Causes of paint cracking, blistering, or peeling.

The question is:

If Exterior paint is cracking, blistering or peeling should I paint now?

And what harm will it do if left over the winter months?

And what causes these defects to happen?

Ok that’s three questions.

The answer to the first question is yes, especially if it’s doing all three -cracking, blistering and peeling

But this being late October it’s likely too late to book a good painter before the days become too short and damp.

But here’s what you CAN do:

Most likely the defects are on the lower parts of the timber windows; cills and the lower rails of windows, and therefore reachable from inside.

So get a scraper, sandpaper and some wood primer,  remove the flaking paint and touch it up with lashings of primer.

You could get round your whole  house doing this simple winter holding action, all on a Saturday morning. Then if you’re holidaying in Australia and the snow piles up on the window fills in three months you won’t be bothered.

The main cause of cracking and peeling is time. But if it happens after one or two years it could be down to a number of things.

1. Inadequate preparation.

2.Painting in damp conditions.

3. The wood had been left too long exposed to the elements between paint jobs and became denatured. I.e. the wood went grey, and opened up.

The grey wood should have been  removed by sanding back to the nice fresh wood colour before painting. Painting over grey wood of course comes under inadequate  preparation and over the years I’ve come across more than a few painters who didn’t know about denatured wood.

By the way I haven’t mentioned peeling paint on stonework because you don’t have to worry about leaving defective stonework over the winter. It won’t cause damage.

But while I’m on the subject of stonework;  the main cause of peeling paint on stonework I’ve seen around London is too much use of fillers.

We use Toupret filler. It’s French but very good and costly. But we don’t over-use it in an effort to make everything super smooth.  Better to have a few paint craters and imperfections as long as the surface is sound than to excessively fill and have it come off after one or two winters.


Hope this helps.

Call me for sound advice and free quotes and surveys.

Good luck