So you just spent two weekends in May of this year painting your home, both inside and out. You took the time to carefully choose colors, furniture to match, and timed the painting with a house-wide cleaning and mini-remodel. Now you’re finding that the expensive new paint is peeling already—less than a year since you’ve painted. What’s happening, and who is to blame? Were you sold cheap paint with an expensive label? Did you use the wrong brushes? Probably not. Let’s talk about what likely did happen.
Most of the time when we find paint peeling fairly soon after it’s applied, the peeling is due to a lack of prep work before painting. Some of the big mistakes:
- Glossy surfaces must be sanded first. That’s a big one because you won’t notice the problem until there’s a major change in the weather (like now, when we’re starting to get down near freezing temperatures).
- Painting on wet materials. Anything power washed should be given two weeks to dry, even though it seems like a day or two is all it needs.
- Painting during the wrong season is also a problem. If you did paint in May, you should be okay, but if you painted earlier in the spring, the temperature may not have been high enough for the paint to dry. (Didn’t we get snow as late as April?) Latex paint requires 14 days above 50 degree F to cure the right way.
If you have paint peeling, don’t panic. It’s not too hard to fix. First, strip the paint down to the base. Next apply what is called an Alkyd primer (instead of a latex primer). This will help keep moisture out from behind the paint. Then apply multiple coats of top paint to repair, and again, allow 14 days to cure in temperatures above 50 degrees F. Also, if you have humidity creeping in from a bathroom or kitchen, you may want to shower with the windows open for the next few weeks to keep water moisture down.
It’s not too hard to fix peeling paint, and we hope this will help you fix the little corners that may have gone wrong.
Henry Duckstein Jr.