Paint defects – Identification, cause and solution – Interiors

Knot staining

Cause: Failure to use a knotting solution (usually shellac based) before painting

Solution: Rub down the area and apply a shellac based knotting solution or stain blocker and re paint.

Checking

Cause: Timber has ‘checked’ allowing moisture to penetrate and cause the paint to lift.

Solution: Scrape back to a sound surface and repaint.

Sagging / Running / Curtaining

Cause: Paint has been applied too thickly and additional coats have been applied before the previous was fully cured.

Solution: Completely remove the paint and repaint.

Cissing

Cause: Generally cissing is caused by the application of paint to a surface which has not been properly prepared. The surface will likely be contaminated with grease, oil or polish.

Solution: To resolve cissing, the surface should be left to dry, thoroughly rubbed down and cleaned before applying further coats of paint.

Crowsfooting / Checking

Cause: Underlying paint has a different tensile strength to the top coat. Meaning expansion and contraction varies and causes cracking.

Solution: The use of a more flexible top coat will be necessary.

Flaking

Cause: An emulsion paint has been applied to an underbound material.

Solution: Remove back to bare plaster, use a stabilising primer to prepare the new surface followed by reapplying the paint.

Mould growth

Cause: Organic growth on interior surfaces is usually caused when condensation and damp penetrates into the plaster.

Solution: Wash with bleach and water, apply a biocide or fungicide solution to kill any remaining organic growth and repaint.

Saponification

Cause: An alkyd based paint has been applied to an alkali surface without the use of a suitable primer.

Solution: Remove the soft film and clean thoroughly with white spirit. Once dry, use an appropriate primer and reapply the paint.

Crinkling

Cause: Softening of a previously applied paint, usually due to the fact the subsequent coat was applied before the former was fully cured.

Solution: Sometimes you can rub down the surface to make it smooth again and reapply paint. Although in extreme cases you may need to completely remove the entire coating.

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