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Painting Issues You May Face When House Painting in Concord

Painting Issues You May Face When House Painting in ConcordHouse painting in Concord can be a big job. So it's not unusual that you may face several issues, most especially when it comes to surface problems. The following information will help you know how to handle some of the painting issues you may face when house painting.

Some of the major pet peeves of any house painters in Concord is blistering, cracking or peeling paint, whether on exterior or interior surfaces. The following lists some of the common types of surface issues that you may encounter when house painting in Concord.

1. Alligatoring
Alligatoring is a patterned cracking in the surface of the paint film that looks like an alligator's scales. This may be attributed to applying an extremely tough and solid coating (like alkyd enamel) over a more flexible coating such as a water-based primer. Alligatoring may also be caused by applying the topcoat before the undercoat. The natural decline of quality of an oil-based paint on the surface may also account for this problem.

You may solve this problem by scraping and sanding the surface. For tougher cracks, you may also use a gun heater. However, be careful when using this tool because it may ignite the paint, if it is flammable. It may also set the substrate on fire. The next step is to apply a high-quality water-based or oil-based primer, then finish it with high-quality water-based or oil-based paint.

2. Blistering (or bubbling)
One of the common surface problems, blistering consists of bubbles that rise on the surface. This indicates the paint's lack of adhesion and lifting from the underlying surface. Painting when it's raining (or just before it rains), or when the surface is already wet, may cause blistering. Similarly, painting under direct sunlight can bring about blistering or bubbling too, especially when you apply solvent-based paints and/or primers on a very warm surface.

To remove blistered paints, sand and scrape them, then apply a primer over the affected area and coat it again with paint. Remember that when the surface has been applied with oil-based coatings, you should re-apply it with the same oil-based coatings. The same method goes with surfaces that have been applied with water or latex-based coatings. You should not mix different types of primer and paint on the same wall as this can also lead to blistering.

Keep in mind that surfaces should be properly cleaned and prepped before applying paint. Walls that have not been cleaned may also cause blistering.

3. Chalking
As the name implies, chalking occurs when the paint breaks down into loose powder on the surface. Some degree of chalking is considered a normal characteristic of an aging paint on the surface. However, if there's an unusually heavy chalking, it may be a sign of excessive film erosion. This can be the result of low-quality paint, or paint with too much pigmentation, or an interior paint that is applied over an exterior surface.

The first step to address this problem is to remove the chalky residues as much as possible by using a stiff bristle brush. You can also use a wire or masonry brush. Rinse the surface well, either by a water hose or a power washer. Extra caution on the power washer, though, as it can create damage on the surface.

Next, check if there's any chalky residue left by running your hand over the localized surface. If there is still noticeable chalk, apply a high-quality primer, preferably an oil-based type of primer or an acrylic latex primer. Re-apply high-quality paint on the surface.

Otherwise, if you find very little or no more leftover chalk residue on your hand, then you don't need to prime the surface.

4. Cracking (or flaking)
Another common paint problems is a cracking paint which can be caused by a myriad of different factors, including:

  • low quality paint and/or other coatings
  • failure to prepare and prime the surfaces properly
  • mixing paint types (e.g., applying an oil-based primer and finishing with latex-based paint)
  • painting too quickly
  • weather conditions

Cracking or flaking paint may sometimes reveal a substrate underneath. If this happens, remove the paint on the entire surface by scraping or sanding. You may also use a heat gun, but you must exercise some caution with this tool. Prime the surface and top it with a good quality exterior paint.

However, if the cracking doesn't go down to the substrate, you may be able to correct this by first removing loose paint using a wire brush or a scraper. Next, sand the surface to smoothen it. Finally, prime the surface and re-apply good quality exterior paint.

5. Efflorescence (or mottling)
Masonry building materials such as cement, brick, stone, stucco, and mortar are susceptible to efflorescence -- which is a white powder that accumulates on masonry surfaces. This occurs when excess moisture escapes through the exterior masonry surface from the inside. Efflorescence happens mostly during cold, dry weather where masonry buildings are in the process of getting rid of excessive moisture and are drying out. Improperly prepping the surface after previous efflorescence can also lead to efflorescence. So the key here is adequate preparation on the surfaces after removing all previous efflorescence.

If excess moisture is the culprit, eliminate the source of it. Doing repairs on the roof and cleaning out gutters and downspouts are ideal ways to prevent efflorescence. You can also seal the cracks on the surface with high-quality, water-based all-acrylic or a silicon/acrylic caulk.

Efflorescence can also occur in certain interior areas. Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are the areas most prone to moisture, which can cause efflorescence. Consider installing vents or exhaust fans in these rooms.

When efflorescence already appears on the surface, first use a wire brush, power brush or power washer to remove it from the surface. Next, rinse the surface thoroughly. Then, use a good quality masonry sealer (either water- or solvent-based) on the surface. Allow it to dry completely. Finally, apply a coat of good quality paint over the surface. You can also use a masonry paint or elastomeric wall coating in place of a regular exterior paint.

These are only some of common issues homeowners and painters face when painting. Fortunately, all of these problems can be solved. Following these steps will ensure you of a better surface finish and lesser chances of encountering these issues again when you need to do house painting in Concord.


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Residential & Commercial Painting Services, Custom Molding Installation, Acoustic Ceiling Removal by Custom Painting, Inc. – We are a Licensed and Insured Provider working across the Bay Area, the East Bay, San Ramon, Danville, Livermore, Fremont, Pleasanton, Concord, Walnut Creek, Lathrop, and Manteca.

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