This post contains affiliate links.
Paint blisters or bubbles can be one of the most frustrating and annoying problems homeowners face when painting with a roller. Fortunately, the problem is easy to put with just a little insider knowledge.
In this article, you’re going to learn:
- The causes of bubbling
- Whether bubbles will disappear on their own
- How to fix bubbling and prevent it in the future
What Causes Bubbling Or Blistering Paint?
Bubbles and blisters occur when the paint film lifts from the underlying surface, typically due to excessive heat or moisture exposure. The loss of adhesion between the two results in peeling, which can ultimately lead to a poor-looking and structurally vulnerable paint job.
Many factors contribute to this condition, including excessive humidity levels, mechanical damage, poor product quality, uneven application, excess paint volume applied in one area, and poor surface preparation. Here are other reasons that can also cause blistering paint:
1. Improper Surface Preparation
Paint blisters and bubbles usually occur as a result of poor surface preparation. If a surface is not properly prepared before painting, it will be more likely to blister or bubble after the paint is applied.
This can happen for various reasons, including using the wrong primer or failing to remove flaking paint from the surface. It’s important to remove all dirt, grease, oil, chalk, rust, mildew, and any other substance that could interfere with the paint’s ability to adhere to the surface.
2. Temperature Extremes
If it’s too hot or cold outside, or if the surface temperature is too hot or cold, it can cause the paint to blister. For example, suppose you paint an exterior surface on a sunny day and the surface temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
In that case, the paint will dry too quickly and won’t have time to adhere properly to the surface, which can cause blistering. Conversely, if it’s too cold outside or the surface temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the paint won’t dry properly and will also blister.
3. Excessive Moisture
When paint starts to blister or bubble on the surface of a wall, it’s usually a sign of too much moisture in the air. This can occur for several reasons, but most commonly, it happens due to flooding or high humidity.
As the water gets into the cracks and crevices in the wall’s surface, it causes paint bubbles to form. Additionally, even though the walls may look dry outside, they could hold a lot of moisture behind their surface coating. Over time, this excess moisture can cause paint to crack and flake off.
4. Excessive Brushing Or Rolling
Paint blisters or bubbles are often the result of careless brushing or rolling techniques. In general, when it comes to painting, it is important to use slow and even strokes that follow the same direction as the grain of the surface.
This helps to minimize air pockets and pushes paint into all nooks and crannies, creating a smooth coat. Additionally, it is essential to avoid overworking any given surface area, as this can cause paint to build up and eventually rupture.
5. Applying Paint Too Rapidly
Paint bubbles or blisters typically occur when applying paint too rapidly, or in other words, when air gets trapped underneath the paint as it is being applied. This excess air drives up under the paint film and causes the surface to rise, resulting in those unsightly blisters or bubbles.
As mentioned before, painting a surface should be done slowly and methodically to prevent these issues from occurring. To avoid getting paint bubbles or blisters, one should take time and apply the paint in thin layers rather than applying a thick layer all at once.
6. Use Of A Roller Cover With The Wrong Nap Length
One of the most common reasons for blistering paint is using a roller cover with an incorrect nap length. A common mistake new painters make is using a cover that is too short in length, which can create an uneven application and lead to bubbling.
To prevent this problem, choosing the right type of cover for the project at hand is important. A great way to do this is by checking the professional recommendations or trying out a few different cover types on a demonstration surface.
Will The Bubbles And Blisters Go Away On Their Own?
The short answer is no. The bubbles and blisters will not go away on their own. Once paint blisters or bubbles have formed, they will need to be fixed to create a smooth and even surface. Depending on the size and severity of the problem, this can be done in a few different ways.
How To Fix Paint Bubbling And Blistering
If you find that your paint is bubbling or blistering, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem. First, you will need to remove the bubbled or blistered paint. This can be done with a putty knife or sandpaper.
Once the paint is removed, you must clean the surface thoroughly. Be sure to remove any dirt, grease, or other debris that could prevent the new paint from adhering properly.
Once the surface is clean, you can apply a new layer of paint. Be sure to use paint designed for the surface you are painting. If you are unsure what paint to use, ask a professional at your local hardware store.
How To Prevent Paint Bubbling And Blistering
Fortunately, you can do a few things to prevent paint from bubbling and blistering.
Use High-Quality Paint
When it comes to paint jobs, you do get what you pay for. Opt for high-quality paint-even if it costs a bit more upfront-to ensure better results. Cheaper paints are more likely to blister and bubble, so it’s worth spending a little extra to avoid those issues.
Add A Primer
Another way to prevent paint bubbling is to add a primer before applying it. Primers provide a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to, which helps reduce the risk of blisters and bubbles forming. Just be sure to use a primer compatible with the type of paint you’re using.
Let The Paint Dry Completely
Be sure to let the paint dry before adding a second coat or using the space. Allowing the paint to dry fully allows it to adhere properly to the surface, which can help reduce the risk of bubbling and blistering.
Prepare The Surface Properly
Finally, take the time to prepare the surface before painting it. This means cleaning it thoroughly and sanding any rough spots or uneven edges. By taking these preparatory steps, you’ll create a smooth surface that’s less likely to cause problems when you apply the paint.