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How to Keep Exterior Paint from Bubbling

How to Keep Exterior Paint from Bubbling

It's a great feeling to cross exterior painting off your list when completing HOA painting or house painting projects. But paint bubbling and blistering will definitely detract from that sense of satisfaction. Understanding what causes paint bubbling is the easiest way to plan to prevent it. Otherwise, you'll have to remove the damaged paint and repaint the exterior wall.

Why Paint Bubbles or Blisters

Paint bubbles can form long after the paint on your walls has dried, or you can start seeing bubbles right after painting is completed. Here's why paint bubbles and blisters, creating an eyesore for your home or HOA unit exteriors:

  • When the paint film lifts from the underlying surface, bubbles and blisters begin to emerge.

  • Heat, humidity, or moisture—or a combination of those environmental factors—could be to blame for the loss of adhesion behind paint blisters.

  • If paint is improperly applied, it won’t stick to the surface smoothly or completely. That means the exterior may start bubbling as soon as it starts to dry.

Paint blisters and bubbles will eventually lead to peeling. So it's important to both repair paint damage and take preventive measures the next time you paint your exterior.

How Bubbled or Blistered Paint Are Repaired

You can remove superficial bubbles and blisters by scraping and sanding. After you sand the area down to a smooth finish, add a professional-grade primer before reapplying your preferred color and finish of exterior paint. In some cases, the blistering is so deep that they go to the substrate (the surface being painted). If that's the case, the source of the heat, moisture, or humidity needs to be removed or mitigated as much as possible. For example, caulking repair or specialized coatings can reduce the impact of heat and moisture on the finish and substrate.

What Went Wrong to Cause Paint Bubbling?

Painting a damp, dirty, or hot surface without cleaning it is one of the major causes of bubbling paint. Making sure the surface is clean and dry before painting can help you avoid this. To completely remove old paint, dirt, debris, and allergens from exterior walls, pressure washing can help you understand what's going on underneath paint damage.

Often painting oil-based or alkyd paint over latex paint will cause issues with bubbling too. Be sure your paints and primers align, and match the surface type you want to paint. This will greatly improve your chances of smooth adhesion throughout the project.

Excessive moisture and incomplete or insufficient drying are problematic because they impede adhesion from the start, and immediately compromise your paint finish. Wait until each layer has dried completely before adding a new coat.

We know no one can control the weather, but keeping the climate in mind is crucial for a successful exterior painting project. Avoid scheduling painting projects during a rainy season, so any latex exterior paints have the ample drying time they need. And be sure any exterior painters you work with choose mild weather for painting day since high heat and humidity can impede exterior paint adhesion, even with proper drying and surface preparation.

Get a Smooth Exterior Paint Finish Every Time

If you're painting exteriors yourself, you have a higher risk of running into the problems that cause bubbling paint. There's no need to stress. Trico Painting is a team of trusted local house painters experienced in exterior painting applications, including specialty finishes. Every painting project includes all necessary surface prep and repairs, including expert carpentry and gutter repairs as needed.

Whether you're noticing bubbling paint on your home exterior or on the outer walls of HOA units and common areas, an exterior painting contractor on our team will help you address and remediate those problems before paint damage worsens. Our proactive approach to painting maintenance lowers cost and time commitment over time by avoiding costly, premature repaints.

Don’t wait until exterior paint damage becomes an eyesore. Protect the investment in your home, condos, or apartment community. Contact Trico Painting for your exterior painting estimate today.