Foaming / Cratering

Formation of bubbles (foaming) and resulting small, round concave depressions (cratering) when bubbles break in a paint film, during paint application and drying.

Possible Causes

  • Shaking a partially filled can of paint.
  • Use of low quality paint or very old latex paints.
  • Applying (especially rolling) paint too rapidly.
  • Excessive rolling or brushing of the paint.
  • Applying a gloss or semigloss paint over a porous surface.


  • All paints will foam to some degree during application; however, higher quality paints are formulated so the bubbles break while the paint is still wet, allowing for good flow and appearance. Avoid excessive rolling or brushing of the paint or using paint that is more than a year old. Apply gloss and semigloss paints with a short nap roller, and apply an appropriate sealer or primer before using such paint over a porous surface. Problem areas should be sanded before repainting.