How To

Paint Problem Solver

Hirshfield’s comprehensive paint problem solving guide provides detailed information on most types of paint problems. Depending on your paint issue, select a problem to learn more about possible causes as well as the solution to obtain a quality paint finish.

alligatoring paint issue
Patterned cracking in the surface of the paint film resembling the regular scales of an alligator.
interior paint problem
Bubbles resulting from localized loss of adhesion, and lifting of the paint film from the underlying surface.
blocking_large paint issue
Undesirable sticking together of two painted surfaces when pressed together (e.g., a door sticking to the jamb).
Paint burnishing is a common problem with paint, and is caused by a number of circumstances. No matter what the cause, there is an unwanted sheen from constant traffic of some kind.
Increase in gloss or sheen of paint film when subjected to rubbing, scrubbing or having an object brush up against it.
Caulk failure is the loss of the protective moisture seal due to the loss of initial adhesion and flexibility.
Caulk Failure
Loss of caulk’s initial adhesion and flexibility, causing it to crack and/or pull away from the surfaces to which it it applied.
chalking exterior paint issue
Formation of fine powder on the surface of the paint film.
chalking rundown exterior paint issue
Chalking Rundown
The washing down of chalk from an excessively eroding paint onto another area below.
cracking and flacking paint issue
Cracking / Flaking
The splitting of a dry paint film through at least one coat, which will lead to complete failure of the paint.
cracking and flaking paint issue
Cracking And Flaking
The splitting of a dry paint film through at least one coat as a result of aging.
dirt pickup paint issue
Dirt Pickup
Accumulation of dirt, dust particles and/or other debris on the paint film; may resemble mildew.
efflorescence mottling paint issue
Efflorescence / Mottling
Crusty, white salt deposits, leached from mortar or masonry as water passes through it.
paint fading paint issue
Premature and/or excessive lightening of the paint color, which often occurs on surfaces with sunny southern exposure.
Foaming and catering paint issue
Foaming And Cratering
Formation of bubbles (foaming) and resulting small, round concave depressions (cratering) after bubbles break during the drying process.
frosting paint issue
A white, salt-like substance on the paint surface.
over lapping paint issue
Appearance of a denser color or increased gloss where wet and dry layers overlap during paint application.
mildew-paint -issue
Black, gray or brown areas of fungus growth on the surface of paint or caulk.
mud cracking paint issue
Mud Cracking
Deep, irregular cracks resembling dried mud in dry paint film.
nailhead rusting paint issue
Nailhead Rusting
Reddish-brown stains and spots on the paint surface.
paint incompatibility paint issue
Paint Incompatibility
Loss of adhesion where many old coats of alkyd or oil-based paint receive a latex top coat.
paint peeling issue
Loss of paint due to poor adhesion.
picture framing paint issue
Picture Framing
An effect of non uniform color that can appear when a wall is painted with a roller, but is brushed at the corners.
poor alkali resistance paint issue
Poor Alkali Resistance
Color loss and overall deterioration of paint film on fresh masonry.
poor galvanized metal adhesion
Poor Galvanized Metal Adhesion
Paint that has lost its adhesion to a galvanized metal substrate.
poor gloss retention paint issue
Poor Gloss Retention
Deterioration of the paint film, resulting in excessive or rapid loss of luster of the top coat.
poor hiding paint issue
Poor Hiding
Failure of dried paint to obscure or “hide” the surface to which it is applied.
poor print resistance paint issue
Poor Print Resistance
Tendency of paint film to take on the imprint of an object that is placed on it.
poor scrub resistance paint issue
Poor Scrub Resistance
Excessive wearing away of the paint film from repeated scrubbing.
poor sheen uniformity paint issue
Poor Sheen Uniformity
Shiny spots or dull spots (also known as “flashing”) on a painted surface; uneven gloss.
poor stain resistance paint issue
Poor Stain Resistance
Failure of the paint to resist absorption of dirt and stains.
roller masks stipple paint issue
Roller Marks And Stipple
Unintentional textured pattern left in the paint by the roller.
roller spattering paint issue
Roller Spattering
Tendency of a roller to throw off small droplets of paint during application.
sagging paint issue
Downward “drooping” movement of the paint film immediately after application, resulting in an uneven coating.
surfactant leaching paint issue
Surfactant Leaching
Concentration of water-soluble ingredients on latex paint, creating a blotchy, sometimes glossy appearance, often with a tan or brownish cast.
wax bleed through paint issue
Wax Bleed
Stains that come from waxy substance in the reconstituted wood products used to make hardboard siding.
wrinkling paint issue
A rough, crinkled paint surface, which occurs when uncured paint forms a “skin.”
yellowing paint issue
Development of a yellow cast in aging paint; most noticeable in the dried films of white paints or clear varnishes.