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Common paint problems

Cracking and Flaking:

Early on this problem occurs as hairline cracks; later peeling and flaking of chips occurs.

  • Use of lower quality paint
  • Over thinning of paint
  • Poor surface preparation
  • Painting under cool or windy conditions making the paint dry too fast.
Solution: If cracking does not go down to the substrate, sand to feather the edges of the cracks. Prime any bare spots, and seal the surface with the appropriate Bristol undercoat, to achieve a smooth surface for repainting.

If cracking goes all the way down to the substrate remove all the paint by scraping and sanding and / or the use of a heat gun then prime and repaint.


  • Forms on areas that tend to be damp or receive little direct sunlight.
  • Use of low quality paint that has insufficient amount of fungicide.
  • Painting over a surface where mould has not been removed.
Solution: Remove mould with a solution of water and household bleach (one part bleach and three parts water.)


This is a loss of paint due to poor adhesion.

  • Inadequate surface preparation.
  • Use of lower quality paint
  • Applying oil based paint over a wet surface
Solution: Prepare surface by removing all paint with a scraper or wire brush, sand rough surfaces, prime bare wood and repaint.


Occurs when the paint forms a "skin".

  • Paint applied to thickly
  • Painting a hot surface or in hot weather
  • Applying a topcoat to an insufficiently dried first coat.
  • Painting over a contaminated surface.
Solution: scrape and sand to remove wrinkled coat. Repaint with the appropriate Bristol finish. Make sure the first coat or primer is dry before applying the topcoat. When painting in extremely hot, cool or damp conditions allow extra time for paint to dry completely.