House painting can directly impact the aesthetic value of your home. Believe it or not, a well-painted home can boost its curb appeal and market value. On the flip side, a bad paint job can make a home look old and unappealing. If you want to make your home look brand new again, a paint job is an easy fix.

During the re-painting process, you will likely encounter a number of common paint problems. These problems are very common in older homes or those that are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Take time to learn more about these common paint problems and the recommended fix for them.


This type of paint problem is named as such because of its resemblance to the appearance of reptile skin. It is characterized by a cracked pattern with a shallow or deep relief. The primary reason for this paint problem is when you apply a second coat of paint over the first layer that has not fully dried. Or in some cases, the second coat is incompatible with the first coat of paint. Fluctuations in temperature can also cause the paint to lose its elasticity leading to the formation of cracks.

To repair alligatoring or the appearance of cracked patterns on painted surfaces, it is best to remove the old paint. Sand that layer and apply primer before applying a fresh coat of latex-based paint.

Popcorn Ceilings

Half a century ago, popcorn ceilings were very popular. They were popular for a reason – they are less expensive, good at hiding imperfections on the ceiling, offered some level of fire-resistance, and known for their ability to absorb sound. However, it is also one way that is guaranteed to make any room in your house look dated. According to Kalaj Painting Co, popcorn ceilings belong in the 80’s and removing them is actually something that can be handled quickly and seamlessly with the right equipment and know how.

You need to be extremely careful when trying to fix popcorn ceilings as there is a risk of exposure to asbestos. Make sure you perform a test on a sample from your ceiling first by carefully scraping off a small piece. If there is a presence of asbestos, make sure you contact a professional asbestos remediation company. If not, you can proceed to revamping the painting job on your ceiling.

Patching is one of the best ways to fix popcorn ceilings. You can find patch products in aerosol spray cans or premixed that you can apply using a brush. You can also try to paint over the popcorn ceiling. It is recommended that you use a stain blocking ceiling primer in order to prevent bleeding from water stains. When all else fails, you can try removing the popcorn ceiling altogether. You can use a taping trowel or putty knife for this. This can be a messy job, though.


Blistering is another common paint problem around the home. It is identified by the appearance of small to medium sized bubbles that are beneath the paint film. It also happens when the paint loses its adhesion and is unable to stick to the surface.

Blistering paint happens when the paint is applied under direct sunlight causing the vapor to get trapped beneath the paint film. In some cases, it could be that the paint was applied on a damp surface. As the moisture tries to escape, it causes the bubble to appear beneath the surface. Improper ventilation within the house can also be a possible cause; the moisture tries to escape through the walls causing the paint to blister.

The best way to fix blistering paint is to scrape off the existing layer of paint. Once the surface is bare, make sure that it is completely dry before painting over it. It is also important to apply the paint under non-humid conditions. The use of high quality latex paint can also prevent these problems to occur.


Chalking is a type of paint problem characterized by the formation of fine, chalky powder on the painted surface. Chalking is normal in most types of paint especially when it is exposed to sun and rain. However, when there is an excess amount of chalking, it can run off and cause staining on the surrounding structure.

The primary cause for chalking is the use of cheap quality paint, such as those with high amounts of pigment extenders. The incorrect use of paint is also a culprit (such as when interior paint is used for exterior application). Applying paint over a porous surface can also make it susceptible to chalking.

To fix chalking, the damaged paint surface must be completely removed. The surface must be scrubbed or washed and allowed to dry before adding another layer of paint.

Running Paint

As the name implies, this type of paint problem is identified by the droopy appearance (or that which mimics a running liquid). There are many potential causes of this paint drips such as being too heavy with your paint coat, or poor environmental conditions during the time of paint application. A surface that is not well primed can also cause the paint to run off while it dries.

If you notice running paint around your house, you can fix it by sanding the uneven area. Once the surface is properly sanded, it can be painted over with a fresh coat. When painting, it is advisable to use two layers of light coat rather than one heavy coat of paint.


Peeling rounds up this list of the most common house paint problems. It is identified by the literal peeling off of paint film from the surface where it was originally applied to. This common problem can be attributed to many potential causes such as improper preparation on the surface prior to painting or use of low quality paint. Whatever the cause, you will notice that the paint will pull away in patches to reveal the surface beneath it.

You can fix this paint problem by scraping away the paint film that started to peel off. Sand the affected areas and do spot priming. Use the proper tool to caulk the area before applying a fresh coat of acrylic latex paint.