Why Your Paint Is Peeling: Problems To Solve Before Starting An Interior Paint Job

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Why Your Paint Is Peeling: Problems To Solve Before Starting An Interior Paint Job

2 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Previously painted interior surfaces can be challenging to properly prepare for a new coat of paint. The stakes are high: Without the right preparation, perfectly good interior paint and a quality paint job won't last for the warrantied amount of time. According to Sherwin Williams, about one in 10 paint jobs fails to last like it should. What are some of the common causes of peeling paint and what are your options for managing them? Here's what you need to know.

1. Failing to clean the old surface.

Even if the previous paint isn't peeling, it needs to be washed with a good application of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) in order to remove dirt and grease. If it's not completely cleaned, the new paint won't adhere well.

2. Neglecting to sand or scrub problem areas.

If the previous paint has started to peel, you don't have a choice. Sanding it and removing the peeling paint has to be done in order to get a new coat of paint to cover properly. Medium grade steel wool will often get the worst of the paint off without damaging the wall beneath or taking off paint that is adhering properly. 

When you're faced with peeling or blistering paint, it can be advantageous to hire a professional to properly treat the surface and manage the painting project. 

A professional can also assess the condition of the underlying paint layers. Old paint may contain lead, which can cause neurological problems if the dust is inhaled. A professional can let you know if you will need additional specialists to remove the threat before repainting.

3. Painting in the wrong weather conditions. 

It's true that exterior paint is more impacted by weather than interior is, but when the outdoor temperatures are cold, painters sometimes decide not to open windows. The lack of airflow causes water vapor to build up and condense, compromising the still-wet paint. Some types of interior heaters can also affect the rate of drying, which can make the paint less likely to adhere properly. Make sure you have good ventilation, and, if you can, wait until the weather is warmer before painting.

4. Ignoring sources of moist air that can cause paint to break down.

You may have done everything right when you originally painted, or had your interior painted by a professional, but the paint is not lasting. That could be due to excess interior moisture, such as that from cooking, washing dishes, taking showers, and running humidifiers. Look into options for better ventilation, such as fans that vent to the exterior.

You may also have improperly installed water vapor barrier in your walls, which allows moist air to enter your home and can cause peeling paint. It's really hard to identify this as a problem without engaging a professional contractor to evaluate your home. 

If you have experienced problems with peeling paint in your home, it's a good idea to have a professional painting contractor come out and give you a quote on properly treating and preparing the interior surfaces you wish to paint. Talk to an interior painting specialist like Diesel Painting if you have questions.