Paint bubbles can be a real nuance when painting, sometimes leaving behind unsightly marks that ruin all your hard work. So knowing when to take action is key.
Paint bubbles that occur right after application usually disappear on their own without leaving craters. However, in most cases, bubbling requires intervention in order to remove them. Removal involves piercing the bubbles, patching with spackle or joint compound, sanding, and repainting.
In this article, you’re going to learn:
- How to recognize when action is necessary
- Why your paint is bubbling
- How to fix paint bubbles for a professional finish
Paint Bubbles: When to Take Action
There is a common misconception that paint bubbles will eventually go away on their own. While this may be the case in some situations, many factors can influence whether or not bubbles disappear over time. For example, it is essential to consider the type of paint used and other environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.
One key factor that affects the longevity of bubbles is the composition of the paint itself. Some paints will form smaller, more stable bubbles than others, meaning they are less likely to pop over time. Additionally, higher temperatures and higher moisture levels in an environment may speed up the rate at which bubbles pop, so these conditions should also be considered.
Ultimately, whether or not paint bubbles will go away on their own depends heavily on a variety of different factors. While some may pop naturally after a certain period has passed, others may require manual intervention to fix the problem. Regardless, preventing or addressing unwanted bubbles is important if you want to maintain a flawless finish on your walls and surfaces.
The drying and curing process
To understand why these blisters occur in the first place, it’s important to understand a little bit about how paint dries and cures. Generally speaking, paints are composed of two main ingredients: a binder and a solvent. When you apply your paint to the wall, the solvent rapidly evaporates away as the binder cures and sets into place.
But sometimes, this drying process doesn’t go as smoothly as it should, resulting in tiny air bubbles trapped within the dried paint film. And if you pop these bubbles before they dry completely, you may accidentally damage or weaken your finished paint job.
Therefore, if you notice blisters forming on your newly painted walls, your best bet is simply to let them be and give the wall time to cure fully before doing any kind of maintenance work on it.
This will help ensure that your paint job holds up robustly over time without running any risk of damage due to premature poking at bubbled spots. So don’t worry if you see blistering when painting. Just be sure to avoid popping those unsightly bubbles for a strong new coat all around.
Why Is My Paint Bubbling While Painting?
You spent hours prepping the walls, sanding down any imperfections, and wiping away the dust. You painstakingly taped off the trim and the floor, draping drop cloths over your home’s furnishings. You bought new supplies, forgoing the years-old, half-used cans of paint taking up space in your basement.
You’re ready to tackle this painting project once and for all, and you’re determined to do it right. It could be any number of things-poor wall prep, low-quality paint, or even extreme temperature changes in your home. Let’s take a closer.
1. Poor Wall Prep
If you didn’t properly prep your walls before painting-or if you didn’t prep them at all-you’re likely to see bubbles form in your paint job. That’s because painting on bare drywall or wallpaper can cause bubbles to form as the paint dries.
To avoid this, ensure you sand down any imperfections in the wall and wipe away any dust before starting to paint. And if you’re painting over wallpaper, use a primer designed specifically for that purpose.
2. Low-Quality Paint
Not all paints are created equal. There’s a big difference between high-quality paints and cheapo alternatives- especially when preventing bubbling.
That’s because high-quality paints contain resins that help the paint dry evenly, while cheaper paints often have fillers that can make the paint uneven as it dries and causes bubbles to form.
So if you want your paint job to last, invest in high-quality paint from the get-go. Your wallet (and your walls) will thank you later.
3. Temperature Fluctuations
If your home experiences extreme temperature changes-from sweltering summer heat one day to freezing winter temps the next-that can also cause bubbles to form in newly painted walls. To prevent this from happening, try to avoid painting during periods of extreme temperature change and keep the room well-ventilated while painting.
One common cause of paint bubbling is excessive humidity. If there’s too much moisture in the air, it can cause the paint to blister and peel. Always check the local weather forecast before starting your project to avoid this problem. If the humidity is high, either wait for it to drop or take measures to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
5. The Wrong Type of Paint
Some surfaces require a special type of paint to adhere properly. For instance, if you’re painting over bare wood or metal, you’ll need to use a primer first to get good results. Using the wrong type of paint is a common cause of bubbling, so research before starting any painting project.
6. Applying Paint Too Thickly
It might seem like putting on a thick layer of paint would be a good thing, but it can lead to problems down the road. When the paint dries, it shrinks slightly as it cures. If you’ve applied too much paint at once, that shrinkage can cause cracks and bubbles in the dried paint film. To avoid this problem, always follow the instructions on the can and don’t try to put on more paint than recommended in one coat.
How To Fix Paint Bubbles
Step One: Prep The Area
Before you start any type of repair work, it’s important to prep the area. This means ensuring the surface is clean and free of dirt, dust, or debris. If there are any loose paint flakes, remove them as well. Once the area is clean and ready to go, you can move on to the next step.
Step Two: Cut Away The Bubble
Either air pockets or moisture typically causes paint bubbles beneath the paint film. To fix the problem, you’ll need to cut away the bubbled area so that you can access the pocket of air or moisture. To do this, simply use a sharp knife or razor blade to cut around the edge of the bubble. Be careful not to cut too deeply. You don’t want to damage the surface below.
Step Three: Remove The Air Or Moisture Pocket
Once you’ve cut away the bubbled paint area, it’s time to remove the air or moisture pocket causing the problem. If there’s an air pocket, simply use a needle or straight pin to puncture the bubble’s center and release the air.
On the other hand, if there’s a moisture pocket, you’ll need to soak up the excess moisture before proceeding. Simply place a clean cloth over the bubble and press down lightly to do this. Continue pressing until no more moisture can be absorbed.
Step Four: Patch The Area And Repaint
Once you’ve removed the cause of the paint bubble, it’s time to patch up the area where you made your cuts. To do this, simply apply a small amount of spackle or joint compound to the affected area and smooth it out until it’s level with the surrounding surface.
Once dry, sand down any rough edges and repaint over the top. And that’s it. With these four easy steps, you’ll have those pesky paint bubbles fixed in no time.