Interior Painting: 8 Common Causes of Paint Damage

calander Dec 31 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

Whether you do it yourself or hire interior house painters, if you’re going to put all that time, effort, and money into your interior painting project, you want to make sure you end up with the best, longest-lasting results. In order to achieve these outcomes, you must contend with the numerous factors that threaten your coatings -- even the most durable paint jobs can undergo damage if exposed to certain forces. Knowing what these forces will help you prevent them from doing harm to your interior paint applications. With that in mind, here are eight common causes of paint damage and failure.

Common Pauses of Paint Damage

1. Low-quality Paint

Preventing paint damage begins with the application itself. If you decide to use cheaper paint products for your surfaces, you greatly increase the chances of running into paint problems down the line. Lower-quality paints are often thinner, less adherent, and less durable than their higher-quality counterparts. As such, these paint products won’t provide an adequate layer of protection for your surfaces and might not properly adhere in the first place. Before embarking on your home interior painting journey, then, do your due diligence regarding paint types, making sure to purchase the right quality products for the materials you’ll be painting.

2. Improper Surface Preparation

Of course, before you even paint your interior surfaces, you must perform the proper prep work. Standard surface preparation duties include dusting, cleaning, sanding, priming, and caulking. This prep work is crucial for facilitating proper paint adhesion and even coverage. If you neglect these steps, it won’t matter much whether the paint you’re using is of low or high quality -- either way, the product will struggle to stick to the dirty, rough, unsealed surface, and soon after you may notice peeling, bubbling, and blistering as a result.

3. Poor Application

Low-quality paint and a lack of surface preparation aren’t the only factors that enable paint damage -- the way you paint your surfaces matters, too. The best painting results derive from a methodical application approach. Conversely, paint damage and failure are more likely to occur if you:

  • Use the wrong brushes and/or naps for the surface in question

  • Apply paint too thinly or thickly

  • Apply too few or too many coats

  • Apply a top coat over a previous coat that has not yet fully dried

  • Apply paint and/or allow paint to cure or dry in suboptimal conditions (i.e. too hot, cold, humid, or dry)

  • Apply expired paint

  • ...and more

These application errors tend to result in vulnerable coatings that lack the proper bonding strength, which can accelerate cracking, flaking, peeling, blistering, and so on.

4. Impact

Steering clear of the three paint application problems outlined above will fortify your interior paint job, reducing the likelihood of damage. Still, nailing your residential interior painting project from the outset is only half the battle of ensuring its endurance. From here on out, you must do your best to maintain your paint job by protecting it from various environmental risks. Perhaps the most common and obvious cause of paint damage is physical impact, which can occur when someone runs into the paint, scratches it, scuffs it, throws something at it, and so on. Impact damage doesn’t occur as often in calmer, lower-traffic areas like bedrooms and dining rooms, but higher-traffic spaces like hallways, vestibules, bathrooms, and kitchens can get beat up from all the activity. Fortunately, most of these issues are isolated and minor, meaning they can be amended by cleaning and/or touching up the area in question.

5. Excessive Moisture

At first glance, water might not seem like the most threatening factor out there, but it can yield widespread damage to your home painting. An excess of moisture can enter the space between your surface and paint and force the paint to lift away from the surface, leading to cracking, bubbling, and peeling. To make matters worse, moisture can enter your home in a number of ways -- spilled liquids, leaky pipes, poor insulation, steam from showers and stovetops, etc. No matter how moisture makes its way into your home, know that it poses a threat to your interior painted surfaces. Armed with this knowledge, you can take steps to reduce the presence of moisture in your home. For instance, you might inspect and improve your ventilation systems to maintain proper humidity levels (especially in bathrooms and kitchens), repair any faulty pipes, re-seal any gaps with caulk to keep outdoor water from gaining entry, install a sump pump in your basement to force groundwater away from your home, and more.

6. Extreme Temperatures

Extreme heat and cold can also have a negative effect on your paint job both during and after the application process. Most paints should be applied in temperatures no lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 90 degrees. When temperatures are too low, paint will thicken and stiffen up and take a long time to dry, which can lead to improper curing. On the other hand, hot temperatures will cause your paint to thin out and bubble along with accelerating the drying process. Either way, you’ll be left with a poorly adherent, uneven coating. That said, even if you apply your paint in ideal conditions, subjecting your finished paint job to major temperature fluctuations cause damage. Cold temperatures cause surfaces to contract while hot temperatures cause surfaces to expand -- if these subtle movements occur too quickly and/or the paint isn’t properly cured to the surface, the coating will fail to move along with the surface, leading to cracking, peeling, flaking, and other concerns. For this reason, it’s important to maintain a reasonable and consistent interior climate in every room.

7. Harsh Sunlight

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can do a number on your interior paint job as well. While it’s true that sunlight primarily affects exterior surfaces, plenty of UV rays can enter your home through windows. When they do, the energy can cause paint colors to prematurely fade as well as loosen the adhesive bonds of all types of paint. So, while it’s important to let natural light inside your home, keep in mind that too much sunlight can damage your paint job. You might find a compromise by investing in higher-quality windows that block a broader spectrum of UV radiation.

8. Dry Climate

While you don’t want your paint exposed to too much moisture, you don’t want to turn your interior into a desert, either. Extreme dryness can weaken any paint job and make it more prone to cracking. If some areas of your home are extremely dry, then, you might invest in a humidifier to increase relative humidity levels, making sure to not exceed the recommended levels of moisture.

Protecting your interior paint job from harm requires that you make the right moves before, during, and after the project. Reliable local painters can help ensure that your painted surfaces maintain their beauty and integrity for as long as possible. At Nash Painting, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners and business owners in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN revitalize their properties inside and out with our laundry list of painting services and years of expertise. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!