Friday Finds: Problems with Peeling Paint

Peeling Paint example

What Can I Do To Avoid Peeling Paint?

As the robins return, you may find yourself making a list of outdoor projects to tackle this Spring and Summer – among them repainting the exterior of your home. It’s a big job, but a valuable investment in keeping your house in top condition. If you’re trying to fix a problem with peeling paint, Doug Kehoe, an experienced Hirshfield’s store manager, has some tips on how to get the job done right.

Exterior Paint Peeling
Deal with peeling paint now to prevent more in the future.

“Peeling is caused by a variety of factors,” explains Doug. “Many of them are tied to issues with surface preparation.” Peeling paint is not a reflection of the paint itself, but a loss of adhesion to the surface.

First Step

“First, scrape all the peeling paint that you can. Any loose sections should be completely cleared. Then, sand the fresh edges you’ve created, feathering them out to create an even surface,” says Doug. Make sure that the surface is very smooth, or where the chips were will show as uneven surface in your new coat of paint.

Extra Help

peel bondIf you find that the difference between the paint surface and the cleared surface areas is significant, you may need to do more than sand. A specialty primer can help fill the voids. “Primer can fill the small surface cracks and irregularities nicely,” explains Doug. “The best product we offer for this purpose is Peel Bond, which is full bodied and fills low areas nicely. Or, you can use Peel Stop, which is a bit thinner in consistency but can be built up in multiple layers.”

Do Your Homework

Peeling has multiple causes, but you can prevent future peeling by spending time now. Look for wet areas where caulk has been undermined, particularly around windows, and re-caulk as needed. Repair any siding that is showing dampness. Be sure to thoroughly clean any mildew.

Doug notes that as much as you’d like to prevent it, cracking and peeling can be the inevitable result of many layers of accumulated paint. Over time, a built-up rigid substrate can form from coats of paint. “If you have layer upon layer of paint on your home, it can lose flexibility. With the natural shifting and settling of your home, the paint can crack and peel.” Doug had direct experience with this.

Next Steps

“I have a 1920s home, and I had peeling paint on the windows. At first, I would just scrape, spot prime and paint. But the peeling continued to be a nuisance.” Doug decided serious measures were needed or he would be doing touchups forever. “I tackled the windows one by one, fully stripping the paint away using a heat gun to blister the paint. I then scraped, and had a nice clean surface to prime and paint.” It took a while to get the entire job done, but it was better than doing the project in dribs and drabs, he says.

High quality paint can also be worth the investment. “High quality paints have a higher amount of resin,” Doug says. “It’s resin that holds the paint together as well as what causes paint to stick to the surface.” Talk to your local Hirshfield’s staff for advice on the best products to use for your painting project, as well as advice and ideas on color schemes.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

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