How to Fix Peeling Paint

Peeling Paint / Suggested Solutions

Peeling paint can occur on the interior or exterior of the structure, and is a very common issue with homeowners.
What are the basic remedies to treat areas of paint that have peeled?
1.) Peeling due to Moisture; Moisture is one of the most prevalent reasons that paint peels. The repainting of areas that have failed due to moisture is to eliminate the moisture. It is mandatory that if the wood still requires drying time, the wood is allowed to dry. If there are any issues, such as improper flashings or consistent condensate on the surface, these issues must be solved. To repaint a surface that has failed due to moisture, without solving the moisture issue, does not good. Solve the reason that the substrate is too moist or damp. Then apply the proper sealant or primer and repaint the surface.

2.) Improper preparation of the subsurface; To have consistent and properly applied paint on any surface, the surface must be properly prepared. No dirt, grease or other foreign substance can be on the surface being painted to have the paint application adhere properly. If the paint has previously failed, and you feel it is due to improper subsurface preparation, the entire area around the failure must be properly prepared. Remove all of the paint and sealer and re-apply, only after the subsurface has been properly prepared.

3.) The surface is too smooth or slick to actually allow the paint applied to stick or adhere to the surface. If the paint has failed due to this issue, then the subsurface must be properly roughened up to accept the application of paint. It is mandatory that the new layer of paint adhere to the subsurface properly, and normally this means that the subsurface needs to be sanded and roughened up to allow the new paint application to adhere properly.

4.) Oil or grease on the subsurface; if the painted surface has failed due to this issue, then obviously all of the grease or oil MUST be removed. If there are spots of paint failure, it is strongly recommended that all of the paint around the failed areas be removed. It is uncommon for a surface to fail in only small areas if it is a grease or oil issue. Normally this is a larger situation that may have applied throughout the entire surface. It is important that this area repair or preparation is not minimized but maximized. More preparation is much better than not enough.

5.) Excessive heat or cold; obviously if the surface was too cold or too hot, then the new application must occur at the proper temperatures. I personally like to paint when the temperature is above 50 and less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not make the same mistake that caused the paint to fail in the first place. Make sure the ambient temperature is between 50 and 90.

6.) Inadequate mixing of the paint product; Read the directions of the paint product and follow them. If it instructs you to mix for 5 minutes, do not circumvent these instructions. It is extremely important that the product is properly mixed in accordance with the manufacturers specifications. This is a no brainer and must be adhered to.

7.) Improper application; One again, read the directions and follow them. There is no paint manufacturer that if their product could be applied in a more efficient manner, would not inform you. Follow the directions and the second application on the problem areas will remain in place.

Proper surface preparation is the common theme of all painting applications. I can remember watching painters spend 2 hours preparing a wall and 30 minutes painting it. Preparation and reading the instructions on the paint product are the keys to success. Do not try to shortcut the painting application, if you do, you will spend time correcting this shortcut.

The subsurface must be clean and free of moisture, grease or other foreign material. The idea is that the subsurface must be able to accept the adherence of the paint, by absorbing some of the paint and causing a bridge or particles between the subsurface and the coat of paint. This bridge or adhesion will allow the paint to remain in place and be a permanent application. Any product, dirt, water, grease or other substance that stops this bridging will prevent the paint application from properly adhering.

Please review the article on about Why does paint peel for additional background on why peeling paint is an issue within the home or even on the exterior.