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How to Fix Peeling Paint

Nearly every interior and exterior wall needs paint. Builders hide the underlying construction materials under decorative colors that make a house feel like a home. But over time, this paint can peel. If it does, you need to know how to cover the blemishes. Here’s a guide to dealing with peeling paint.

Pinpointing the Cause

Image via Flickr by Mary Vican

Image via Flickr by Mary Vican

There are three main reasons why paint can peel early in its lifetime. The first involves preparation. The person who painted your wall probably did not clean it before painting. Paint requires a completely smooth surface. Uneven areas rupture the paint’s tensile strength, and, without this proper adhesion, your paint will peel.

A similar issue involves a wet wall. Paint is unable to dry if the wall has any moisture on it. Someone who painted in a hurry might have overlooked a damp spot, and their negligence is causing the paint to now peel. For this reason, never paint right after a rain. The condensation can get in the walls, preventing the paint from doing its job. Note, however, that anti-condensation paints can mitigate the issue.

The third reason is the most frustrating one. Your walls might have bad paint on them. Discount paint is always a poor purchase choice, because the materials used are less likely to adhere to the wall’s surface. Similarly, paint might also peel if you mixed multiple paints together. They didn’t mesh well, and it’s causing the wall to reject them both.

Avoiding the Obvious Mistakes

Avoid the temptation to simply paint over the existing coat. That will only magnify the issue, as the new paint won’t be able to build an adhesive bond with the wall, either. If you make this mistake, the peeling paint cycle will inevitably repeat itself.

The second mistake you might make is repainting the entire wall rather than focusing solely on the affected area. That’s a costly solution that will require a great deal of effort. You don’t need to strip the entire wall to fix a single patch of peeling paint. Only do that if you’re convinced that the entire wall suffers from the same problem and will start to peel over time.

Fixing the Affected Area

Get a sander, a paint scraper, wood filler, a putty knife, a wood brush, and a wire brush from your toolbox. At the place where the paint is peeling, determine how much of the wall is affected. Take the paint scraper, and remove the peeled paint. You’ll know you’re finished when the paint is no longer easy to pull off.

Use the wire brush to clean the area of lingering debris. Place the wood filler on the putty knife, and apply a layer on the bare spot. After it dries, sand the filler until it’s smooth. Then, prime and paint the area, incorporating these tips. You’re done!

As you can see, it’s easy for peeling to occur if the painter isn’t careful. Simply follow the steps above to fix the issue and avoid future problems.

What do you think? Did you find this article helpful? Do you still have questions? Do you have any trade secret tips for dealing with peeling paint? Let us know in the comments section!

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