1. Industry
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How to Solve Common Painting Problems

How to solve common painting problems


Wood Paint
Photo By Adactio

There are some issues that you can normally face when finishing your project. Normally painting is one of the latest activities you will have on a construction project but don't let these small details on painting ruin your new project.

Painting Problems: Adhesion

Normally a paint will crack or peel mostly for two reasons: a dirty surface or because the surface on which you are painting is too glossy. To solve this typical problem you need to remove and clean all the paint that is peeling. When the old surface is too glossy, sand it lightly and remove the sanding residue. Prime the old surface and let it dry.

Painting Problems: Cutting Time

Sometimes you will allow to much time between the wall coating and the initial cutting in of ceilings and walls. When this happens you will notice horizontal and vertical lines will form and will generate a 'paint framing' effect. To avoid this you will always need to have a wet paint surface to continue painting. This will eliminate marks between an old and newer surface being painted at the same time. When the condition is already present you will need to repaint the complete surface to correct this.

Painting Problems: Mud Cracking

Mud cracking or those fine hairline cracks will show up when the temperature is too cold to paint or if you are applying paint too heavily. To avoid this problem, I will suggest you to start by applying a good prime coat before applying the paint coat. If you have the problem already showing up, then remove the paint from the cracked area with a putty knife or you can alternatively sand the surface to create an even surface. Do not thin the paint unless recommended on the label or data page.

Painting Problems: Stains

Sometimes materials located at the surface on which you are painting might release some kind of substance that will show through the painted surface. These substances will eventually stain the paint, causing an appearance that water is leaking from inside the wall.  To avoid this, it is important to identify where or what is causing that staining on your wall or ceiling. You can try to apply a water repellent based coat to prevent the stain from showing up to the surface. Finish the top coat using an acrylic latex paint.

Painting Problems: Mold

Bathrooms, laundry rooms and basement are very susceptible to this type of issue. Mold will appear as green or dark spots and will not be removed with soap and water. To prevent mold and mildew from showing up, you will need to scrub the surface before applying a mildew remover. Once the mildew has been removed, paint the surface as required.

Painting Problems: Paint Not Covering

It is very important to pick a high quality product so it can cover the surface as required. Poor quality paint or cheap brushes will bring you an inferior coverage. Do not spread the paint over the manufacturers' recommended coverage rate, and remember that a porous surface will absorb more paint than smoother surfaces. When painting over vivid colors, it is recommended to apply a high hiding primer before the painting coat is applied. Remember that bare wood and drywall should be sealed with a primer before painting

Painting Problems: Foaming

Foaming or air bubbles in paint are round depressions caused by excessive brushing or rolling. If you use a roller cover with wrong nap length or applying a gloss or semi-gloss paint over an unsealed surface, will also produce foaming. To solve this problem, allow the coating to dry, then sand and recoat. If you notice air bubbles while painting, reduce the painting speed to see if bubbles disappears. Use the right roller cover type or nap based on the coating being applied and the surface to be coated. Follow manufacturers recommendations for the appropriate thinner/reducer and amount to use.


  1. About.com
  2. Industry
  3. Construction
  4. Materials
  5. How to Solve Common Painting Problems

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.