What is causing my paint to bubble?

We all love bubbles, just not within our paint. Imagine sticking a sticker on a wet table, it gets slimy and slides. The moisture from the table prevents the adhesive of the sticker from sticking right? Not that we want that annoying sticker on our table but bubbling paint has essentially the same concept. Bubbling is due to poor surface preparation and excessive moisture that gets enclosed between the paint and the surface to be painted.   There are different factors that affect your paint and identifying the underlying culprit makes it much easier to fix and prevent future bubbles from forming underneath your paint.

Possible Causes

There are different ways of bubbles to form underneath your paint. For example, painting in moist weather may enclose the humidity within the paint layer and painted surface. Once the paint dries and the weather gets warmer the trapped water will naturally try to evaporate inside resulting in bubbling paint. Moisture making it’s way either from outside to inside or vice versa will also try to push through your paint leaving uneven, bumpy surfaces leaving you with unsightly results. Also, using an oil-based paint on a damp surface or exposing latex paint to moisture shortly after paint has dried will also leave you with undesirable results.

 Besides water being one of your main culprits insufficient or improper surface preparation makes a huge difference in your results. Surfaces to be painted must be properly prepped prior to painting. Here are the proper prepping procedures;

  •  Scraping of uneven surfaces
  • Spot sanding to necessary areas as not all areas need to be sanded
  • Prime with proper primer; varieties of primers have different qualities for the different surface material and weather conditions

 Remove all bubbles and loose paint by scraping and sanding the surface to achieve smooth to the touch feel. If any steps are overlooked the result when finished will not have a smooth finish. Determine and repair any cause of excess moisture before repainting. I suggest to install vents or exhaust fans to allow the moisture a path to escape without going through the paint. Bathrooms and kitchens are usually the two main areas of concern as their moisture levels fluctuate constantly. Be sure to allow to dry completely also, repair old or damaged caulking and install new caulking as needed. Keep in mind that excessive brushing or rolling applies the paint too fast and ends up driving excess air into paint resulting in more bubbling.

 Let’s keep the bubbles off our walls for good. Proper maintenance procedures prevent many troubleshooting problems.

As an advisory comment please read about LEAD here;

 WARNING! Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping, or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH-approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424 LEAD or contact your local health authority.

We at Sunwest Painting suggest using 3M 6297 Mold and Lead Paint Removal Respirator

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