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why your paint might bubble, crack, and peel

Why Does Your Paint Bubble, Crack, and Peel Off the Walls?

A high-quality interior paint job can last over a decade, but even the best paint applications will eventually show signs of age-related deterioration. If the paint inside your Southwest Florida home starts to crack, peel, or show other signs of degradation after 10 to 15 years, it had a decent run. It might be time to consider a new interior paint job, but there was likely nothing deficient about the original work. However, interior paint that starts bubbling, cracking, or peeling within a few years suggests a problem with the paint or its application.

The Southwest Florida professionals at FCI Painting in Naples have put together the following primer to diagnose the potential reasons why your interior paint might be bubbling, cracking, or peeling. Read on to learn the primary causes behind premature interior paint deterioration and how we prevent bubbles, peeling, and cracking in our interior paint application.

Primary Causes of Paint Bubbling, Cracking, and Peeling

Bubbling, cracking, peeling, or other signs of deterioration on interior paint work are all symptomatic of a loss of adhesion between the paint and the surface it coated. Higher-quality paints tend to retain adhesion the longest, but the adhesion properties of all paint types naturally decline over time.

Many different reasons can cause a paint’s premature adhesion loss, each manifesting in one or more symptoms. As one of the most common causes of premature adhesion loss, improper surface preparation can cause all the symptoms. If you fail to properly clean and dry surfaces before painting, the paint will inevitably bubble, crack, or peel in the shorter term. Other causes of premature adhesion loss (and their distinct symptoms) include:

  • Low-quality paint (all symptoms)—the chemical components of lower-quality paints often lack the adhesion, durability, and consistency of higher-quality recognized name brands. “You get what you pay” for generally holds true with paint brands.
  • Incorrect paint or primer for the chosen surface (all symptoms)—paints and primers vary in their ability to adhere depending on the surface coated, so make sure you have the right paint type for the job.
  • Improper application techniques (all symptoms)—to create a durable, professional-looking painted surface requires the right tools and application techniques.
  • Old paint (all symptoms)—fresh paint has an expiry date because its chemical components break down over time. Old paint will have lost some of its adhesion properties and tends to be more brittle—and prone to cracking—when it dries.
  • Too hot or too cold (all symptoms)—the ambient temperature influences how paint dries and adheres to the coated surface, and paint that dries too quickly or slowly may not effectively adhere.
  • Mixing paint types (all symptoms)—using different paint types on a fresh surface can cause chemical reactions that might compromise the adhesion and other qualities of the applied paint. Likewise, if painting over a previously painted surface, make sure you use the same type—i.e., latex over latex.
  • Applying thick paint coats (cracking, bubbling)—a thick coat of paint will not dry properly, enhancing the likelihood of premature adhesion loss symptoms.
  • Painting damp surface areas (bubbling and peeling)—moisture compromises paint adhesion and painting over a wet or damp surface will often lead to bubbling and/or peeling. Excessive humidity in the work area can dampen surfaces, increasing the risk of bubbling. Note that new wood can also be infused with moisture that can compromise adhesion. Wood generally needs at least a year per inch of thickness to dry properly.
  • Applying thin paint coats (cracking)—a thin coat represents a thin bond that will quickly separate with cracking.
  • Multiple paint coats (peeling)—No job should require more than two or three coats of paint; those extra coats can compromise the adhesion in ways that cause peeling.

Application Tips for Preventing Bubbling, Cracking, and Peeling

Forewarned is forearmed, so you now have a good grasp on what might lead to premature deterioration of an interior paint job. Follow these top five tips to ensure that your interior paint work in Naples will remain free of bubbling, cracking, and peeling for years to come.

  1. Fix and sand surfaces as necessary, especially if you are repainting areas affected by bubbling, cracking, or peeling.
  2. Thoroughly clean surfaces and make sure they are completely dry before starting to paint.
  3. Use the highest quality brands of primer and paint.
  4. Follow the paint manufacturer’s recommendations on proper application, including consistency in paint coat thickness and drying times between coats.
  5. Paint with optimal temperature and humidity to ensure the best adhesion.

Consult with Naples-Based FCI Painting for Your Interior Painting

We trust that we’ve enlightened you about the primary causes of premature paint bubbling, cracking, and peeling, and we trust our tips will help you successfully tackle your next interior paint job. To avoid the aggravations that might come with a DIY job, consult with the experts at FCI Painting. We’ve produced flawless interior finishes for our Naples, Florida-area clients for more than 30 years. To learn more about our quality work, reasonable pricing, and timely professional service, contact FCI Painting today at (239) 435-1001.

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6 Stars

The entire process from start to finish was professional. They did a great job and left everything clean. Ryan wouldn’t leave until everything was perfect. The entire team was so responsive. I would recommend FCI to anyone. I would give them 6 stars if I could.

Bruce G

Reasonably Priced & Very Detailed

We have a three unit, two story condo building that needed an exterior painting job we awarded to FCI Painting. Their proposal was reasonably priced and very detailed. Richard Foden’s came to estimate the job and took the time to explain the process, answer questions and provide recommendations (that help us in our process). We received four proposals and FCI’s stood out making our decision straight forward. FCI crew was professional and the foreman ‘Eduardo’ exceptional. On a daily basis’s he communicated what to expect, what they would be achieving and the crews next steps. Crew was courteous and cleaned up the grounds every evening. We highly recommend FCI Painting company. Thanks

Leo G

Incredible Service

I honestly cannot recommend this company enough. I was attempting to find painters in Naples while I was still in Canada. Richard and his team were so helpful in the process, going above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. They were thorough, professional, and one of the best prices I found in the area. Incredible service.

Jeremy S

Definitely Use Them Again

Richard and his team were great to work with. They were polite, cleaned up and did an awesome job! I have already recommended them to people and would definitely use them again.

Helen R

Ahead of schedule

Very professional, prompt… even ahead of schedule. I will always use them from now on.

Brittany K

Can’t Recommend FCI Painting enough

I can’t recommend FCI Painting enough! Owner Richard Foden runs one of the finest painting companies I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. When my business moved into our new office, we started researching painters in Naples, FL and FCI came highly recommended. The commercial painters that Richard works with are prompt, thorough and professional. After working with them in a business setting, I’ll be certain to give Richard a call next time I’m in need of house painters as well.

Martin V

Professional & Friendly

Had my condo painted by FCI Painting and they did an outstanding job! They were professional and friendly.

Eileen F

Competitive & Fair

FCI Painting did an outstanding job for us and we are more than pleased with the results. We found the pricing to be competitive and fair. Our painter, Chris, was an expert craftsman, patched several areas of drywall that needed attention and helped us work through a problem we had with one of the colors we chose. We would definitely recommend FCI painting for anyone looking for a quality job at a fair price.

Donna C

Way Above Expectation

Big thanks to FCI, I had them paint my house inside and out and they did a fantastic job, way above my expectations, there employees were punctual and polite, and the work was completed 2 days before the scheduled completion date. Would not hesitate to recommend A++++++++++

Neil S

Highly Suggest Their Work

FCI Painting did a fantastic job on my driveway. They were swift, neat, and very sharp eye on quality. I would highly suggest there work and I would call them again.

Tom D

Pleasure to Deal With

FCI did a great job painting our home! Job was done on time & on budget, no surprises! Rich was a pleasure to deal with & was very prompt when responding to a question or request. Chris, our painter, was on-time each day, always prepared, cleaned up every afternoon, worked at a good pace & super friendly. Would definitely use them again & recommend them highly!

Christine C

Always an Outstanding Job

My family has used FCI in our homes and businesses. They have always done an outstanding job, neat and clean and Richard is wonderful accommodating owner to work with. I would highly recommend this company to anyone.

Valerie G

Great Company, Great Results

Great Company, Great Results! We use FCI whenever we can!


Easy to Deal With

Pleasant and easy to deal with. Did exactly what they said they would, when they said they would do it. Would highly recommend.

Christopher G

Beautiful Work

Beautiful work and very friendly respectful employees. Couldn’t be happier.

Tiffany K