PennCoat, Inc. – 5 Common Painting Problems

Five Common Paint Problems

Today’s super-convenient paints are so versatile and easy to use that some folks don’t realize how to apply them properly. This can result in a number of unpleasant surprises. Let’s take a short survey of five common paint problems and how to avoid them.

Picture Framing

The Problem: Also known as hatbanding, picture framing is an uneven appearance arising from two or more application techniques on the same wall. Typically, the problem appears as a dark border surrounding a lighter field. Usually, this shows up when you cut-in the edges with a brush and either roll or spray the interior. Picture framing indicates differences in film build: a thick brushed-in coat vs a thinner rolled coat or thicker sprayed coat.


  1. Cut in only one to two inches and use the roller as close to the edges as possible
  2. Cut in only a portion at a time so that you maintain a wet edge when you roll the surrounding area
  3. Use a brush that holds less paint and puts down a thinner build
  4. Shake all paints thoroughly before use


The Problem: Uneven glossiness, luster or sheen on a painted wall. This usually results from deterioration of the paint film. Possible causes include direct sunlight on glossy alklyd/oil-based paint or solvent-based epoxy paints, improper drying conditions (too humid, temperature fluctuations), using indoor paint on the exterior, painting a porous surface, uneven lapping of paint and applying paint too thinly.


  1. Observe manufacturer directions regarding proper environmental conditions
  2. Prime or seal bare substrates, including spot-priming patched areas
  3. Periodically wash the chalk off alkyd/oil- and epoxy-coated surfaces. If this doesn’t work, recoat with a slightly thinned paint.


The Problem: Stippling, or roller marking, is an unwanted textured pattern left on a wall when painted with a roller. The cause is either incorrect rolling technique or using the wrong roller cover.


  1. Read the paint label directions to know which type of roll cover to use, such as synthetic fiber for latex paints and natural fibers for alkyd/oil paints.
  2. Use only high-quality roller covers, and pre-wet them with water if using latex paint.
  3. Let roller sit in paint for five minutes before you start painting
  4. Prevent paint from building up at the ends of the roller


The Problem: A crinkly, rough appearance that looks like skinning over. Culprits include applying paint too thickly, applying it in very hot or humid condition, not waiting for the first coat to dry properly and painting over a dirty surface.


  1. Clean and prime bare areas and allow primer to dry
  2. Sand or scrap to remove wrinkling and then clean surface
  3. Reapply as directed on the paint label, under the proper environmental conditions


The Problem: Blistering occurs when poorly adhering paint pulls away from the underlying surface, usually due to heat, sunlight or moisture. It can be the result of applying alkyd/oil paint on a moist surface, but can also appear if latex paint is exposed to moisture while drying. Another cause is painting over a dirty surface that hinders adhesion.


  1. You’ll have to remove old paint, but also make sure that water isn’t infiltrating from an exterior surface. If it is, you’ll need to place a water barrier between the interior and exterior surfaces, or take steps to prevent rain from hitting the exterior.
  2. Install new caulking as needed, and think about installing vents, exhaust fans or siding wedges to give water an escape route rather than infiltrating to the interior surface.