Why Is Paint Peeling Off The Wall?

There’s nothing more frustrating than completing an arduous home improvement project, only to discover that your paint has begun to peel just a few days or weeks after you’ve completed it. The telltale signs of peeling range from little holes to large strips of paint that have broken off from the surface and fallen to the floor, and can bring the overall appearance of a room down.

Paint peeling can occur for a variety of reasons. More often than not, the main culprits for peeling paint are dirty walls that have not been properly cleaned prior to painting, dampness within the walls, and even the absence of a quality paint primer.

In order to avoid the paint from peeling off a wall after completing it, it’s important to spend a lot of time carrying out the preparation process (including cleaning and applying a primer) as this will ensure that the paint is able to properly bond to the surface, allowing the paint to fully dry and preventing it from peeling.

As a side note, besides looking unsightly, peeling paint can often pose a health risk, especially to children. Falling pieces of peeled paint run the risk of landing in your eyes, while even smaller paint chips within the air can be ingested, which can cause a great many health conditions due to the chemical formula of paint.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you try to fix the peeling paint issue as soon as you notice it, while also remembering to take all of the preparatory steps that will help to prevent peeling in future paint projects.

Why is paint peeling off plaster walls?

More often than not, peeling paint across plaster walls most commonly occurs when the plastered walls have not been given the proper amount of time to totally dry prior to the paint being applied.

Unlike other types of paint products, plaster consists of a much thicker formula that contains cement and sand and is a type of building material designed for protecting and coating interior surfaces.

For this reason, plaster can take quite a while to fully dry (around 3 days), which is why many people make the mistake of painting it too soon. This can then cause the paint to begin peeling while drying, as it will not have been given a dry, smooth surface to bond itself to.

Why is the paint peeling off my interior walls?

The peeling of paint can occur for a variety of reasons, so it can be difficult to decipher what could be the cause of it, especially if you made sure to clean the surface and apply a paint primer.

So, to help you figure out what may be causing the paint to peel across the surface of your interior walls, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of peeling below:

  1. Moisture: One of the most common causes of paint peeling is the presence of water or moisture. Sometimes, walls can be prone to dampness due to a plumbing problem or simply down to the location of the room in the home, which can mean that moisture can creep into the surface of the wall. If you suspect this might be the case, the first thing you should do is identify the problem and then take precautions to minimize water damage by using a damp-resistant primer, as well as damp-resistant paint which will help stop peeling in these types of walls.
  2. Dirt: If dampness isn’t an issue, another common cause of paint peeling is dirt and debris across the surface of the wall. Prior to painting your interior walls, you should make sure that you rigorously clean their surface so that they are free from any dirt, debris, and other imperfections that can make the surface uneven. If the paint is applied to dirty, uneven surfaces, then it will start to peel as it will not have been able to properly adhere to the surface.
  3. Humidity: Lastly, the final most common cause of paint peeling is due to high levels of humidity present within the surrounding air. When the painted interior walls come in direct contact with humid environments, it can cause condensation that seeps into the surface of the walls, causing the paint to begin peeling. To counteract this problem, we recommend being sure to ventilate the areas in which the painted walls are, as this steady and constant airflow will help to prevent moisture from lingering in the air and sticking to your painted walls.

Why is my paint coming off like dust?

If your paint is flaking off your walls in the way that dust does, then something known as “paint chalking” is likely taking place. Chalking is a naturally occurring process that inevitably happens gradually over time.

Though the main sign of chalking is when paint peels off the surface in a dust-like manner, another indicator of chalking is if the color of the paint has faded significantly. To help you figure out why your paint is coming off like dust, take a look at the following factors:

  1. UV radiation: The biggest cause of paint chalking is exposure to sunlight which can cause UV radiation to occur. For this reason, chalking is most common in exterior surfaces (such as the outer side of your home’s walls) although UV radiation can also occur in interior surfaces, but usually at a much slower rate.
  2. Wrong paint: Another reason why you may be noticing that your paint is coming off like dust is that you have used the wrong paint. An example of this could be using interior paint for exterior surfaces, such as latex paint on outdoor surfaces or furniture. These types of interior paint are not formulated to withstand exposure to the elements, which can cause them to break down pretty quickly and begin flaking off like dust particles.
  3. Not enough layers: If you haven’t applied the recommended amount of layers (including a protective topcoat) you might find that chalking occurs as there isn’t enough product applied to the surface. This can lead to chalking and other signs of degradation at a faster rate.

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