paint. Open windows and doors to increase airflow or run a dehumidifier and turn on some fans to help things dry out.
  • Watch the weather. Don’t work against nature. If you can, plan to paint on days that are not hot or humid, so your paint can dry evenly. Or you can make sure your heating or cooling is running at a comfortable temperature and turn on a dehumidifier.
  • Don’t rush. When you’re painting, slow and steady is key. Don’t try to brush paint on the walls too fast, or you might introduce air. Better yet, call Five Star Painting® for interior painting services! If you do paint by yourself, make sure each coat is dry before starting the next one.
  • Match paint types. Latex and oil paint don’t mix well, so prime over your old paint or make sure to use the same paint type that’s already there.
  • Prior to painting, priming is vital for ideal and smooth results. People may attempt to avoid priming but it cannot be overstated how important it is; understanding the necessity of prepping adjustments must be done before beginning.
  • When painting the exterior of your home, give attention to avoiding blisters in the paint. Follow the same guidelines as when you paint indoors and take caution not to do it on wet or overly warm days.


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