How to Prevent and Fix Paint Bubbling on Your Wall | Big Easy Painting
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How to Prevent and Fix Paint Bubbling on Your Wall

Having freshly painted walls is probably one of the most exciting things you can do for your home, but it’s also a very frustrating thing if you don’t know how to prevent paint from bubbling on your wall or fix it once it happens.

In this article, we will discuss what causes paint bubbles on your wall and how to prevent them in the first place. We will then go through some common methods that people use to try and fix paint bubbling on their walls and show you why they won’t work. Finally, we will give you some tips on how to avoid paint bubbling on your walls in the future.

Table of Contents

What Are Paint Bubbles?

What are paint bubbles or paint blisters anyway? They are small blisters that form when the paint dries too quickly. The reason they happen is that the paint has dried before all the moisture has been removed from the surface. This means that there is still water trapped underneath the dry paint which expands as it tries to get out. When this happens, the paint cracks and forms into little blisters.

The good news is that these paint bubbles usually only affect the top layer of paint and not the substrate beneath it. So even though the paint may look bad, it doesn’t mean that the underlying plaster or wood needs replacing.

What Causes Bubbling or Blistering Paint?

Paint blistering or bubbling can be caused by many different factors including:

hand holding a roller against a wall with peeling paint

1. Dirty Surface – If you have old paint on your walls, you should remove it before you start painting. It’s best to strip off the old paint using a scraper rather than sanding it off because this will help to protect the new paint from being scratched. Clean walls with a damp cloth or sponge and make sure colory dust particles are swept away.

2. Too Much Water – If you add too much water to your paint, it will expand and cause the paint to crack. You should always mix your own paints so that you know exactly how much water each color contains.

2. Low-quality paint – If you buy cheap paint, you run the chance of buying a product that contains lots of air pockets and therefore causes the paint to blister.

3. Poorly mixed paints – If you mix two incompatible types of paint together, the resulting mixture will often contain air pockets. These air pockets expand and cause the paint to blister.

4. Improper application techniques – If you apply paint using an incorrect technique, such as applying too thick a coat or painting over old paint, you run the risk again of creating air pockets that expand as the paint drips down.

Also, if you apply paint without allowing it to completely dry, you run the risk that the paint will continue to shrink and pull away from the wall. As it shrinks, it creates tiny gaps where the paint meets the wall. These gaps allow moisture to enter the wall and cause the paint to swell and eventually crack.

5. Insufficient ventilation – If you don’t have adequate ventilation in your home, the paint will dry quicker than usual and therefore create more problems with bubbling.

6. High humidity levels – If you live in humid conditions, you should try to keep the humidity level low when you are painting. This will slow down the drying process and prevent the paint from cracking.

How Do You Fix Small Areas of Bubbled Paint?

If you have a few bubbles in your paint, there are a couple of easy ways to fix them.

You can use a needle or thumbtack to puncture the bubble and then press the surrounding area flat with a putty knife or your finger.

You could also use a hair dryer to heat up the affected area until the paint starts to soften. Once the paint softens, you can smooth it back down with a clean rag or paper towel.

If you want to avoid having to do any work at all, you can simply wait for the paint to harden. This will take about 24 hours. After that time, you can buff out the small areas with a fine-grit sandpaper.

How to Fix Large Areas of Bubbled Paint

If you notice that there are bubbles appearing on your walls after you’ve painted them, then you’ll need to fix this problem quickly. Here are some tips on how to repair paint bubbles:

1. Wait until the paint has dried – Once you’ve noticed the paint bubbles, wait until they’ve dried completely. Then, gently scrape off the excess paint by running a putty knife along the edges of the bubble.

2. Apply a new layer of paint – If you still see bubbles after scraping off the excess paint, then you’ll need a fresh coat of paint. However, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.

3. Sand the area thoroughly – To remove all traces of the previous paint, sand the area thoroughly. Be careful not to damage the wall itself.

4. Prime the area again – If you notice that the paint bubbles are reappearing even after applying a fresh coat of paint, then you’ll probably need to prime the area again.

5. Use a primer – Primers help to seal the wall and prevent future paint bubbles. They also provide an extra layer of protection against scratches and dents.

tin with white paints, paint brush on top

6. Allow the paint to dry – When using primers, it’s best to allow the paint to dry for at least 48 hours.

7. Apply a second coat of paint – If you notice that there are still bubbles appearing on the wall after you’ve primed and allowed the paint to dry, then you’ll need another coat of paint.

8. Wait for at least 72 hours – It’s recommended that you wait for at least 72 hours before moving furniture back into the room. This is because if you do so before the paint has had time to dry, you could end up with paint stains on the carpet.

9. Scrape off the excess paint – As mentioned above, it’s important to scrape off as little of the paint as possible when repairing paint bubbles. Otherwise, you risk damaging the wall further.

10. Clean the area – Finally, clean the area thoroughly. You can use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any remaining paint.

Preventing Future Issues with Your Walls

If you’re like most people, painting your walls is something you don’t do very often. So when issues arise, it can be frustrating trying to figure out what went wrong.

To avoid any future headaches (literally), here are five tips on how to prevent paint from bubbling on your wall:

1. Use a good primer. This will help create a smooth surface for the paint and also act as a barrier between the wall and the paint.

2. Keep the surface clean and dry before painting. Make sure there are no fingerprints or smudges left behind before applying fresh coats of paint.

Any debris or moisture could cause problems down the road.

3. Make sure there is adequate ventilation while the paint dries. If not, this could lead to condensation which in turn causes bubbles in latex paints.

4. Inspect cans of paint before using them. Check for dents, rust spots, or other signs that may indicate damage.

Also, make sure the lid is tightly sealed so air doesn’t get in and ruin the contents inside.

5. Follow the Recommendations on the Paint Label

By following these simple tips, you can avoid any future issues with paint bubbling on your wall.


If you have bubbled paint on your wall, don’t panic! With a little bit of elbow grease and the right know-how, you can easily fix this problem.

Looking to give your home a fresh coat of paint? Big Easy Painting can help! We specialize in interior and exterior painting, so whether you’re looking to update your living room or touch up the trim on your house, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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