7 Common Painting Problems and How to Avoid Them

Vancouver painterAside from what you might gather from home improvement magazines or DIY project TV programs, painting isn’t always as easy as pie. Here are some excellent tips and good advice from a trusted Vancouver painter to help you avoid the most common pitfalls.

1.      Cracking or flaking

Low-quality paint can cause this unsightly problem. If the cracking doesn’t go down to the substrate, remove the loose paint, sand to feather the edges, prime bare spots and repaint. For cracking that does reach the substrate, remove all paint and prime the wood or plaster before repainting. Apply high-quality paint at the recommended spreading and thinning rates.

2.      Mildew  

In a climate like the Pacific Northwest, where moisture is prevalent much of the year, learn from the experience of a trusted Vancouver painter who cautions that any exterior damp areas that sunlight doesn’t reach can form blotches of mildew. Painting over a surface which already has mildew can cause further problems. Get rid of the mildew first by scrubbing the surface with a 1:3 solution of household bleach to water. A high- quality acrylic latex paint can work well for repainting these places.

3.      Blisters and bubbles begone!

These can form on wet or moist surfaces, or when moisture seeps into the walls. The best solution is to sand, scrape, and prime any exposed surfaces, then cover with (again) a top-quality exterior paint.

4.      Picture-framing

This happens when a wall is painted with a roller, but brush-painted at the corners. This can be avoided by making sure that the spread rates of rollers and brushes are similar and applying the coating as uniformly as possible. Also make sure you shake cans of paint thoroughly before use and try to work by painting small sections to maintain wet edges.

5.      Peeling

Vancouver painterThis can happen when painting over a dirty, moist, or glossy surface. Remove all of the loose paint, sand rough surfaces and prime any bare surfaces before repainting. To prevent similar problems in the future, find and repair any source of water or moisture before it can do further damage.

6.      Rusting

Rusting creates reddish brown stains on paint surfaces. These can be caused by the use of non-galvanized nails or galvanized nails that have begun to rust. You can prevent this potential problem by coating the nail heads with a rust-preventive primer, followed by a topcoat of paint.

7.      See ya later, alligatoring!

“Alligatoring” refers to patterned scales and cracks that can form if a topcoat of paint is applied before the undercoat is dry. If this has happened, remove the paint by scraping and sanding the surface. Then prime the surface with a high-quality primer and repaint with a top-quality exterior latex paint.

To correct or prevent these potential painting problems from occurring, hire a knowledgeable Vancouver painter with the know-how to make it right.


Vancouver painter and contractor Peter Byrne“PETER BYRNE is the owner and hands-on manager of Kassel Painting Limited. In the last two decades he has run over 1500 painting projects totaling millions of dollars. There is little that can go right (or wrong) on a job-site he has not seen, solved, and lived to talk about.”

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