Paint bubbles or blisters occur when there is a loss of adhesion between the underlying surface and the paint film. The problem can be rectified, but the cause must be addressed to prevent a recurrence.
Causes of Blistering
- Applying paint to a hot, dirty or damp surface.
- Applying alkyd or oil-based paint over latex paint.
- Incorrect surface preparation.
- Exposing latex paint to moisture before it has dried.
- Moisture seeping into your home through exterior walls.
Prevention of Blistering
- Ensure the surface is dry and clean.
- Apply primer sealer over stains and allow it to dry thoroughly.
- Prime new-joint compound with latex primer or flat latex paint.
- Avoid painting in humid or hot conditions.
- Let paint dry completely before exposing it to moisture.
- Consider installing exhaust fans or vents in humid areas.
How to Fix Blistering
If the blisters/bubbles don’t go all the way through to the substrate, remove them by sanding and scraping. Once the affected area has a smooth finish, apply a primer coat before using a good quality acrylic latex paint. If the blistering does go to the substrate, the source of moisture must be removed.
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