Why is my paint bubbling and peeling? A common decorating question, especially at this time of year. Thankfully we have our technical expert, Jon, on hand to help you identify the cause of this problem and offer advice on how to fix it.
Did you know that the UK’s housing stock is the oldest in Europe, perhaps even the world? Properties were built differently than they are today so there are many homes with poor insulation due to the deterioration of the building and damp course over a long period of time. Throw the British weather into the mix (notoriously wet!) and you have a recipe for trapped moisture and dampness which can be a cause of bubbling or peeling paint.
So how do we tackle this? Our technical advisor Jon says, “Unfortunately we can’t control the weather, but we can give older homes some TLC. Older properties were built using traditional, moisture-permeable materials meaning that they were designed to help the building to breathe. Using non-breathable materials like modern plaster or conventional vinyl paints, trap moisture in the wall and cause unsightly bubbling peeling paint.
Instead opt for breathable materials such as lime plaster and use a highly breathable paint like our Claypaint, which allows the walls to release any excess moisture without affecting the fabric of the building.”
Bubbling and peeling paint can also be caused by condensation, which is the result of poor ventilation. A lot of modern properties are making improvements to conserve energy such as triple glazed windows, cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. Although effective in reducing heat loss, these methods seal up homes and may trap moisture.
Tell-tale signs of condensation are water droplets appearing on walls and windows, damp patches and even black mould growth.
We asked Jon what people can do to increase ventilation in their homes, his advice is: “If you have identified issues with condensation in your home, don’t worry! There are a few simple things you can do to help alleviate the problem.
Firstly, make sure you open windows and doors regularly to increase ventilation and airflow throughout the home. Steamy areas such as bathrooms and kitchens will benefit from having an extractor fan installed, but make sure it’s positioned correctly and has enough suction power. Ideally, your extractor fan will vent outdoors to remove the moisture from your home rather than depositing it in another room or your attic. You could also consider investing in a dehumidifier which will help to remove excess moisture in the air.
Finally, place furniture slightly away from external walls, leaving a gap to allow air to circulate around the room.”
Is there anything worse than finishing painting, standing back to admire your handy work and seeing bubbles starting to appear? Perhaps you’ve gone to bed and woken to find your once fresh lick of paint is now looking a little worse for wear as it slowly peels away from the wall? Sometimes these issues can appear months after decorating – but what causes them?
The number one cause for bubbling and peeling paint after decorating is poor preparation and contamination, according to our technical advisor Jon.
“Preparation is key. Be sure that surfaces are wiped down and given a light sand where necessary. We tend to see this problem arise in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms where there can be a build up of oil or grease, preventing the paint from being able to adhere properly. Consider using our Isolating Primer on oil and grease stains before painting and allowing your first coat of paint to fully dry.
On powdery surfaces use our breathable Wall Glaze to stabilise the walls before painting. On recently plastered walls, make sure it’s fully cured – your plasterer will be able to advise on curing times depending on the thickness of the plaster – and always do a mist coat of paint diluted with water first, to prevent issues with bubbling and peeling paint.”
Whatever the cause for your bubbling and peeling paint – rest assured there’s a fix!
For other ways to spot signs of dampness in your home, be sure to check our blog on tell-tale signs there’s damp in your walls.
Prepped and ready to paint? Why not order a free colour card or try our colour swatches painted in real Claypaint.