Common Interior Paint Problems

It’s important to know how to properly prepare for painting. If a surface is not properly prepared for paint application you can run into several costly issues. I’ll explain 3 common Interior Paint issues and what to do to fix them.

blocking paint
blocking paint


Blocking is when two painted surfaces start to stick together due to poor preparation or a cheap paint. The Most common example of blocking usually occurs with interior doors and door jambs.

This can be caused by not allowing a sufficient amount of drying time before closing doors or windows. This can also occur when using a cheap or low quality semi-gloss/ gloss paint.

The best way to avoid this issue is to first use a good quality acrylic latex paint. Cheap latex paints are likely to have poor block resistance. This is especially important in warm, damp or humid conditions. Acrylic latex paints usually have great early block resistance compared to a cheap vinyl latex. It can even out preform alkyds and oil based paints in EARLY block protection. However alkyds provide a lot better block resistance over time. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer recommended dry times. If you have persistent blocking issues you can try applying talcum powder to the surface.

burnishing paint
burnishing paint


Burnishing is when you have an increase in gloss or sheen on your wall paint. This usually happens when your wall is constantly being scrubbed, rubbed or brushed against.

Burnishing is fairly common in high traffic areas like hallways when a flat is used instead of a paint with a higher sheen. Trying to clean or scrub a cheap paint will almost always cause burnishing. Even if a paint is washable and scrub-able too much over time can cause burnishing.

An easy fix for this would be using a high quality paint in areas that require regular cleaning like doors, window sills and trim. In High Traffic areas try to use a paint with a higher sheen level and if it requires cleaning use a non abrasive cleanser. Try to use a soft cloth or sponge when possible.

blistering paint
blistering paint

Blistering Paint

Blistering occurs when there is an adhesion loss between paint and the substrate. The paint will bubble and lift from the surface if this occurs.

This will almost always be caused by moisture. If your home has high humidity and you failed to properly prepare the surface for paint you can expect blistering to occur during the drying process. Another cause could be moisture seeping into your exterior walls, this is less likely with latex and usually more of a problem with an oil based paint.

You have a couple of options to fix this issue and it depends on the source of the issue. If the blistering does not occur all the way down to the substrate just remove the blisters by scraping and sanding then repaint with added ventilation like fans. If the blistering goes all the way down to the substrate then you need to determine the source of your moisture issue. This could be water in behind the wall or just a humid environment. Either way you need to fix the moisture issue before you can continue.