Wall Paint Peeled Off

I recently received a call from someone who had just moved into a new home and painted one of the bedrooms. When they removed the masking tape, the paint peeled off of the wall. She wondered what had caused this and what could be done.

The most likely cause is dust from the drywall finishing. The process of finishing drywall creates a tremendous amount of fine dust. If surfaces are not properly cleaned prior to painting, this dust can prevent good adhesion.

Under normal conditions the degraded adhesion will not be noticed. However, when some form of stress— such as your situation with the tape—is present, the paint may come off very easily.

It is seldom necessary to remove all of the paint. Most likely, the adhesion problem is isolated. An easy efficient solution is to apply a penetrating bonding product to “glue” the existing paint to the drywall. These products will stabilize the surface and prevent future problems.

It will probably be necessary to do some repairs in the areas where the paint lifted. Use a thin coat of joint compound to level the surface, and then apply a matching texture.


Fish Eyes

A neighbor recently painted his kitchen walls. He soon noticed tiny craters in the new paint. He asked me to look at the problem.
The problem was “fish eyes.” The problem is usually caused by applying the paint over a surface that hasn’t been properly cleaned. Contaminants, such as oil or grease, can prevent the new paint from properly adhering. As the paint film dries, it draws away from those areas. The result is a small area with very thin paint or no paint.The solution was to clean the areas where the problem was evident, spot prime, and then repaint.

Flaking Paint on Windows

Flaking paint on wood windows is a commons problem, particularly on older homes. Most paint failures have moisture as a contributing factor. On wood windows, the moisture could be the result of a leak or condensation.

If you see light brown stains in the same area as the flaking paint, it is likely a leak. The water is picking up dirt and other contaminants and leaving a residue on the surface. Check the outside of your windows for rotted wood, cracked caulking, or other openings.

If there is no staining in those areas, condensation is the likely cause. Condensation will usually only occur on the inside of windows in the winter and on the outside of the windows in the summer.