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Blistering Exterior Paint - Causes and Solutions

By Kevin Dressel  -  March 2nd, 2019

Bubbles result from a loss of adhesion, and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface. There are a variety of possible causes for blistering and paint bubbles.    Listed are some of the most common. 

  • The surface was too warm and painted in hot direct sun
  • Application of oil-based or alkyd paint over a damp or wet surface
  • Moisture escaping through the exterior walls
  • Exposure of latex paint film to dew, high humidity, or rain shortly after paint has dried, especially if there was inadequate surface preparation

The solutions to the blistering are:

  • If the blisters go all the way down to the substrate you then need to determine and remove the source of moisture. (reference our article titled "Peeling Exterior Paint - Reasons and solution" for moisture problem solutions.
  • If blisters do not go all the way down to the substrate, then you can remove them by scraping, sanding, spot priming, and repainting with a lower solid and sheen acrylic latex paint.  The lower solids and sheen paints allow more air flow through a loose paint film, improving breath-ability.

We are more than happy to consult with you about your painting needs. Contact us at (503) 579-8201 or complete our Request an Estimate Form.

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