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Paint Problems - Blistering

Paint Problems - Blistering

If bubbles begin to form in localized areas on your painted exterior surface after drying, this is known as blistering. The paint film may lift from the substrate in several small areas.

There are several possible causes for blistering. If a surface is hot and painted in direct sunlight, the paint may not completely adhere. The application of an oil-based paint on a wet surface will produce similar results. If you’ve used a latex paint, and the surface is exposed to high humidity, dew, or rain shortly after the paint has dried, this can cause blistering…especially if the surface was not adequately prepped (see my post on preparation).
A less common cause of blistering is moisture escaping through your exterior walls. Oil-based paints are more prone to this than are latex paints.
If the blisters settle and go back down to the substrate, try to remove the source of the moisture. Check your exterior caulking to make sure that is not the source of water infiltration. Also check your flashing.
If the blistering continues, the problem may be moisture escaping through your walls. You may want to consider installing exhaust fans/vents if the blistering has occurred on a gable, though the solution could be as simple as adjusting the humidity on your thermostat (especially during winter months).
After addressing the source of the moisture, you may find that the blisters will go down and adhere to the substrate...your chances are better if you used a latex paint. If the blisters do not adhere, you’ll want to scrape and sand the areas, then prime and repaint with a quality exterior paint.
If your paint has blistered and you cannot determine the cause, call us today for a free consultation. We'll be glad to look at the problem and advise you regarding the proper course of action.

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  • Expertise - we have the experience and versatility to take on the most demanding painting and residential construction projects.
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