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Interior Painting Problems: Paint Blocking or Sticking

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Paint blocking on a door.

Example of paint blocking on a door.
(Photo courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute)

Poor resistance to paint blocking can result in painted surfaces sticking together, such as a door sticking to the jamb.

Sticking doors and windows are often due to a paint adhesion problem called blocking. Paint sticking to itself upon contact is typically caused by paint not drying properly.

What Causes Paint Blocking, or Sticking?

  • Blocking can occur when insufficient time is allowed for the paint to cure before closing doors or windows
  • Using low-quality semi-gloss or gloss paints can also lead to blocking

How to Prevent Paint from Sticking

  • Use top-quality, oil-based paint or semi-gloss or gloss acrylic latex paint. Low-quality latex paints can have poor block resistance, especially in warm, damp conditions.
  • Follow paint label instructions regarding dry times
  • Doors and windows should be adjusted to open and close properly

How to Solve Paint Blocking or Sticking

  • Applying talcum powder, wax, or soap on the problem area can temporarily relieve sticking.
  • Remove all loose paint and sand the surface. Glossy surfaces should be sanded dull.
  • Clean the area and allow it to dry.
  • Prime as needed and apply topcoat. Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding drying time.

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