Why Is My Paint Peeling? (Causes & Easy Fix)


Water intrusion is the most significant danger to any stunning residence. Any structure made of concrete or wood becomes unsanitary and unhealthy to live in.

An extensive amount of paint is loosened from the surface due to water seepage in both interior and exterior walls and ceilings.

Peeling, less adhesion, blistering, cracking and many other problems may occur, affecting the aesthetics and structural integrity of the building.

Mold and mildew growth, as well as the chipping of painted walls, have a negative impact on the health of the occupants of the home.

Waterproofing the walls with alkali-resistant, high water, UV-resistant, and chemically resistant paints is the best way to deal with this problem.

Why Is My Paint Peeling? Major Causes

Before you could treat peeling paint, you must understand the most common causes behind this. Once you learn about the problems, just know that you have won half of the battle.

So, let’s dig into the reasons for paint peeling.

High Humidity & Condensation

Flaking paint can be caused by a lack of ventilation and poor-quality paint. As a result of the buildup of moisture on the walls, the coatings begin to blister and bulge.

The end result is layers of paint that are cracked and chipped. Condensation, on the contrary, creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew to thrive.


The fungi are responsible for the peeling and lifting of paint layers. After a rainstorm, condensation can also ruin new paint coats because of the moisture.

Exposed To Excessive Water

As water seeps into the wall and ceiling of the bathroom, it causes flaking paint. This causes paint coats to separate and come loose from the surface when water seeps through the paint.

This causes the skin to sag, crack, and peel. A gutter, leaking roof, or flashing can be the source of the water. Water splashes in the restroom or a permeable wall could also be to blame.

Dirty Surface

Dirty surfaces prevent paint from adhering. Painting on wood, metal, and concrete is hindered by dirt and grease.

Painting over a very dirty surface will result in the paint bubbling up and bulging out, causing subsequent coats to peel off.

Prior to painting, wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth. Something as inconsequential as dust can prevent paint from adhering properly, even if you can’t see any dirt.

Exposure To High Temperatures Or Sunlight

Higher than normal temperatures have an effect on the adhesion of paint. Because of the high temperatures, the paint dries more quickly, avoiding the coats from forming powerful bonds.

Cracking can occur when oil paint is exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Latex and plastic paints have adhesive bonds that get weakened when exposed to the sunlight; this is how they expand and contract for heat variations.

Inappropriate Preparation

A painting job requires thorough preparation. This step is unavoidable because preparation determines if the paint would stick to the surface or not.

In case of improper preparation, it will take no time for the paint to start peeling off or blistering. You have to make sure that the surface is an even one so that the paint has no difficulty sticking to it.

Also, you must avoid incomplete joints, the improper placing of tapes, and some more minor-looking issues that can impact the paint deeply.

Use Of Different Paint On The Same Surface

The adhesion of some paints is poor. Peeling occurs if these different paints are applied to the same surface.

Latex and oil-based paints don’t mix well, and vice versa. Using different types of paints on every coat will dilute your work.

Incompatible Paint

The compatibility of paints can be hindered by the presence of substances on some surfaces. Natural oils, such as those produced by freshly cut or improperly cured wood, can interfere with the proper adhesion of paint.

Some paints are incompatible with smooth or glossy surfaces. The paint that is applied to these surfaces will immediately flake off because they can’t create a mechanical bond with it.

The adhesion of a paint coat can also be hindered by synthetic polymer materials, such as polyethylene. If you cure the polymers chemically, the incompatibility problem gets worse.

Epoxy and polyurethane are good instances of these materials. You must ensure that the paint and the surface are compatible before applying them.

Oil-based paints, for example, can be damaged by concrete and galvanized steel. As a result of chemical reactions with the pains, the adhesive bonds in these materials are broken down, weakening the layers.

Use Of Low-Quality Paints

The flexibility and adhesion of some paint brands are truly appalling. Poor-quality paints are prone to peeling because they don’t dry or adhere properly.

Most paints containing calcimine, for example, are not very good. Paint with a lot of resin and pigment, and minimal solvents are what you want.

Too Many Layers

Adding too many paint layers to a surface, especially the ceiling, can result in a hefty coating that is difficult to remove. It will come out immediately if the layers are not supported by strong adhesive bonds.

Expired Paint

Paints, like all chemical products, have a shelf life. Paint can separate, mold or mildew grow, freeze, or all of the above.

Water-based paints that are stored in tin cans will rust over time, causing the paint to degrade as well. Expired paint may exhibit these symptoms or it can have an off-putting smell. Avoid using expired paint.

Use Of Inappropriate Primer

Different paints are suited for different surfaces, as was mentioned earlier. The wrong paint can result in peeling, so be careful what you put on your walls!

Concrete, wooden, plastic, and metallic surfaces all have a variety of primers to choose from. To avoid peeling, it’s important to use the correct primer for the type of paint you’re using.

Exposure To Corrosive Substances

A painted surface can be corroded by a wide range of substances. With time, the paint on the surface will begin to crack, blister, and eventually peel away.

Acids and bases are commonly found in corrosive substances. If you must clean your home’s walls with bleach or any alkaline substance, dilute it first to prevent damage to the paint.

Old Paint

The adhesive within paint layers weakens over time, allowing the paint’s cohesive bonds to take their place. As a result, the layers become separated from the surface.

They become brittle and weak over time, making them more vulnerable to chipping and cracking. Maintaining cleanliness and order in the building necessitates regular painting of the exterior.

For instance, wood outdoors requires re-painting every 3–7 years, whereas aluminum only requires it every 5 years, so the frequency of re-painting varies depending on the type of surface.

Improper Painting

It is possible for a paint coat to fail to adhere to a surface due to poor painting techniques, like using inappropriate brushes and putting thin coats.

No cohesive bonds between paint molecules can be formed using these two methods. They contribute to thin layers that are prone to chipping and cracking, thus making the surface more vulnerable.

Extremely Dry Environment

Excessive dryness can also lead to paint peeling. As a result, a new coat is unable to properly adhere to the surface due to the environment’s inability to form strong adhesive bonds.

How To Fix Paint Peeling – Quick, Easy & Permanent Fix

Because you discovered the problem early on, you won’t have to repaint the entire wall. Step-by-step instructions are provided below for repairing peeling paint.

Be aware, however, that long-lasting and smooth outcomes in your bathroom fixes and the fresh paint job in your bedroom are dependent on getting your surfaces in shape and using the appropriate product.

Thorough Investigation

The peeling may have been caused by a leak in the roof or a problem with the plumbing, so it’s a good idea to check for these issues before attempting to fix them.

Take care of those cracks as soon as possible! Using a drop cloth to protect the floor, as well as a trash can, is recommended.

Prepare your eyes and face with a mask and goggles in case specks of paint fly. Then, use a putty knife, wired hard brush, and carefully scrape off all affected paint from the surfaces.


Wearing a safety mask, goggles, and gloves is always a good idea, regardless of if the peeling paint is lead-based.

When painting a large area, put down a large piece of tarp or plastic in order to catch any stray paint pieces.

Set up the room for painting by removing all furniture, rugs, and other finishings and taping them off. Drop cloths should be placed to keep the paint from splattering onto other surfaces.

Getting Rid Of The Affected Areas

In case of paint peeling, you will first require to get rid of the paint from the affected area. Doing so will ensure that you remove all of the loose, flaking paint.

Using too much force while scraping can result in damage to the surface beneath.


Cracks and holes may be left in the wall once the peeled paint is taken off. Be sure to repair any damage first before repainting.

As needed, use a putty knife to apply a patching compound; smooth the surface and allow it to dry in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ensuring Smoothness On The Surface

If you want to ensure a smooth and even surface, you’ll need to sand the patched areas of peeling paint before applying new paint.

You can’t skip sanding the area with adequate tools like grit paper. Run your hand through the surface to understand the surface is lying parallel with the wall.


To ensure that the new paint adheres properly, the area must be completely clean. Wring out a sponge, and wipe down the surface that will be painted. Let the surface dry thoroughly before re-cleaning it.


Your newly painted area should be protected from moisture if the humidity was the reason for the peeling paint.

Sealing the surface with primer will help the paint adhere properly and keep it free of moisture. Prime the affected area and let it dry in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.


You are all set for painting now. Put the first coat of paint evenly over the area that has been thoroughly cleaned.

Apply a second coat, if necessary, and wait for it to dry before moving on to the next step. Take off the tape and the drop cloth, and revel in your newly buffed surface’s suppleness.

Final Verdict

Peeling and cracking in the paint may spoil the aesthetic appeal of commercial properties’ interior spaces.

What’s worse than spending money on refurnishing a paint for your business only to be let down by the results? Sadly, most business owners have encountered this problem at some point.

With a reliable painting company, you can avoid the majority of peeling paint issues. Working with a professional painter can help you avoid costly mistakes by having your commercial building’s paint job done correctly the first time.

Leave a Comment

Explore Us

Follow Us On:

About Us

House Whirl Logo White

HouseWhirl.com has a team of professional industry experts to help you find guides on painting, finishing, flooring, bathroom & kitchen to make your home look stunning. We have tested, researched & written hundreds of buying guides to help you select the top-notch & affordable products out there!


HouseWhirl.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.