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DIY Painting Advice-Problems and how to avoid them

Updated on March 20, 2016

Ever tried a spot of home painting and ended up with blistering, flaking, peeling or wrinkling paint? Here’s the lowdown on the most common painting problems and how to avoid them:

Peeling and blistering

Both peeling and blistering are normally caused by painting on moist surfaces or trapping moisture between layers of paint. Heat, for instance from the sun, can also cause peeling and blistering and will affect your exterior paintwork most of all. To prevent your paint work from peeling or blistering make sure your surface is completely dry before you paint, so choose a warm (but not boiling) dry day to paint the exterior of your property. If you’re painting indoors make sure the surfaces are dry before you begin and ventilate the area as well possible during and after painting.


This often occurs when your paint is too thick; the surface layer dries in a film over the top of moist paint below. Painting onto a cold surface or in cold weather can also cause wrinkling as the paint takes longer to dry underneath. To prevent wrinkling apply the right type of paint in the correct thickness and allow to dry completely before applying another layer.


If you haven’t prepared your surface before painting then your new paint may flake. To stop flaking, remove old paint before applying a new coat by sanding, scraping, chemically removing or heat blasting. Using a suitable primer before you paint will also help to avoid flaking.


Brush marks

This is probably the most common painting problem which is caused by faulty application. Using paint that’s too thick, applying too much to a surface or using poor quality paint brushes can result in brush strokes. Avoid all of these things and to finish off painting, brush in the direction of the grain to leave a stroke-free finish.

Slow drying paint

If you haven’t prepared and cleaned your surface properly before painting then grease and dirt can prevent paint from drying properly. Paint will also take a long time to dry if it’s too thick or you have used the wrong primer or undercoat. If you’re painting internally, make sure you allow for plenty of ventilation to speed up the process.


Dust, specks of dirt, hair and brush bristles can all get stuck in your paint work so make sure you clean the area before you paint and use a good quality brush.


If you’ve applied the wrong colour undercoat or not applied enough layers, the previous one can show through your new paint. Make sure you apply a proper undercoat and paint enough top coats to give a consistent finish.


Can be a common household problem which is caused by excess moisture and if you paint on top of mould it will simply grow into the next layer. Make sure you fix any damp problems before you paint – get some more advice on damp proofing here. Once you’ve sorted the root cause of household damp, clean the mouldy area using a water and bleach mixture or a special cleaner. Wear protective clothes for this task and hire a professional if the mould covers a large area.


Hire a professional painter

The best way to avoid all of these painting problems and get a sleek, professional finish is to hire a professional painter. Whether you want to repaint the exterior or interior of your property, an experienced painter will be able to prepare the surfaces, recommend a suitable paint type and carry out the work safely, efficiently and to a high standard. Best of all, hiring a painter will save you precious time and effort. Make sure you get quotes from at least three different painters before you hire and check their reference and insurance credentials carefully.

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