8 Common Paint Problems and How to Fix Them

A great paint job will last a long time. However, problems begin to creep up if the walls have retained the same paint for years. Peeling and flaking are among such common problems. The interior of a house, in particular, can experience several paint issues. To understand such issues better, see 5 interior painting problems here.

Regardless of your skillset or experience, your painted walls can still experience problems. Many such problems are out of your control. Knowing about the common paint problems and how to take care of them will save you time and money in the long run.

Such problems include:

Flaking paint

Flaking and peeling of painted walls is perhaps the biggest issue you can face. This is because different factors can contribute to this problem, age being a common one. Your painted walls will likely start to flake if the paint job was done decades earlier. Of course, natural elements also help to speed this degradation and damage. Moisture is one of the main contributory factors. Moisture can get under the paint surface and cause repeated swelling of the paint from underneath.

In addition to moisture, trapped air in such bulging spaces helps detach the paint from the walls, leading to peeling and flaking. Hairline cracks develop on paint surfaces because time makes paint brittle, leading to cracked surfaces.

To deal with such problems, flaking paint should be removed. After that, use sandpaper to smooth the edges of the cracks from where the paint peeled. Ensure that the surface is clean before repaint. Using high-quality paint will offer enough adhesion and flexibility.


Black or brown spots on your painted walls are the first signs of mildew, usually occurring in damp areas with little sunlight exposure. The continued presence of mildew can lead to damage to the painted surface.

To deal with mildew, you’ll need to scrub the affected wall surfaces with a stiff brush and water solution containing Trisodium Phosphate (TSP). TSP is an inorganic compound that, among other things, is useful for dealing with mildew stains. It’s advisable to wash the wall from top to bottom to avoid staining. Leave the wall to dry for two days before applying primers or paint. Always use TSP as per the manufacturer’s instructions because it can corrode metal and wood if used improperly.

Sagging paint

Sagging paint surfaces can leave an uneven mass that detracts from the general appearance of the wall surface. This is usually the result of applying too much paint, leading to dripping lines that dry up to form such a shabby mass.

Here, prevention is better. As soon as you notice dripping paint that forms lines on the wall, fix it immediately while the paint is still wet—using a roller to smooth the surface and iron out the lines. If the wall paint has already dried, apply more paint and smooth it over. Always ensure that there are no lines left due to excess paint.


When the paint is applied rapidly to a wall surface, it foams up and traps air underneath it. With time, this ruptures the paint surface, ruining it. This is known as cratering. Several factors can cause this. Excessively brushing the wall during painting, vigorously shaking the paint container before use, or using low-quality paint that’s very thin are all things that can lead to cratering later on.

To avoid this problem, always use good-quality paint. This ensures that the paint adheres well to the wall after painting. Go slow during the painting process. Rushing through this process will most likely lead to air getting trapped under the paint surface. Going slow and applying the right amount of pressure while using the paintbrush will also help to avoid cratering.

Lap marks

Sometimes, old and new paint layers don’t blend seamlessly. This usually happens when freshly applied wet paint shows a marked contrast to the dry paint on which it’s applied, forming lap marks. This problem usually results during paint jobs where the wall wasn’t stripped of old paint. Needless to say, lap marks can be a blemish on an otherwise fantastic paint job.

Avoiding this problem requires some finesse during painting. Start by painting from areas with old paint remnants, making your way to areas with no paint. Revisit the area you previously painted with several light strokes of the paintbrush. This ensures that there are no markedly visible edges, creating a wet edge.


This is a problem when painting is done haphazardly without much planning. Adhesion results when paint makes two surfaces stick tightly to one another. This is a problem mostly associated with windows and doors. Wet paint adheres to a door’s edges such that when it closes, the paint acts as glue and blocks the door from opening. Always ensure to give the paint enough time to dry. Different paint brands may require different durations. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

To deal with this problem, use polythene or any other durable material to cover the edges of doors and windows during painting. This ensures that paint doesn’t adhere to the edges and cause adhesion later on.

Unappealing aesthetics

This is when the overall paint job is not pleasing to the eye. Several things can cause this, including missed spots during painting and running paint, among others. Poor aesthetics are usually the result of do-it-yourself efforts, which tend to lack a professional touch. Painting can seem very easy. However, many people quickly discover that this illusion is far from reality. Unappealing paint aesthetics are usually the result of amateurs with no painting experience.

Just like anything, you get out exactly what you put in. It is usually more time efficient to contact a painting company like Colour Life who can help to plan and paint your property properly at the first time of asking.


Fading will happen when the paint has been on a wall for years. Sometimes, though, acid rain can erode the paint surface. Poor quality paint also contributes to this problem because it is unlikely to be durable. Excessive sunlight can also cause discoloration and fading as ultraviolet rays act on the paint.

To deal with this problem, always ensure to use good-quality primers before painting. This helps to slow down the fading process. Before repainting faded walls, always ensure to remove the chalking.

Understanding the above paint problems helps you manage your painted walls better.

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