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Interior Painting Tips: Fixing Common Paint Problems

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Most interior paint problems and painting mistakes are correctable. Below you'll find solutions for the most common wall paint problems.

(Note: Photos courtesy of The Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute and The Paint Quality Institute)

Get tips for solving common exterior paint problems.

Paint Blistering

Bubbles, which look like blisters, sometimes form on the paint film, resulting from the localized loss of adhesion and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface.

Learn more about paint bubbling
Paint Blocking, or Sticking

Blocking occurs when two painted surfaces stick when pressed together (e.g., a door sticking to the jamb).

Learn more about paint sticking
Paint Burnishing

Burnishing occurs when paint film gloss, or sheen, increases when subjected to rubbing or brushing.

Learn more about paint burnishing
Window caulk wearing around the edges Caulk Failure

Caulk may lose its initial adhesion and flexibility, causing it to crack or pull away from surfaces.

Learn more about caulk failure
Paint Cracking and Flaking Cracking or Flaking Paint

Dry paint sometimes cracks or flakes through at least one coat due to aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint.

Learn more about paint cracking or flaking
Paint Foaming, or Cratering

Foaming and cratering occur when bubbles ("foaming") form during paint application. When the bubbles break during application and drying, they result in small concave depressions ("cratering").

Learn more about paint cratering
Paint Lap Marks

Lap marks cause the appearance of a denser colour, or increased gloss, where wet and dry layers of paint overlap during application.

Learn more about paint lap marks
Mildew on Painted Surfaces

Mildew can appear on the surface of paint or caulk as black, gray, or brown spots or areas.

Learn more about mildew on walls
Paint Paint Mud Cracking

Mud cracking results in deep, irregular cracks that resemble dried mud on the dry paint film.

Learn more about paint mud cracking
Uneven paint due to picture framing, or Picture Framing or Hatbanding on Drywall

Darker or lighter areas where paint was cut in produce an effect known as "picture framing" or "hatbanding."

Learn more about hatbanding on drywall
Streaky paint surface due to poor flow and leveling. Poor Paint Flow and Leveling

Poor paint flow and leveling occur when the paint fails to dry into a smooth film, leaving brush and roller marks.

Learn more about poor paint flow
Painted walls with good vs. bad paint colour hiding. Poor Paint Hiding

Poor paint hiding is the inability of the dried paint to obscure, or "hide," stains or previous colours on the underlying surface.

Learn more about poor paint hiding
Paint with Poor Print Resistance

Poor print resistance is the tendency of paint film to take on the imprint of an object that is placed on it (for example, dishes and other objects).

Learn more about poor print resistance
Normal vs. poor scrub resistance on painted surface Paint with Poor Scrub Resistance

Poor scrub resistance is indicated by the wearing away, or removal, of the paint film when scrubbed with a brush, sponge, or cloth.

Learn more about poor scrub resistance
Blue painted wall showing poor sheen uniformity Paint with Poor Sheen Uniformity ("Flashing")

Poor sheen uniformity, or "flashing," leads to shiny, or dull, spots on a painted surface.

Learn more about poor sheen uniformity
Painted Surface with Crayon Marks Paint with Poor Stain Resistance

Paints with low stain resistance fail to resist the absorption of dirt and stains.

Learn more about poor stain resistance
Example of paint sagging Sagging Paint

Sagging is a downward "drooping" movement of the paint film that occurs immediately after application, resulting in an uneven coating.

Learn more about sagging paint
Surfactant leaching on paint surface Paint Surfactant Leaching

Surfactant leaching appears as tan or brown spots or areas on the painted surface that can be glossy, soapy, or sticky.

Learn more about surfactant leaching
Image of paint wrinkling. Paint Wrinkling

When uncured paint forms a skin, it can wrinkle, making the surface appear rough and crinkled.

Learn more about paint wrinkling
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