Interior Painting Tips: Fixing Common Paint Problems

Most interior paint problems and painting mistakes are correctable. Below you'll find solutions for the most common wall paint problems. (Note: Photos courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute) Get tips for solving common exterior paint problems.
Interior paint showing blistering or bubbling. Paint Blistering

Bubbles, which look like blisters, sometimes form on the paint film, resulting from the localized loss of adhesion and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface.

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Paint blocking on a door. Paint Blocking, or Sticking

Blocking occurs when two painted surfaces stick when pressed together (e.g., a door sticking to the jamb).

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Image of burnished, shiny paint. Paint Burnishing

Burnishing occurs when paint film gloss, or sheen, increases when subjected to rubbing or brushing.

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Image of caulk failure. Caulk Failure

Caulk may lose its initial adhesion and flexibility, causing it to crack or pull away from surfaces.

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Paint Cracking and Flaking Cracking or Flaking Paint

Dry paint sometimes cracks or flakes through at least one coat due to aging, which ultimately will lead to complete failure of the paint.

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Foaming and cratering on paint Paint Foaming, or Cratering

Foaming and cratering occur when bubbles ("foaming") form during paint application. When the bubbles break during application and drying, they result in small concave depressions ("cratering").

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Interior Paint Problems: Lap Marks Paint Lap Marks

Lap marks cause the appearance of a denser color, or increased gloss, where wet and dry layers of paint overlap during application.

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Image of mildew on a painted surface. Mildew on Painted Surfaces

Mildew can appear on the surface of paint or caulk as black, gray, or brown spots or areas.

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Interior Paint Problems: Mud Cracking Paint Mud Cracking

Mud cracking results in deep, irregular cracks that resemble dried mud on the dry paint film.

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Interior Painting Problems: Picture Framing or Hatbanding Drywall Picture Framing, or "Hatbanding"

Picture framing occurs when corners or edges appear darker than the rest of the wall.

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Image of poor paint flow and leveling Poor Paint Flow and Leveling

Poor paint flow and leveling occur when the paint fails to dry into a smooth film, leaving brush and roller marks.

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Comparison of paint color hiding. Poor Paint Hiding

Poor paint hiding is the inability of the dried paint to obscure, or "hide," stains or previous colors on the underlying surface.

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Object imprint on painted surface. Paint with Poor Print Resistance

Poor print resistance is the tendency of paint film to take on the imprint of an object that is placed on it (for example, dishes and other objects).

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Image of paint with poor scrub resistance. Paint with Poor Scrub Resistance

Poor scrub resistance is indicated by the wearing away, or removal, of the paint film when scrubbed with a brush, sponge, or cloth.

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Image of blue wall showing poor sheen uniformity. Paint with Poor Sheen Uniformity ("Flashing")

Poor sheen uniformity, or "flashing", leads to shiny, or dull, spots on a painted surface.

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Image of paint with poor stain resistance. Paint with Poor Stain Resistance

Paints with low stain resistance fail to resist the absorption of dirt and stains.

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Image of Paint Roller Marks, or Paint Roller Marks, or "Stipple"

Roller marks and "stipple" are unintentional textured patterns left on the paint film by the paint roller.

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Image of paint roller spattering marks. Paint Roller Spattering

Paint roller spattering occurs when the paint roller throws off droplets of paint during application.

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Interior Paint Problems: Sagging Paint Sagging Paint

Sagging is a downward "drooping" movement of the paint film that occurs immediately after application, resulting in an uneven coating.

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Image of surfactant leaching. Paint Surfactant Leaching

Surfactant leaching appears as tan or brown spots or areas on the painted surface that can be glossy, soapy, or sticky.

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Interior Painting Problems: Paint Wrinkling Paint Wrinkling

When uncured paint forms a skin, it can wrinkle, making the surface appear rough and crinkled.

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