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Painting Solutions Guide

Even the most experienced painter can struggle when unforeseen problems occur. The Painting Solutions guide below will help you identify some common painting issues you may encounter when painting your home.

Alligatoring: Patterned cracking in the surface of the paint film resembling the scales of an alligator. (Only an issue if the paint is separating from surface)

Alligatoring

Possible Cause

  • Painting using an extremely hard, rigid coating (like an oil/alkyd based enamel), over a more flexible coating, like a water-based primer or paint.
  • Painting over a topcoat before the undercoat is dry.
  • Natural aging of oil-based paints as temperatures fluctuate. The constant expansion and contraction of the surface results in a loss of the finish coats elasticity.

Solution: Loose paint must be removed by scraping the surface and lifting the failed paint from the substrate. The surface must be primed with an appropriate primer then painted using a high quality exterior paint. Hand painting will yield a thicker finish which will help minimize the alligatoring effect. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Blistering/Bubbling: Bubbles that form after painting. Results from loss of adhesion of the paint film from the underlying surface.

Blistering/Bubbling

Possible Cause

  • Painting a warm surface or painting in direct sunlight.
  • Painting over a poorly prepared surface.
  • Internal moisture escaping through the walls.
  • Painting over a surface that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned
  • Painting over a surface that isn’t completely dry.

Solution: If blisters are present through all layers of the substrate, remove the source of the moisture (more than likely internal). Remove blisters by scraping, clean the surface, apply a top quality exterior primer, and finish by hand painting the surface with a high quality exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Chalking: A powdery substance that forms after painting a surface, normally due to weathering and UV exposure. Some chalking is normal, and is expected as the paint film wears over time. Excessive chalking may mean it’s time to repaint the surface.

Chalking

Possible Cause

  • Painting using a low-grade, highly pigmented paint
  • Painting using an interior paint for an outdoor application.
  • Excessive sun exposure to the painted surface

Solution: Remove as much of the chalk as possible using a scrub brush and detergent, then thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water. A pressure washer may be used for rinsing as well but cannot be substituted for the scrubbing phase. Once the surface is dry, check for any remaining chalk and if present repeat the process. If noticeable chalk is still present after multiple cleanings, apply a high quality bonding primer. Then finish by hand painting the surface using a premium exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Cracking/Flaking: Splitting and separating of dry paint through one or more layers of the paint. Cracking often leads to complete paint failure if not corrected. Flaking results from moisture entering the first layer of painting and chipping off.

Cracking/Flaking

Possible Cause

  • Priming or painting using poor quality products.
  • Spreading paint too thin, or thinning the paint with liquids (common when painting with a sprayer).
  • Poor surface preparation, not removing failed peeling paint, not priming before painting.
  • Painting over a wet or dirty surface, not allowing ample dry time after washing the surface.

Solution: Remove all loose peeling paint by thoroughly scraping the surface, clean the area to remove any dust particulate, apply the appropriate primer to all bare/exposed surfaces, and finish by hand painting all areas with a premium quality exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Dirt Collection: Accumulation of dirt, dust and carbon (auto exhaust) particles, on a painted surface.



Possible Cause

  • Painting using a low quality paint.
  • Soil splashing onto the surface after a rain storm or plant watering
  • Carbon build-up, as a result to high motor vehicle traffic near location of problem area.

Solution: Thoroughly scrub the surface with a stiff bristle brush and detergent and rinse with clean water. A pressure washer can be used for the rinsing phase, however the surface must still be scrubbed with a brush to remove particulate. Prime any stained areas with appropriate primer and complete by painting using a high quality exterior paint. Painting using finishes with higher gloss levels (satin and semi-gloss) will minimize some dirt collection. Flat paints tend to “grab” dirt and dust due to their porous characteristics. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Fading/Poor Color Retention: Premature and/or excessive lightening of the paint color, which often occurs on surfaces with a sunny exposure. Fading/poor color retention can also be a result of chalking of the coating.

Fading/Poor Color Retention

Possible Cause

  • Painting exterior surfaces using an interior paint.
  • Painting using poor quality paint.
  • Painting using a color that is vulnerable to UV radiation (most notably, bright reds and yellows, and dark blues, greens, browns)
  • Not applying enough paint (often a result of painting with a sprayer)

Solution: When fading/poor color retention is a result of chalking, it is necessary to remove as much of the chalk as possible (see Chalking). When repainting, always use a high quality exterior paint. If painting in a high sun exposure area, use neutral colors as often as possible. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Lapping: Appearance of a denser color or higher gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during painting.

laping

Possible Cause

  • Failure to maintain a 'wet edge' when painting.
  • Not mixing paint when using multiple containers

Solution: Maintain a wet edge when painting by applying paint toward the unpainted area and then back into the just-painted surface. This will help produce a smooth, uniform appearance. Mixing multiple cans/gallons of paint together before painting will also result in one uniform color. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Mold/Mildew Stains: Black, gray, brown spotted areas on the painted surface.

Mold Mildew Stains

Possible Cause

  • Mold/mildew form most often on areas that tend to be damp, and receive little or no direct sunlight (the underside of eaves and areas facing north are particularly vulnerable).
  • Painting with a poor quality finish product.
  • Failure to prime bare wood before painting.
  • Painting over a surface that has not been properly cleaned.

Solution: Remove all mildew and mold from the surface by thoroughly scrubbing all areas with a diluted bleach solution. Rinse thoroughly, prime any bare wood with a premium primer, and finish by painting with a top quality exterior paint. In severe situations, an additional additive can be mixed with the finish paint to provide better mildew protection. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Rusted Nail Heads: Reddish-brown stains on the paint surface.

Rusted Nail Heads

Possible Cause

  • Non-galvanized iron nails have begun to rust beneath the paint.
  • Painting using poor quality paint

Solution: Wire brush all rusted nail heads, prime with a rust inhibiting primer, caulk any that are recessed and finish by painting with a premium quality exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Peeling: Paint separation from the substrate due to poor adhesion.

Peeling

Possible Cause

  • Inadequate surface preparation, failure to remove loose and peeling paint.
  • Priming or painting using a poor quality product
  • Failure to prime before painting.
  • Painting or priming over a wet or soiled surface.

Solution: Thoroughly prep and wash surface, scrape and remove all loose and peeling paint, clean surface, ensure surface is completely dry, apply appropriate primer, and finish by painting using a premium grade exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Poor Gloss Retention: Deterioration of the paint film, resulting in excessive or rapid loss of luster of the topcoat.

Poor Gloss Retention

Possible Cause

  • Painting an exterior using an interior paint.
  • Painting using a poor quality paint.
  • Excessive exposure to UV rays (sun exposure)
  • Use of solvent-based paint in areas of direct sunlight.

Solution: Direct sunlight can degrade the binders and pigments in paint. Surface must be de-glossed using an abrasive and finished by painting using a premium grade exterior paint of the same gloss/sheen level. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Surfactant Leaching: Concentration of water-soluble ingredients on water-based paint, creating a blotchy, sometimes glossy appearance, often with a tan or brownish cast.

Surfactant Leaching

Possible Cause

  • Painting in cool or humid conditions.
  • Applying too thick a finish coat.

Solution: When possible, avoid painting in the late afternoon if cool, damp conditions are expected in the evening or overnight. If the problem occurs soon after the paint is applied, the water-soluble material can be rinsed off rather easily. Surfactant leaching will not affect the ultimate durability of the coating. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Tannin Staining: Brownish or tan discoloration on the paint surface due to migration of tannins from the substrate through the paint film. Occurs on redwood, cedar or mahogany.

Tannin Staining

Possible Cause

  • Failure to adequately prime and seal the surface prior to painting.
  • Use of a primer that is not sufficiently stain-resistant.
  • Excess moisture escaping through the exterior walls.

Solution: Thoroughly clean the surface, and apply a high quality stain-resistant primer. In extreme cases, a second coat of primer can be applied after the first has dried thoroughly. Finish by painting using a top quality exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

Wrinkling: A rough, crinkled paint surface occurring when paint forms a 'skin.'

Wrinkling

Possible Cause

  • Paint applied too thickly (more likely when using solvent-based paints).
  • Painting on a hot surface or in very hot weather.
  • Exposure of uncured paint to rain, dew, fog or high humidity levels.
  • Applying the topcoat to insufficiently dried first coat.
  • Painting over contaminated surface (e.g., dirt or wax).

Solution: Scrape or sand substrate to remove wrinkled coating. Prime all exposed areas, insure all primer is completely dry prior to painting. Finish by painting using a high quality exterior paint. If you are interested in speaking with the premier residential house painting contractor in the Portland OR or Seattle WA area about this problem, please contact us

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