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Paint problems and solutions

Learn about a wide range of common paint problems and solutions. From interior to exterior, we’ll teach you how to fix cracks, wrinkles, bubbles & more.

While the process of painting seems relatively simple, many people struggle to perfect the technique. This can lead to flaking, cracking, blistering and other paint issues. Spending hours painting a room only to have poor results can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you need to start from scratch. That’s why we’ve created this guide covering paint problems and solutions.

Whether you’re using the wrong paint, not properly preparing your surfaces or are using the wrong technique, we can show you some expert hacks. However, the best way to make sure you don’t have any DIY paint disasters is to hire a professional painter and decorator. That way, you’ll get perfect results every time.

If you’ve already done it yourself and have got problems, read on to find out how to sort it.

Common painting problems and solutions

cracked painting problemsNo matter what struggles you are having with painting, you can be sure there’s a great way of avoiding it in the future. This could be by doing extra preparation or even learning a new method for painting. So, let’s look at some of the most common painting problems and their solutions:

  1. Bumps from filler: If you repair any kind of crack in your wall it’s essential that you take the time to file down the filler. You can use sandpaper to do this and you’ll need to keep sanding until the filler is completely flush with the wall.
  2. Blistering or flaking: Usually this happens when either moisture or dirt becomes stuck under your paint. In order to fix this problem, you’ll need to sand away the blistered paint, then use a primer to cover the area before repainting.
  3. Mould: Sometimes your paint can become covered in mould which is not only unsightly but can affect your health. Thankfully, you can buy fungicidal wash to kill the mould before repainting.
  4. Wrinkling: If your paint becomes wrinkled or starts to shrivel, this normally means the paint was applied too thickly or you didn’t wait long enough between coats. Once the paint is fully dry, sand it and clean it before painting again.
  5. Stains: Sometimes stains can show through your paint, especially if you’re using a light colour. The best remedy for this is to use extra primer to cover the stain before painting.
  6. Cracks: Plaster underneath your paint can crack, particularly in new homes. You’ll need to fill any cracks before sanding down and repainting to fix this problem.
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Radiator painting problems

One of the biggest problems when painting radiators is using the wrong type of paint. You can’t use normal paint on a radiator as this will cause the paint to expand and shrink as the radiator heats up and cools down throughout the day. This leads to cracks, flakes and discolouration. You can fix this issue by using a radiator primer, then a paint that is suitable for radiators.

Ceiling painting problems

If you’re painting your walls with a roller, the chances are you’re going to accidentally get paint on your ceiling. That’s why using painters tape to protect your ceiling is so important.

Another common challenge is painting over popcorn textured surfaces. It’s always worth checking a small section to see how it turns out, without painting the whole ceiling. If the popcorn starts to fall off the ceiling when painted, you’ll need to remove this before you paint the whole ceiling.

Some people end up with a messy paint job as they only use the roller in one direction. You can prevent this by working quickly before the edge of your previous line dries (this technique is called keeping a wet edge).

wall painting problemsProblems painting with a roller

Many people experience spattering when using a roller for the first time, and this is one of the most common problems painting with a roller.

This is usually due to applying your paint too quickly causing small drops of paint to cover the surrounding surface.

In addition, you should always keep a wet edge when painting with a roller to avoid roller marks.

Interior painting problems

The problems most often encountered when painting interiors include yellowing, wrinkling, cracking and mould. All of these can be repaired although it will take a little time to fix the issues. Remember, you can use a fungicidal wash to kill mould and you can sand down your paint to get rid of wrinkles or cracks. When it comes to yellowing, this can be prevented by using water-based paint.

Wall painting problems

Here are some other issues you may encounter when painting your walls:

  • Spillage after not putting the lid back on the paint properly.
  • Interruptions from pets and children. It’s best to keep them away to avoid smudged paint.
  • Paint in places you don’t want it to be. In order to avoid this, make sure you cover your floor and all your furniture.

Exterior painting problems

The paint outside your home needs to be very durable to ensure it lasts for years without being damaged by the weather. Here are some of the different exterior painting problems you may experience:

  • Efflorescence: Caused by salts in the masonry of your home, this can produce white deposits that ruin your paintwork. You can fix this by repairing any areas where moisture is getting into your masonry. Then remove the bubbles, deposits, and flakes before treating with trisodium phosphate and repainting.
  • Blistering: Caused by painting your home on a hot day or painting over damp wood, blistering can be fixed by sanding away the damaged paint, priming, then painting on a cool, dry day.
  • Chalking: Caused by using poor quality paint or poor application techniques, chalky powder can build up on your walls. You’ll need to properly scrub the surface, removing any chalking before treating with trisodium phosphate and repainting.
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how to paint How to paint

Thankfully, you can avoid many paint problems by following a proper guide on how to paint.

We’ve created a range of different guides for painting different areas of your home that include a variety of tips and advice for best results.

Or, even better, hire a professional painter for perfect results every time.

How to get flawless results

It’s quite common for DIY beginners to be disappointed with their finished paint job as this is a skill that takes time to learn. If you want to ensure you get the best results possible, we’d recommend hiring a professional.

So, how can you find a trustworthy tradesperson in your local area? Our free search feature is the perfect option. Simply enter your postcode to find painters and decorators recommended by your neighbours. What’s more, our members are all checked and checked again so you can be certain you’re hiring the best person for your project.

Looking for more advice? Visit the HomeOwners Alliance website where you’ll find a range of guides on everything from home improvements to legal advice and insurance tips.

How much does professional painting cost?

It’s always worth hiring a professional. The cost will depend on a range of factors, but as a ballpark, painting the exterior of your home will only cost around £2,000 and when it comes to interior painting, the average cost of painting a medium-sized room is £400.

To learn more about interior and exterior painting, check out our guide on the cost to paint the exterior of a home and our painter/decorator prices guide.

Which tradesperson should I use for the job?

A painter/decorator is the perfect tradesperson to paint your home.

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