Buyers Advice: Prevent Peeling Paint

Tuesday Apr 04th, 2017


You can't wait to move in and repaint your new home! but if this is your first time, there are some tricks of the trade you should know so that your fresh paint will last.

If you're buying an older home, find out if you can detemine what kind of paint was used. If you use the wrong kind of paint, fail to prepare your painting surfaces properly, or paint in a room that collects a lot of moisture, your paint could peel. You'll find yourself going to all that trouble and expense long before you should.

Bathrooms retain more humidity than other areas of the house. Wood trim around windows is also vulnerable. When wood absorbs moisture, it expands and crumbles, causing the primer and paint on top to lose their grip. Aging paint or improperly prepared paint can easily lose integrity.

Sometimes preventative measures such as caulking can fail, because it can lose elasticity. While not all paint peeling can be avoided, it can be delayed and/or prevented with proper preparation and maintenance.

According to leading paint company VALSPAR, peeling can be caused when a dry paint film loses adhesion to the underlying coating or substrate. It can be localized or widespread, with surface conditions typically contributing to the problem. Peeling is not a characteristic of paint, assures the company.

Here are the three main steps you need to follow to create a smooth paint job:

1. To prevent peeling, remove all dust, grime, and dirt from your surface. Use a cleaner that does not leave a residue such as trisodium phosphate or Valspar's PrePaint. Let the surface dry thoroughly before painting, as paint can't stick to a wet surface.

2. Scrape off any flaky, blistered or peeling areas, then lightly sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper to remove the gloss from the previous paint color. You can also apply a coat of liquid de-glosser. When the surface is free of sheen, and is clean and smooth, it's ready to be painted.

3. Apply a coat of primer to the surface. Be sure to use the correct base, oil or latex for your primer to cover the previous paint. Primer helps the painting process go more smoothly. When you apply your color, you'll see it goes on richly and smoothly.

Protect your paint job by making sure moisture isn't building in your home because of a leak, poorly caulked windows or foundation issues. Caulk quarter round between the floor and bottom edge and again between upper edge and the wall so that moisture from cleaning products doesn't splash behind walls.

Put an exhaust fan in the ceiling of every bathroom to help dispel moisture accumulation. Inspect tubs and showers frequently to see if the caulk is holding up between the walls and fixtures. Peel off weak caulk, and then recaulk.

Last, don't skimp on paint. Use a good quality paint that is designed to last. Paint two coats for added richness, color and coverage.


Steve Bulatovic


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