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Correcting Common Paint Problems: Blistering and Masonry Surfaces

Here are tips and suggestions on how to correct common paint problems. Homeowners all over the country experience these types of problems. Take the time to read the instructions carefully and follow them and you can correct many of the paint problems around your home.


  • Blistering is caused by moisture trapped in the wood that is drawn to the surface by the sun’s rays. As the moisture rises, it pulls the paint away from the surface and causes blistering (see image).
  • Locate the source of the excess moisture and eliminate it. Check first for leakage from the gutters or eaves of the house.
  • If the area is near a bathroom or kitchen, you may need to install an exhaust fan to remove the excess heat, steam and moisture.
  • You can also install moisture vents or wedges in the siding to permit the moisture to escape.
  • Scrape or sand away all the old paint in the blistered area down to the wood. Scrape the unblistered paint out about 12′ beyond the blistered area.
  • Next, sand this area thoroughly, right down to the fresh wood. Then prime it with a good grade of undercoat paint.
  • Block future moisture problems by sealing all cracks, holes and seams with a good grade of caulking compound.
  • After the caulking compound and undercoat have dried thoroughly, apply a second coat of a good grade of outside house paint. This eliminates the problem.

Chalking and Flaking on Masonry Surfaces

  • Chalking and flaking on masonry surfaces are usually caused by inadequate preparation of the surface prior to painting. This causes the paint to flake off or powder (see image).
  • First, remove the chalking or flaking with a wire brush or by sandblasting. If the job is big, use power sanders or wire brushes.
  • Next, seal all cracks with a good grade of concrete patch or caulk. After sealing the cracks, apply masonry conditioner following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • After the masonry conditioner has thoroughly dried, apply one or two coats of a good grade of latex house paint or an exterior masonry paint. Your flaking problem is corrected!

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

For home improvement advice, visit JS West Lumber & Ace Hardware Sonora, Ca. or visit and click on the Answers@Ace icon. Answers@Ace is an online resource with information for do-it-yourselfers about hardware and home improvement projects. The Everyday Projects section has pictures and detailed, step-by-step instructions for this and many more home improvement projects.

To speak to an Ace Hardware advisor in Sonora call: 209 532 7446.


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