Fixing Painting Problems

Fixing Painting Problems

Fixing painting problems is something we are called in to do for customers all the time. These are things we are asked to take care of after a DIY (do it yourselfer) or amateur has done some painting. We just finished a post on this and were asked for more.


This is when paint does not want to adhere to the surface. This can be because of something being on the surface like grease, oil or something else. Sometimes this is because someone is trying to paint with a latex paint over an oil base product. This is common in older homes that have been painted with an oil base product. To fix this you want to make sure the surface is clean. Depending on what is on the surface you may need to clean it with a solution of TSP and water (trisodium phosphate) or denatured. Sand the surface down and make sure to wipe it free of any sanding dust. A quality bonding primer is a good idea before you paint.


This is the paint not sticking to those areas where the paint bubbles. More often then not this is because of moisture. With latex paint on the exterior of a house you can sometimes see where the surface looks fine but then after the sun hits the area paint bubbles appear and then disappear after the sun is no longer on that area. There are many possible causes for this from the paint being applied below the dew point, moisture issues in the siding, contaminates on the siding, the previous coating no longer adhering, etc. It is important to determine the cause so it doesn’t reoccur.

Bubble cut out

When this happens you want to cut the bubbles out, sand the area, prime it and then skim the area over with drywall mud on the interior or exterior grade patching compound on the outside to fix the scar. Sand it, prime it and paint.

Bubble Repair

Stuck Tape

New tape that is stuck because of the paint is easily removed if you use a razor knife and lightly cut the line between the paint and the tape. Old tape that has been forgotten can be removed with a hair dryer. it will soften the brittle tape glue and it can be rubbed off the surface.

Bad Cut Lines

If you have the original paint the fix is simple. If your not accustomed to cutting paint lines then take the time to tape off the areas you need to redo. Press the tape down well. Repaint the areas and pull the tape before it is completely dry.

Paint on Carpet

This one happens more often then you might think. All professional painters use a drop cloth for a reason. If the spot or spots are not too large the following will work. There are two different approaches to take. If the carpet is light colored then your best bet is to use a razor blade to shave or cut it out of the top layer of the carpet. If you wet the area to soften the paint you risk having the tint in the paint separate from the paint and stain the carpet. On medium to darker carpet try putting a wet rag on the spot to soften the paint. Leave it there for awhile. Let time do the work. Then pick at it and try to run it out of the carpet. You may need to use a razor blade again when done.

Brush Marks

Brush marks are the sign of a low quality brush, poor brush technique or brushing back into paint as it dries. The simpleist fix is to sand the areas with the brush marks and brush the areas out with smooth even strokes of the brush. Do not go back into the paint as it dries.

Fixing painting problems is usually not difficult if you know how to do it. Hope this information is helpful.

Fixing Mistakes

One of the nice things about most paint jobs is if something goes wrong fixing mistakes is easy with a little know how. The following is some of the more common mistakes people make and how to fix them.

Paint splatters

Paint can splatter just about anywhere. That is why you will see a professional painter spend time to mask areas off and work on a drop cloth. Sometimes that isn’t enough. If you have paint splattered on to glass (window) the easiest way to fix this is to use the edge of a razor blade to shave the paint off and then glean the glass with a window cleaner.

Drips and runs

Drips and runs usually occur from an overloaded brush or roller frame. It’s an easy fix. Let the paint completely dry and then shave as much of the paint as you can with a razor blade. Sand the area smooth. Sometimes the area may need a little spackle or drywall mud. Let dry. Sand and prime/paint.

Paint on the ceiling

If this occurs while painting your walls then wipe as much as you can with a rag while the paint is wet. If this happens on an unpainted drywall ceiling then wipe the spot then let it dry, you can scrape a bit of the drywall compound away with any of the remaining paint spot. If the ceiling is unpainted it may blend in.

If this happens on a smooth painted ceiling, wipe the spot with a damp rag before it dries.

If what you are dealing with is a bad cut line between the wall and ceiling (the wall paint has creeped up onto the ceiling) then depending on how much you are dealing with you may be able to scrape it clean on an unpainted ceiling and have it blend in. If it is a painted ceiling and you are lucky enough to have the ceiling paint or know what it is you can do a reverse cut around the ceiling to clean up the lines.

Uneven roll on the walls

If the wall finish seems uneven or there are lap marks, pole sand the wall down. Pay special attention to any lap marks or “fatties”, tape off the trim, cut and re-roll. Keep a wet edge and roll out a nice even finish.

Hopefully the next time you tackle painting a room these tips will help with fixing mistakes you may have.

Paint That Works Best on Cabinets?

The Kitchen is the Heart of your Home so you want your cabinets looking great.

Knowing the paint that works best on cabinets is perhaps the most important thing for a successful job. There are many choices out there for cabinets but in reality there are really only a handful of quality coatings that perform over the long haul.

There are paints designed specifically for the abuse cabinets get. I have seen both homeowners and “painters” alike pick paints that are very bad choices.

Benjamin Moore, Pittsburg Paint are two companies that have trusted products for high performance. There are others as well. Painters get attached to their brand and paint. If you ask several trusted paint pro’s they will each have their favorite.

kitchen cabinet paint

We have evolved over many years to what we use today. We look for adhesion, durability and recoat windows. There are a small handful coatings that fit this criteria. There are many coatings that exceed in one regard but fall far short in another. For example a paint may have high adhesion but comes with a 24 hour recoat window. That is tough to deal with as a professional painter. That is several days for multiple coats of paint.

Many of the professional grade coatings can only be sprayed. That is the only way to do a set of cabinets and a factor to consider for the DIY homeowner.

There are three types of paint for cabinets.

  1. Oil base paint. Old School. It is tough, durable and wears well. It smells, is tougher to work with and tends to chip and yellow over time.
  2. Latex (water base) paint. User friendly. Low odor. Limited durability.
  3. Hybrid Coatings. A combination of the best of oil base and latex paint. Urethane modified alkyd polymers suspended in latex paint. Smells more then traditional latex.

We use a waterborne acrylic urethane (Hybrid Coating) on our cabinet work.

The paint that works best on cabinets is a hybrid coating. Some of the more user friendly ones are Benjamin Moore Advance and Valspar oil enriched enamel. Another user friendly one is BEHR Urethane Alkyd Enamel.

For sheen I would suggest a satin or semi-gloss. Pick a sheen you like and can live with.

The Smoothest Finish When Painting Cabinets

Whether you plan on painting your cabinets yourself of hire a professional, there are definite do’s and don’ts if you want the smoothest finish when painting cabinets.

It is common knowledge that any professional paint job is 70% or more prep work. Painting kitchen cabinets is no different. The typical set of kitchen cabinets will take about a week start to finish. About three days or so of that week will be prep work.

We won’t go into great detail on the prep work here but focus mainly on what will give you the best finish.

We will assume all the necessary masking has been done.

You want all the doors and drawers removed. All hardware removed as well. Door and drawer silencers should be removed. The felt or rubber pieces that keep the door from banging into the cabinet.

Solvent clean everything. Denatured alcohol works great. Everything should be sanded down well. Remove all the dust by vacuum and hand wiping.

spray only

Now the most important factor. How the paint and primer are applied. The smoothest finish when painting cabinets can only be achieved by SPRAYING. You cannot brush and roll the finish on the cabinets and have it look like a professional did the job and you can’t brush or roll the primer and spray the finish and have it look right either. Everything must be sprayed. Spraying eliminates brush strokes and roller marks. The best painter in the world cannot brush a cabinet and have it look like it was sprayed. Unless they have a magic brush!

That may seem like common knowledge but there are painters out there that do exactly that. Brush and roll cabinets. There is one company in Omaha that takes the doors to their shop to be sprayed but brushes everything else in the customers kitchen.

The Big downside to spraying is the extensive prep work involved. Everything has to be protected. The walls, countertop, backsplash, appliances, floor, ceiling, sink.

I can only assume this extensive prep work is why this critical step and spraying is skipped but it is necessary for a professional job/finish.

The paint being sprayed is very important as well. There are fantastic and durable coatings for cabinets and paints that have no business in your kitchen. A high-end coating will be very durable to daily wear and tear and lay down nice when sprayed to give a beautiful finish.