Trailing a paintbrush down a wall, watching age-old smudges disappear and feeling the room come to life is an incredibly satisfying sensation. Until little bubbles blister across the surface and shatter this smooth, calming aesthetic. This blog will tell you exactly why this happens, and more importantly, how to fix bubbling on walls.

What is bubbling or blistering on walls?

‘Bubbling’ or ‘blistering’ occurs when pockets of liquid emerge from a coat of paint, causing bumps to run across the surface of your wall. They usually dry out and burst, leaving behind a section of flaked paint.

What causes bubbling on walls?how to fix bubbling on walls

Bubbling appears when the top coat of paint parts ways with the layers beneath it, and in some cases can strip away multiple underlying layers of paint. This frustration can happen suddenly or transpire over the course of a few months so, while it cannot be predicted, if you know the causes then it can be prevented. The triggering factors include:

  • Too much moisture has entered or is entering the back of the paint film
  • The masonry structure has not dried properly and has been painted over
  • The vapour barriers related to the structure have been poorly designed
  • A dirty wall has been primed or painted on, where the presence of oil and grease can prevent the paint from bonding with the surface being painted
  • A paint job was done just before or after rainfall, which will lead to water-filled blisters
  • A suitable primer has not been used, necessary to prepare the surface of the walls before being painted on

How do I fix bubbling on my walls?

The main thing we’d like to encourage is the removal of all excess moisture before that first stroke of paint hits the wall. No drop should be left behind, as even a whiff of damp will undo hours of hard work. Here are a few professional tips for a DIY paint project.

  • Use a paint scraper or a putty knife to scrap the paint bubbles off the wall.
  • Sand down the area where the bubbling occurred until the area is smooth
  • Clean the area thoroughly to remove any grease or dust. A high-pressure hose is the most effective here, depending on the part of your home in question.
  • Use a skimming compound to fill any pits in the wall. Then sand the joint compound to make the surface smooth.
  • Re-clean the surface after sanding to ensure that dust is wiped away
  • Prime the area and wait for the primer to dry
  • how to fix bubbling on walls Paint the area. Wait for it to dry and then apply a second coat.

Please note that the above will work provided all moisture issues are resolved prior to painting.

One tiny blemish can be the source of immense frustration, but don’t let the paint bubbles burst your redecorating bubble. Whether you need a wall painted or a blister erased, we are just one phone call away! Get in touch for all your paint jobs.