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Exterior Paint: Common Problems and How to Fix Them

exterior paint

Exterior paint is not only a matter of beauty; it significantly contributes to the ability of your house to resist various perils such as moisture, rodents, and even termites. If you are thinking about an exterior home makeover or you are strictly focused on giving your property a facelift, it cannot be denied that you will encounter paint issues along the way. This guide will more particularly discuss exterior paint problems and how to fix them so that your home will stay as beautiful as you want it to be.

Common Exterior Paint Problems

1. Peeling Paint

Peeling paint is a frequent issue, especially in older homes or those exposed to harsh weather conditions. It occurs when the paint film lifts from the underlying surface, resulting in unsightly patches and potential damage to the substrate. Peeling is often caused by moisture infiltration or poor surface preparation before painting.

2. Blistering Paint

Blistering paint appears as bubbles or blisters on the painted surface, indicating that moisture is trapped beneath the paint layer. This can happen due to painting over a damp surface, high humidity, or excessive heat during application.

3. Cracking or Flaking Paint

Cracking or flaking paint manifests as cracks or flakes on the painted surface, leading to large sections of paint peeling off. This problem is often due to aging paint, exposure to extreme weather conditions, or inadequate surface preparation.

4. Mildew and Mold

Mildew and mold growth are common in humid or shaded areas of the exterior. These fungi can cause discoloration and damage to the paint, making your home look neglected and potentially harming the structure if left untreated.

5. Fading and Chalkiness

Fading and chalkiness occur when the paint loses its color and becomes powdery over time. This problem is primarily due to prolonged exposure to sunlight and harsh weather conditions, causing the paint pigments to break down.

6. Staining

Staining on exterior paint can result from various factors, including water damage, rust, or contaminants. Stains can significantly mar the appearance of your home’s exterior and can be challenging to remove without proper treatment.

Causes of Exterior Paint Problems

Understanding the causes of exterior paint problems is essential to address them effectively and prevent recurrence. Common causes include:

  • Moisture: Excessive moisture is a leading cause of exterior paint problems. It can penetrate the paint film, leading to issues like peeling, blistering, and mold growth.
  • Poor Surface Preparation: Inadequate surface preparation, such as not cleaning or sanding the surface before painting, can result in poor adhesion and various paint problems.
  • Low-Quality Paint: Using low-quality paint or the wrong type of paint for exterior surfaces can lead to premature failure and increased maintenance costs.
  • Environmental Factors: Harsh weather conditions, UV exposure, and temperature fluctuations can accelerate paint deterioration.
  • Application Errors: Incorrect application techniques, such as applying paint too thickly or in unfavorable weather conditions, can cause problems like blistering and cracking.

How to Fix Common Exterior Paint Problems

Repairing Peeling Paint

To repair peeling paint, follow these steps:

  • Identify the Cause: Determine the root cause of the peeling, such as moisture infiltration or poor surface preparation.
  • Remove Loose Paint: Scrape off loose paint using a putty knife or paint scraper, ensuring you remove all peeling sections.
  • Sand the Surface: Sand the area to smooth out rough edges and create a uniform surface for the new paint to adhere to.
  • Prime the Surface: Apply a high-quality primer to the bare surface to enhance adhesion and provide a solid base for the new paint.
  • Repaint: Apply a fresh coat of exterior paint, ensuring even coverage and appropriate drying time between coats. This step is critical for ensuring a long-lasting finish.

Fixing Blistering Paint

To fix blistering paint:

  • Identify the Cause: Determine if moisture or heat is causing the blistering. Moisture is often the culprit, especially in humid climates.
  • Remove Blisters: Use a scraper to remove blisters and sand the area to a smooth finish. Before beginning, ensure that the surface is completely dry.
  • Prime the Surface: Apply a primer suitable for exterior use to prevent future blistering. This primer will help seal the surface and create a stable base for the paint.
  • Repaint: Repaint the surface with high-quality exterior paint, ensuring proper ventilation during application to avoid trapping moisture.

Addressing Cracking or Flaking Paint

To address cracking or flaking paint:

  • Identify the Cause: Determine if the issue is due to moisture, aging, or poor surface preparation. Understanding the root cause will help prevent future problems.
  • Remove Loose Paint: Scrape off loose or flaking paint and sand the area to a smooth finish. This step is essential for creating a uniform surface for the new paint.
  • Fill Cracks: Use a high-quality filler to fill any cracks or gaps in the surface. This prevents moisture from infiltrating and inflicting additional harm.
  • Prime the Surface: Apply a primer to ensure proper adhesion of the new paint. A good primer will also seal the surface and prevent future cracking.
  • Repaint: Apply a fresh coat of exterior paint, following manufacturer recommendations for drying times. 

Ensure you apply the paint evenly and allow adequate drying time between coats.

Removing Mildew and Mold

To remove mildew and mold:

  • Clean the Surface: Use a mixture of water and bleach (1:3 ratio) to clean the affected area. Scrub with a brush to remove mildew and mold effectively. Be sure to wear protective gear to avoid inhaling fumes or coming into contact with the bleach.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely. This step ensures that no bleach residue remains, which could affect the new paint.
  • Prime and Repaint: Apply a mildew-resistant primer and repaint with a high-quality exterior paint that includes mildew inhibitors. This will help prevent future mildew and mold growth.

Treating Fading and Chalkiness

To treat fading and chalkiness:

  • Clean the Surface: Wash the surface with a mild detergent solution to remove chalkiness and dirt. A clean surface promotes better adherence to new paint.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the area with clean water and allow it to dry completely. This step removes any soap residue that could interfere with the new paint.
  • Apply Primer: Apply a primer designed to adhere to chalky surfaces. This primer will provide a stable base for the new paint and improve its durability.
  • Repaint: Repaint with a high-quality exterior paint formulated for UV resistance. This type of paint will better withstand sun exposure and retain its color longer.

Handling Staining

To handle staining:

  • Identify the Cause: Determine the source of the staining, such as rust, water damage, or contaminants. Addressing the underlying cause is crucial to prevent future stains.
  • Clean the Surface: Use appropriate cleaning agents to remove stains. For rust, use a rust remover; for water stains, use a mildew remover. This step ensures the stain does not bleed through the new paint.
  • Prime the Surface: Apply a stain-blocking primer to prevent stains from bleeding through the new paint. This primer will seal the surface and block any residual stains.
  • Repaint: Apply a fresh coat of exterior paint, ensuring even coverage. This step restores the appearance of your home’s exterior and provides a protective barrier against future stains.

Preventive Measures for Exterior Paint Problems

Preventing exterior paint problems involves regular maintenance and using quality materials. Consider the following preventive measures:

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of your exterior paint to identify and address issues early. Look for signs of peeling, blistering, cracking, and mildew growth.
  • Proper Surface Preparation: Ensure thorough surface preparation before painting, including cleaning, sanding, and priming. This step is crucial for ensuring good adhesion and a long-lasting finish.
  • Use High-Quality Paint: Invest in high-quality exterior paint and primers designed for your specific climate and surface. High-quality products are more durable and resistant to weather conditions.
  • Control Moisture: Address moisture issues by repairing leaks, ensuring proper drainage, and using moisture-resistant materials. Moisture control is essential for preventing paint problems like peeling and blistering.
  • Protect from UV Exposure: Use paint with UV inhibitors and consider using lighter colors that reflect sunlight. This helps prevent fading and chalkiness caused by prolonged sun exposure.
  • Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Follow the paint manufacturer’s guidelines for application and maintenance. Proper application techniques and maintenance practices are crucial for achieving the best results.

The Role of Professional Painters

exterior paint

House painting, especially of the exterior type, is an area where professional input can go a long way in improving the result of the project. Although some homeowners prefer doing the painting themselves, professional painters do the job better and faster despite the cost. Here, we will look at the main duties that entail the benefits of professional painters for outside home painting services.

Expertise and Skill

Contacting professional painters tends to come with a lot of experience and talent in that particular field that could otherwise take some time to acquire. They are highly trained in terms of how they are to prepare the surface, how they are to paint the surface, and how to put the final touches on the work being done. This expertise provides a good, uniform, and lasting paint touch on houses to give the home that attractive facelift it need.

Quality Materials and Equipment

There are painting professionals like those from the company Primework Construction Company who require professional devices and supplies that are very difficult for an ordinary citizen to buy. It is our pleasure to provide them with commercial-grade primers, paints, and quality tools that enhance the appearance of the work. Applying quality products can assist in evading frequent issues that come with the exteriors, such as peeling, cracking, and fading.

Efficient and Timely Completion

Hiring professional painters means your project will be completed efficiently and within a set timeframe. Professionals understand the importance of timing in painting projects and work diligently to complete the job on schedule. This efficiency reduces the inconvenience of having a prolonged painting project and ensures your home is protected as soon as possible.

Comprehensive Preparation and Cleanup

Proper surface preparation is crucial for a successful exterior paint job. Professional painters thoroughly clean, sand, and prime surfaces before applying paint. This comprehensive preparation ensures excellent adhesion and durability of the paint. Moreover, professional painters handle all the cleanup, leaving your property clean and free of debris.

Attention to Detail

Professional painters pay meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of the job is done to perfection. From selecting the right type and color of paint to applying it uniformly, they ensure that every detail enhances the overall appearance of your home. This attention to detail can make a significant difference in the final result, providing a polished and professional finish.

Safety Considerations

Exterior painting often involves working at heights and using ladders or scaffolding. Professional painters are trained in safety measures and have the required tools to work safely. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, ensuring the project is completed without incident.

Warranty and Insurance

Reputable painting companies, like Primework Construction Company, offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that any issues will be addressed promptly. Additionally, professional painters are typically insured, protecting you from liability in case of accidents or damages during the project.


Maintaining the exterior paint of your house is essential in terms of appearance as well as protection. It would be beneficial to examine the general exterior paint problems and their causes, so you can act accordingly to avoid them. It is very important to maintain your house’s exterior as to achieve the best result you need to paint your house properly, with proper surface preparation and using only high-quality materials. In matters concerning exterior home painting, there is no better approach than addressing paint problems as they are since it is cheaper and time-saving in the long run. 

Furthermore, investing in professional painters like the ones from Primework Construction Company can also have loads of advantages. They are professional painters with considerable experience in exterior painting, control of good quality materials, time conservation, proper work attentive to details, and safety measures, making them worthy of your hiring. The results of entering in Google the phrase “exterior home painting near me” or “exterior remodelers near me“will give you trustworthy contractors that will guarantee you perfect and rather lasting work on the house exterior.


1. How to repair exterior paint?

To repair exterior paint, identify the cause of the problem, remove loose paint, sand the surface, apply a primer, and repaint with high-quality exterior paint.

2. What is the greatest single cause of exterior paint failures?

Moisture is the greatest single cause of exterior paint failures, leading to issues like peeling, blistering, and mold growth.

3. How do you fix a bad house paint job?

To fix a bad house paint job, assess the problem, remove any loose or defective paint, sand the surface smooth, apply a primer, and repaint with high-quality exterior paint.

4. How to repair flaking exterior paint?

To repair flaking exterior paint, remove loose paint, sand the area, fill any cracks, apply a primer, and repaint with a suitable exterior paint.

5. Can you touch up exterior house paint?

Yes, you can touch up exterior house paint by cleaning the area, sanding if necessary, and applying matching paint to blend with the existing paint.

6. What does paint failure look like?

Paint failure can manifest as peeling, blistering, cracking, flaking, fading, chalkiness, mildew, mold, or staining on the painted surface.

7. Why does my exterior paint look blotchy?

Blotchy exterior paint can result from uneven application, poor surface preparation, or using low-quality paint.

8. Why is my paint still patchy after 5 coats?

Patchy paint after multiple coats can be due to improper surface preparation, inadequate drying time between coats, or using low-quality paint.

9. Can you paint over a bad paint job?

Yes, you can paint over a bad paint job, but it is essential to prepare the surface properly by cleaning, sanding, and applying a primer before repainting.

10. Can you paint over old exterior paint?

Yes, you can paint over old exterior paint as long as the surface is clean, smooth, and properly prepared. Applying a primer before repainting is recommended.

11. Can you paint over cracked exterior paint?

Yes, you can paint over cracked exterior paint, but it is essential to remove loose paint, fill cracks, sand the surface, apply a primer, and then repaint with high-quality exterior paint.

12. Do you need to sand exterior paint before repainting?

Yes, sanding the exterior paint before repainting is important to ensure a smooth and even surface. Sanding helps remove loose paint and rough spots, allowing the new paint to adhere better.

13. Can you touch up peeling paint?

Yes, you can touch up peeling paint by removing the loose paint, sanding the area, applying a primer, and then repainting with matching paint. Proper preparation is key to a seamless touch-up.

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