Exterior Home Painting Nightmares to Avoid

A new coat of paint can transform your house from old and dated house to a modern looking home.

Preparation, superior workmanship, and superior long-lasting paints are key to successful paintwork. However, even with the right preparation and skill, several painting problems can occur.

Here are six exterior painting problems that could arise after a new paint job and how you can resolve such problems:

  1. Blistering

Blisters look like bubble bumps on the outer part of the paint film. The blisters can occur immediately after applying the paint or in one to three days after painting the exterior of home.

Some of the possible causes of blisters include applying an oil-based paint over a damp area or painting on a warm surface in direct sunlight.

When paint is applied on a warm exterior the outer paint dries quicker than the innermost part. Consequently, the dry paint prevents vapor from the inner part of the paint from escaping thus blisters are formed.

Likewise, moisture blisters can form on paint if water or any other liquid substance leaks onto the wall from the inner part of the wall.

You can remove blisters by scrapping the surface, applying a primer coat and then repainting the external part. Also, repairing any leaking pipes, taps and other moisture sources will remedy moisture blisters.


  1.  Cracking

Cracking can take place if dense paint coatings are applied on a wall. The problem is quite common in houses that have been painted severally in the past. If the new coat of paint is not able to attach to the old paint cracking takes place.

To prevent cracking, do not paint acrylic paint in windy conditions as it may dry too fast, prime the wood before painting, and avoid over-thinning the paint.

Correct any cracking that affects the substrate by scrubbing the cracked paint, priming the surface and repainting.

If the cracking has affected the substrate, brush all the paint, apply a primer and coat with a superior acrylic paint.

  1.  Chalking

If you touch the exterior surface of the wall and your hand gets a white substance, then your paint is chalking.

Chalking can occur if you paint highly pigmented paint, use low-quality paint or if interior paint is painted on the exterior part of the house.

There are several solutions that can resolve the problem of chalking. First, scrub the surface with a brush and clean the paint thoroughly. After cleaning touch the scrubbed portion to see if the problem has been resolved.

If the problem is still persist, apply acrylic or an oil-based primer and repaint the exterior with a high-quality exterior paint.


  1. Peeling

If the last layer of paint is unable to bond with the primer or earlier coat of paint peeling can occur.

In most cases, paint peeling is caused by moisture related issues. Peeling takes place if there are leaks from the rooftop. It can also occur if the walls are retaining water on their surface for prolonged periods of time.

If the affected part is quite extensive, brush off all the peeling paint, scrub the edges, apply a primer, and repaint the affected part of the wall.

  1. Sagging or running.

Sagging paint has a hanging or sopping appearance.

It comes about if the coat of paint applied is too heavy, if the paint was applied on a very humid day, too thin, and if the surface was not scrubbed or primed before application of a new layer.

Running paint can be rectified while still wet by reordering the sagging paint using a roller. If the paint has dried out already, scrub the uneven parts and reapply the paint.


  1.  Efflorescence

When water dissolves into the salts in the brick or concrete structure, it causes the salts to leach onto the surface of the walls. The hard white salt deposits, on the paint film, are referred to as efflorescence.

Cracks on the wall can allow water to penetrate into the walls causing efflorescence. Other causes of efflorescence include groundwater penetration onto the basement, poor removal of prior efflorescence, moisture in the inner part of the home escaping through the exterior part of the home, or the paint was painted before the concrete dried.

Efflorescence can be fixed by scrubbing the salt deposits, priming and repainting the affected surface.



Derek Worchel as a realtor and general contractor in Bellingham Washington.  When not working hands-on with the client or a home project he enjoys writing and hiking.  With over 15 years of experience he has seen just about everything.