Peeling, cracking, or bubbling paint is a common problem. Paint tends to peel both indoors and outdoors. Rain and other weather-related sources are not the obvious causes. Today’s paints, whether latex, acrylic, alkyd or oil-based, are carefully formulated to cover just about anything.

The paint itself rarely fails. Peeling usually results from poor surface preparation. When dirt and other debris are left on the surface paint will fail to bind. Applying a topcoat without priming creates adhesion problems. Painting on overheated or damp surfaces causes paint to blister resulting in paint peeling or cracking.

Repairing the Surface

Repairing a marred surface caused by paint blistering or peeling is not difficult. Do not repaint if the weather is especially humid or if rain is expected.

The first step is to make sure the surface is clean, dry and properly primed.


Materials you need:

  1. Putty Knife or Pull Scraper.
  2. Sandpaper (various grits) or Orbital Sander.
  3. Interior or Exterior Surface Filler.
  4. Multi-Purpose Latex Primer.

The following steps are ways to repair a peeling or bubbling surface:


  1. Remove blisters or peeling paint with a putty knife or similar tool.
  2. Sand the surface evenly until smooth (an orbital sander is optional).
  3. Allow damp surfaces to thoroughly dry.
  4. Fill any depressions with surface filler and sand lightly.
  5. Apply an undercoat to the surface. Follow with a topcoat after the primer has dried.

Mildew Removal

Moisture is usually the cause of most paint problems. What looks like a dirty stain on painted surfaces may actually be mildew. If not properly treated, fungal spores will reappear and embed in the surface.

First, determine the cause of moisture-related issues before treating the mildew. If blistering or peeling occurs in the bathroom or laundry room, use a better ventilation system. Install a vent fan or room dehumidifier to release moist air and regulate circulation.

Here are some methods for removing mildew. Treatment is the same for interior and exterior surfaces.


Materials you need:

  1. Stiff Wire Brush.
  2. Chlorine Bleach or Trisodium Phosphate (TSP).
  3. Rubber Gloves and Protective
  4. Mold Killing Multi-Purpose Primer.
  5. Mildew Inhibitor.


  1. Remove heavy mildew by vigorously brushing the surface with a stiff wire brush.
  2. Sand the surface to the undercoat or bare wood. An orbital sander may be used.
  3. Thoroughly scrub the surface with (a) trisodium phosphate, (b) a solution of one-quart chlorine bleach combined with three quarts of water or (c ) a premixed commercial mildew remover.
  4. Allow the solution to work in the area for about 10 minutes. Repeat the procedure if necessary.
  5. Use paint that has an anti-mildew agent or add a fungicide.