Mistakes House Painters Make – Common Causes
Mistakes can be made on house painting projects, whether you are tackling the paint job yourself or you’ve hired a professional. First, let me state clearly, errors are made by hard working painters and homeowners alike and most can be corrected. Sometimes things are missed because of oversight, other times there are issues that aren’t apparent until the job is done. Here are four of the most common glaring issues.
The lines aren’t straight.
Painting is a skilled trade and I’ve seen painters with 20 years of experience that still haven’t learned to paint a straight line. There’s also an art to taping off. If you’ve ever painted for yourself, you know the frustration of the paint bleeding underneath the tape. The solution is to hire a professional to repaint the straight lines. Choose a company that has a great reputation for clean lines and you won’t be disappointed. The simple act of straightening up the lines can make a night and day difference on how your final product looks.
The paint is peeling.
The three prevalent reasons that paint peels are: inter-coat adhesion failure, moisture, and lack of appropriate prep or primer. Let’s look at these in more depth:
- Inter-coat Adhesion is caused by two paint products not bonding. Most of you have heard that you cannot apply latex paint over oil without the proper prep. If waterborne paint is applied directly to oil-based paint without sanding and/or the correct primer, it will peel. If you apply a low sheen over a glossy paint without sanding, it will peel. When the paint doesn’t bond, it peels off easily. Inter-coat adhesion failure can be time consuming and expensive to fix. Sometimes a light sanding and bonding primer applied with a high-quality paint will correct the issue; however, in the worst case, the paint will need to be completely stripped.
- Moisture; if paint is bubbling and blistering, then moisture is most likely the cause. This is very common with older siding. You may not see moisture, but condensation in the substrate can cause the paint to blister and peel. Also, moisture intrusion in the house or places that are not properly ventilated can create issues with paint. Paint will not fix a moisture problem; the cause of the moisture needs to be addressed. Once you have fixed the root of the problem, then a good primer and two coats of quality paint will take care of the paint failure.
- Lack of appropriate primer can cause problems. You could be dealing with the paint not properly adhering to the substrate, inter-coat adhesion, and/or tannin bleed. Mistakes like applying paint to bare wood will make the paint not stick. Most wood requires an oil-based primer. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) requires an oil-based primer as well. If you prime MDF with a water-based primer, you will have moisture issues because the water in the primer will penetrate the substrate. If you have a glossy surface, then I recommend a bonding primer. Also, cedar and other wood products require an oil-based primer to block the tannins. Tannic acids are the oils that bleed out of certain woods, especially cedar, mahogany, redwood, fir, and pine. They cause a yellowish-brown stain in the paint, more prominent with light colors.
There are paint drips and splatters.
Nothing is more frustrating than cleaning up these from a freshly finished paint job. It doesn’t take long for paint to dry and you may never fully remove the paint, if it lands on certain fabrics and belongings. Once, we were hired to take over a paint job because the previous painters didn’t cover anything and got paint on the homeowner’s antique cello. While painting, mistakes can happen, you should NEVER have paint slopped on your surroundings because someone didn’t take the time to tape off and cover everything. Avoid the worries of having to clean up dried paint by making sure EVERYTHING is covered with plastic, paper and drop cloths. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Lack of prep isn’t pretty.
If the surface you are painting isn’t properly prepped, all sorts of problems can ensue. Prep work includes cleaning the surfaces, sanding, caulking, filling holes, wall repairs, primer, and taping among other various steps required for a fine finish. These can be tedious, time consuming and cost extra labor; or they may cut into your personal time, if you are attacking the project yourself. But, if you are anything like me and appreciate a beautiful paint job that lasts then it’s worth the extra effort or expense to have the job done right the first time. My advice? Mistakes are less likely to happen, if you don’t skimp on prep work!
If you’ve found yourself at the end of a paint job and you aren’t satisfied with the workmanship, you may need a professional opinion. As always, we are only a phone call away!