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Three Major Exterior House Painting Problems

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Last updated on April 7, 2022

The exterior of your house is the first thing people notice when they visit you and your home. Keeping the exterior in top-notch shape is very important. With that being said, the exterior takes a constant beating from the elements. Long-term exposure to any of these elements can lead to paint peeling, blistering or even alligatoring. Advanced Painting Contractors discusses a few of the more common exterior house paint problems and the best ways to fix them.


Peeling paint is a very common exterior painting problem. Generally it is caused by moisture, poor adhesion or older paint. 

  • Older Paint – New coats of paint will only stick as well as the older coats of paint applied before. The most common reason for peeling is insufficient scraping of the old layers before applying new paint.
  • Moisture – If water finds its way behind paint it will cause peeling as it’s trying to find its way out.
  • Poor Adhesion – If the most recent paint coating was applied directly over bare wood or an extremely glossy surface it can cause a loss of adhesion between the paint and the coating.

The solution to avoid peeling exterior paint from your home is simple. Pressure-wash to clean the surface and remove any loose or peeling paint. Scrape any peeling areas and feather the edges with sandpaper or an electric sander. Next, make sure that the surface is clean and dry. Finally, be sure to primer your surface before painting. This is a sure way to avoid peeling.

Cracking and peeling lead paint off of wood sliding.


Paint blisters or bubbles occur when the paint film lifts from the underlying surface. The loss of adhesion between the paint film and surface is usually caused by heat or moisture.

  • Moisture – The main cause of this problem is exposure of the paint coating to dew, high humidity, or rain shortly after drying.
  • Heat – Excessive heat can cause problems with freshly applied paint when it’s put over a surface that’s too hot, usually due to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

The best solution to avoid blistering is to hand scrape the blistered areas to remove any old paint. Avoid the temptation of painting late into the evening when the dew will soon be settling in, or too close to the time when rain is expected. Always clean the surface well with a stiff-bristled brush or a pressure washer, and be sure to use a good pre-paint cleaner/degreaser. When painting the exterior of your home try to focus on the sides of the house that are not in direct sunlight.  If the surface feels extremely hot to the touch, skip it and go to another side of the house.


Alligatoring is exterior paint that has cracked in a pattern that resembles an alligator’s scales. Cracks may only affect a single layer of paint and may not reach the surface.

  • Oil-Based Paint – Oil-based paints are not nearly as flexible as acrylic latex. Over time, the oil-based paint will split and crack because it can’t expand and contract with the surface beneath.

The best solution is to remove as much of the old oil-based coating as possible by either hand scraping, chemical paint stripping, etc. From there, replace the oil-based coating with a 100% Acrylic Latex paint. If the old coating is glossy consider creating a “profile” on the surface. This allows the new paint to stick by sanding it with sandpaper or an electric sander. An alternative is to use a primer that will bond well to the old coating.

Old Exterior Door with Cracked White Paint and Rusty Old Hardware

Exterior House Paint Professionals

To learn about more exterior house painting problems visit our website or call our office below. We are more than happy to provide you with any additional information regarding paint or our services!

(704) 266-3365

About the author  Luis Arroyo

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