Understanding Why Paint Bubbles

ECOS Paints 07/21/2021
Understanding Why Paint Bubbles

Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment you get after painting a room yourself. But that triumph can quickly dissipate when you discover a series of blistering bubbles appearing across your walls. You took your time picking the best paints, applying two coats, and letting them dry. What happened? Understanding why paint bubbles can help you diagnose your interior paint woes.

What Is Paint Bubbling?

Paint bubbling or blistering is when paint loosens from the surface it’s painted on, leaving a bump on the wall. This bubble can be full of fluid, though not always, and often leads to paint cracking. While frustrating, it can be relatively easy to fix cracked paint, especially when you know why it’s happening.

Why Does Paint Bubble?

Surface Preparation

Since paint bubbling relates to the paint’s ability to adhere to a surface, it makes sense that the surface itself would contribute to this issue. Painting on surfaces that are dusty, grimy, or moist are more likely to lead to blistering. Painting over unprimed walls or surfaces with old, cracked paint can have a similar result.


As mentioned, your paint will have trouble adhering to a moist surface. But moisture can still cause blistering, even after the paint is dry. For instance, if your home floods, the moisture can cause bubbling in affected rooms. Even walls in or besides moisture-heavy rooms like bathrooms and kitchens may experience bubbling.

Excessive Heat

Most experts will tell you to paint on a warm day—and with good reason. Heat tends to help paint dry more quickly. However, if the surface you’re painting gets too hot, it may dry unevenly. This is especially true if parts of the wall are hotter than others, such as next to ovens, near heaters, or in sun-heavy rooms.

Roller Cover

When the paint coverage across the wall is uneven, it creates spaces where bubbles can form. One of the causes of uneven coverage is using a roller cover ill-suited for the type of wall. As a rule, you should use thicker roller covers for rough surfaces like stucco, popcorn walls, and brickwork and thin covers for smoother surfaces. Medium-textured walls will need a medium thickness.

Bubbling and cracking paint can be frustrating, but it’s fixable. When you’re ready to pick yourself up and try painting again, ECOS paints has high-quality, odorless* interior wall paint to keep you and your walls covered.

 *Odorless - No traditional paint (polyurethane) odor, which can cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.

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