Paint bubbles or blisters define a quite common and annoying problem associated with interior and exterior painting projects. Though special techniques have been developed to help painters repair bubbling paint on walls, a truly effective paint job lies in avoiding blistering in the first place. Below are seven techniques professional Florida painters use to prevent paint bubbling.
- Prepare walls correctly: Proper surface preparation is essential to achieve good results. If repairs are needed, use a high-quality filler, sand the entire area, and clean your walls properly to remove the sanding dust. Wiping down walls with a damp cloth can help remove dust along with dirt and grime, which are common causes of blistering paint. If you’ve removed wallpaper, be sure to remove remaining glue.
- Let the wall dry completely: Painting a damp wall or areas that tend to be humid, such as the basement, can also cause blistering. As well, painting the exterior right before or after a rain storm is as harmful as applying paint on a surface that’s still wet. That’s because high relative humidity can lead to blisters on the paint surface, requiring remedial actions (e.g. scraping, sanding, and repainting) later on.
- Apply primers and sealers: Primers and sealers can be used to prevent bubbles from forming on drywall or porous surfaces. Using oil-based primers and letting each coat to dry properly before applying a new coat or the paint finish can help avoid bubbling in the new coat of paint. Temperature, relative humidity, and ventilation are just a few factors professional Florida painters take into account before painting a primed surface. If humidity is high, temperature is low, and ventilation non-existent, wait as long as it’s necessary to let the wall surface dry completely.
- Choose the right type of paint: If the existing paint is oil based, use an oil-based product to repaint your walls. Applying latex paint can lead to bubbling and other problems, as paints react differently to humidity and temperature variations. When using latex paint over oil-based paint, a good rule of thumb is to apply a primer to ensure proper adhesion of the paint to the substrate.
- Opt for high-quality paint: Bubbling may also occur due to the thin consistency of low-quality finishes. If you observe bubbles forming while applying a cheap product, you have two alternatives: 1) slow down; rolling paint rapidly engages a lot of air, causing it to bubble; 2) switch to a high-quality product. The second alternative is best when trying to obtain perfect results.
- Use the correct roller: Professional Florida painters choose their rollers based on the type of paint they use and the surface they need to paint. While a ¼- or 3/8-inch nap is ideal for smooth surfaces, a ¾-inch nap is more appropriate for textured walls. Additionally, a short roller nap is the best choice for gloss and semi-gloss paints, as it allows painters to press against walls with more force, which can help eliminate foaming and blistering.
- Use Blowers, AC, or Heat: Turning the AC or heat on, or placing a few blowers in an enclosed area to accelerate solvent release is another thing Florida painters do to prevent bubbles from forming.
The techniques presented above can help you reduce and even eliminate unsightly bumps in walls due to paint bubbles, giving you the chance to enjoy your beautiful surroundings for many years to come.