Definition: Lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface, which appears as bubbles or blisters in the paint, usually caused by heat, moisture or a combination of both. This condition can eventually lead to peeling of the paint if not corrected. This is called Paint Blistering.

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Causes:

  • Painting in direct sunlight or on a surface that is too hot
  • Application of an oil-based or alkyd paint over a damp, wet surface
  • Exposing a fresh paint film to dew, high humidity or rain
  • Moisture passing through interior walls from common household sources such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms causes paint blistering.

Solutions:

  • Determine if blisters were caused by heat or moisture. Break open and examine the substrate and back side of blistered paint.
  • If only the newest coat of paint is blistered, the blister was probably caused by heat.
  • If the peeled blister contains several coats of paint and the bare surface is exposed, the blister was probably caused by moisture.

For paint blistering caused by heat

  • Remove blisters by scraping, sanding or pressure-washing down to underlying coats of paint or primer.
  • Repaint the surface with a high-quality interior/exterior paint (make sure the surface temperature is below 90º F).
  • Find the best paints suited for your project to prevent paint blistering.

For paint blistering caused by moisture

  • Repair loose caulking and improve ventilation of the building to prevent a recurring problem.
  • Remove the blisters by scraping or sanding down to the bare surface.
  • Prime all bare areas with a high-quality primer.
  • Repaint the surface with a high-quality paint in the desired finish.

For More Information: Paint Blistering

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