June 12


How to repair peeling paint: A step-by-step guide and common causes of paint deterioration

How to fix peeling paint in 4 steps – and reasons why your paint is crumbling

After you’ve noticed the peeling paint on the walls of your home, it can be frustrating and unsightly. Whether you’re in your hometown of Lancaster or using our advice from afar, there’s always a solution to get your walls looking fresh and pristine again.

When first painted, your walls may have looked like a professional painter was involved. But as time has aged the paint, you might find yourself dealing with peeling and crumbling issues. That’s where we come in to give you the best tips and tricks to fix this common problem.

Matthew Kazimierski, the founder of Lancast

How to fix peeling paint

If you’ve noticed peeling paint on your walls, don’t panic. We’ve got the solution for you. Follow these four steps to fix the peeling paint and restore the beauty of your walls.

  1. Assess the damage: Before you start the repair process, first identify the cause of the peeling paint. It could be due to moisture, poor adhesion, or an issue with the paint itself. Understanding the root cause will help you prevent future paint problems.
  2. Prepare the surface: Using a scraper, remove any loose or peeling paint from the walls. Make sure to scrape carefully, as you don’t want to damage the underlying surface. Once the loose paint has been removed, sand the area to create a smooth and even surface.
  3. Apply primer: To ensure proper adhesion of the new paint, it’s always a good idea to apply a primer. Choose a high-quality primer that is suitable for your wall type. Apply a thin coat of primer to the affected areas and let it dry completely.
  4. Repaint the walls: Once the primer has dried, it’s time to repaint the walls. Select a paint color that matches the existing color or give your walls a fresh new look. Apply the paint using a roller or a brush, making sure to cover the primed sections evenly. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat if necessary.

By following these steps, you can fix peeling paint and give your walls a smooth and refreshed appearance. Remember, if you’re unsure about tackling the project yourself, it’s always best to consult a professional painter. They have the expertise and tools to help you achieve the best results.

1 Remove loose paint with a scraper

One of the first steps in fixing peeling paint is to remove any loose or flaking paint with a scraper. This is important because if you try to paint over loose paint, the new coat will not adhere properly and your efforts will be in vain.

If you have noticed areas on your walls where the paint has started to peel, it’s a good sign that the paint has not been properly applied or that there may have been underlying issues when the paint was initially applied. In these cases, it’s best to remove the peeling paint and start fresh.

To begin, you will need a good quality scraper. Using a scraper with a sharp edge will make the process of removing the loose paint much smoother. You can find a scraper at most home improvement stores or online retailers like Amazon.

Start by gently scraping away the loose paint using the scraper. Be careful not to scrape too hard as you don’t want to damage the underlying wall surface. Work in sections and take your time to ensure you remove all the loose paint.

It’s always a good idea to wear protective gear like gloves and eyewear when using a scraper. This will help prevent any injuries or accidents while you are handling the sharp tool.

Once you have removed the loose paint, use sandpaper to sand down any rough edges or areas. This will help create a smooth surface for repainting. After sanding, wipe the walls down with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.

If you have larger areas of peeling paint, it may be best to hire a professional painter to handle the job. They have the experience and tools necessary to tackle these types of projects effectively.

It’s also worth mentioning that using a high-quality primer before repainting can help maximize the lifespan of your newly painted walls. Priming will create a strong foundation for the paint to adhere to and will help prevent future peeling or flaking.

2 Sand down rough edges

In order to ensure a quality paint job and a smooth finish, it’s important to sand down any rough edges or peeling paint. This step will help to create a clean surface for new paint to adhere to, and it will also help to prevent any further peeling or chipping in the future.

When sanding down rough edges, you’ll want to start by using a scraper or sandpaper to remove any loose or flaking paint. Be sure to wear protective goggles and a mask to avoid inhaling any dust particles.

If there are large sections of peeling paint, it may be necessary to use an electric sander to make the process more efficient. However, be careful not to sand too aggressively, as this can damage the underlying wall surface.

After removing any loose paint, use a medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out the edges and create a consistent texture. Sand in a circular motion, overlapping each stroke to ensure a thorough sanding.

Once you’ve completed sanding down the rough edges, use a damp cloth to wipe away any dust or debris. This will help to ensure a clean surface for painting.

If you have noticed that the paint on your walls is peeling or cracking, it may be a good time to consider repainting. By sanding down rough edges and addressing any underlying issues, you can stop the peeling paint and ensure a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing finish for your home.

Matthew Chalmers, the founder of Lancaster Painters, advises that homeowners should always sand down rough edges before repainting. He has published several articles on painting and home improvement advice and is well-known for his expertise in the field.

In terms of the best sanding techniques, Ashley Lancaster, a professional painter from Lancaster Painters, recommends using a random orbital sander for larger areas and sandpaper for smaller sections. She advises starting with a coarser grit and gradually moving to a finer grit to maximize smoothness.

After sanding down the rough edges, it’s always a good idea to apply a primer before painting. Priming helps to ensure better paint adhesion and can also help to prevent future peeling or chipping. There are many primers available on the market, such as those sold on Amazon, which offer good adhesion and durability.

To summarize, sanding down rough edges is an important step in the process of fixing peeling paint. It helps to create a smooth surface for repainting and can prevent future issues. By following these steps and using the right tools and materials, you can achieve a professional-looking finish for your walls.

3 Apply a quality primer

3 Apply a quality primer

When it comes to fixing peeling paint, applying a quality primer is crucial. A primer acts as a barrier between the old, peeling paint and the new paint you are going to apply. It helps to ensure adhesion and creates a smooth, even surface for the new paint.

Matthew Lancaster, the founder of Lancaster Paint & Glass Co., noticed that many homeowners skip this step, which can result in more paint peeling in the future. “Using a quality primer is an essential part of any paint job,” he advises. “It maximizes the longevity of the paint and helps prevent future paint issues.”

There are different types of primers available on the market, so it’s important to choose the right one for your specific needs. If you have a rough or aged wall surface, a high-build primer like Matt Chalmers, a professional painter from Ashley Paint Store, suggests using a Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer. “This primer has excellent adhesion properties and can help smooth out rough spots on the wall,” he explains.

Always make sure to clean the surface thoroughly before applying the primer. Use a scraper or sandpaper to remove any loose or peeling paint, then wash the area with a warm, soapy water solution and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

Once the surface is clean and dry, get ready to apply the primer. Use a high-quality paintbrush or roller to cover the problem areas. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.

Remember, priming is an important step when repainting walls that have peeled. It creates a solid foundation for the new paint to adhere to and helps stop any future peeling or cracking. By using a quality primer, you can ensure a long-lasting and professional-looking paint job.

4 Repaint the area

4 Repaint the area

Once you have scraped off the old, peeling paint and sanded down the area to create a smooth finish, it’s time to repaint the area. Repainting is a critical step in fixing peeling paint, as it not only restores the appearance of your walls but also helps to protect them from further damage.

Before you start repainting, it’s essential to choose the right type of paint for your walls. Matt Kazimierski, the founder of a professional painting company in Lancaster, recommends using a good quality, matte finish paint. He suggests opting for a paint that is water-based, as it provides better adhesion and durability in the long run.

If you have noticed that the paint on your walls has peeled off in several sections, it’s best to repaint the entire wall rather than just the affected areas. This will ensure a consistent look and prevent any noticeable color variations. However, if only a small section has peeled, you can repaint that specific area.

Before applying the new paint, make sure to clean the surface thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and warm water to remove any dirt, dust, or grease that may have accumulated. Additionally, if the surface is rough or uneven, consider applying a primer before repainting. A primer will help to create a smooth and even base for the paint, resulting in better adhesion and a longer-lasting finish.

When repainting, it’s important to follow a proper technique. Start by cutting in the edges using a high-quality paintbrush. This will help you achieve a clean and precise finish along the corners and edges of the wall. Then, using a roller or a paint sprayer, apply the paint in even strokes, working from top to bottom.

Depending on the type of paint and the manufacturer’s instructions, you may need to apply multiple coats to achieve the desired coverage and finish. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. This will help to maximize the durability and longevity of the paint job.

After the paint has dried, inspect the area to ensure that it looks smooth and even. If you notice any imperfections, such as bubbles or brush strokes, you may need to lightly sand the surface and apply an additional coat of paint.

In terms of color selection, it’s always a good idea to choose a paint color that complements the rest of your home’s interior. Consider consulting with a professional painter or seeking advice from a local paint store to help you make the best choice.

By following these steps, you can successfully repaint the area and stop the peeling paint from further damaging your walls. Proper repainting will not only restore the aesthetic appeal of the affected area but also ensure its longevity and protection in the future.

What causes peeling paint

What causes peeling paint

In terms of home maintenance, peeling paint can be a frustrating issue to deal with. It not only affects the aesthetic appeal of your walls, but it can also indicate underlying problems that need to be addressed. Understanding the causes of peeling paint can help you prevent and fix this issue in the future.

1. Moisture: Moisture is one of the biggest culprits behind peeling paint. When moisture gets trapped between the paint and the wall surface, it causes the paint to lose its adhesion. This can be due to leaks in the roof, plumbing issues, or even high humidity levels in the home. If not addressed, the moisture will continue to damage the paint and the underlying wall.

2. Poor surface preparation: Painting over a dirty or improperly prepared surface can also lead to peeling paint. If the surface is not properly cleaned, sanded, and primed before painting, the new paint will not adhere properly and will eventually start to peel. It is important to ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and free of any loose or flaking paint before repainting.

3. Use of low-quality paint: The quality of the paint used can also play a significant role in the peeling of paint. Low-quality or cheap paints may not have the same durability and adhesive properties as higher-quality paints. Investing in a good quality paint can help prevent peeling and ensure a longer-lasting finish.

4. Age of the paint: Like everything else, paint ages over time. As paint ages, it becomes more prone to cracking, peeling, and flaking. If you have noticed that the paint on your walls is aging and starting to peel, it might be time to consider repainting.

5. Application issues: The way the paint is applied can also contribute to peeling. If the paint is applied too thickly, it can take longer to dry and may not adhere properly. On the other hand, if too little paint is applied, it may not provide adequate coverage and protection. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the proper techniques when applying paint.

Homes painted before 1978 may have lead-based paint, which poses a potential health risk when sanding or scraping. If your home was built before 1978, it is always best to consult a professional painter or lead abatement specialist to ensure the paint is safely removed without causing harm to yourself or others.

In conclusion, addressing the underlying causes of peeling paint is essential to stop the issue from recurring. By ensuring proper surface preparation, using high-quality paint, and addressing any moisture issues, you can maximize the lifespan of your paint job and keep your walls looking fresh and beautiful for years to come.

How to prevent peeling paint

If you want to avoid dealing with the hassle and expenses of peeling paint, here are some preventive measures you can take:

  1. Choose the right type of paint: When selecting paint for your walls, make sure to choose a high-quality latex or acrylic paint. These types of paint are more durable and resistant to peeling.
  2. Prepare the surface properly: Before painting, it’s important to properly prepare the surface. This includes cleaning the walls thoroughly, removing any dirt, dust, or grease. You may also need to sand down rough areas and repair any cracks or holes in the wall.
  3. Apply a primer: Using a primer before painting can help improve adhesion and prevent peeling. A good quality primer will create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to, ensuring better longevity.
  4. Use the right tools and techniques: When painting, make sure to use the right tools and techniques. This includes selecting the appropriate brush or roller for the type of paint you’re using and applying it evenly and smoothly. Avoid applying excessive pressure, as this can lead to paint peeling in the future.
  5. Avoid moisture and extreme temperatures: Moisture and extreme temperatures can cause paint to peel. Make sure to repair any leaks or water damage in your home, as well as avoid painting in high humidity or during very cold or hot weather.
  6. Inspect and maintain: Regularly inspect your painted surfaces for any signs of peeling or damage. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further peeling. Maintaining your painted surfaces by cleaning and touching up as needed can also help prolong the life of your paint.

By following these preventive measures, you can minimize the chances of experiencing peeling paint and ensure that your walls remain smooth and beautiful for years to come.


Here are some frequently asked questions about fixing peeling paint:

  • Q: How can I ensure a good paint job in my home?
  • A: To ensure a good paint job, it is important to properly prepare the surface before painting. This includes cleaning and repairing any issues like peeling paint. Use a scraper to remove the loose paint, sand down any rough areas, and apply a primer before repainting.

  • Q: What can I do to stop paint from peeling in the future?
  • A: To prevent paint from peeling in the future, make sure to address any underlying issues before painting. This can include fixing water leaks or moisture problems, repairing damaged surfaces, and using high-quality paint and primer.

  • Q: I’ve noticed that my paint is crumbling. What could be causing this?
  • A: Crumbling paint can be caused by a variety of factors, including moisture intrusion, improper surface preparation, using low-quality paint, or applying paint to an unprimed surface.

  • Q: Can you provide more advice on painting over peeling paint?
  • A: It is important to first remove the peeling paint using a scraper or wire brush. Once the loose paint is removed, sand down the surface to create a smooth and even surface. Then, apply a primer and allow it to dry before applying the top coat of paint.

  • Q: What is the best way to maximize the lifespan of paint on my walls?
  • A: To maximize the lifespan of paint, it is important to properly prepare the surface before painting, use high-quality paint and primer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and maintenance. Regular cleaning and avoiding harsh chemicals can also help preserve the paint.

These FAQs were published by Ashley Chalmers on July 16, 2021 in an article on The Painters Guide. Ashley Chalmers is the founder of The Painters Guide and a professional painter with many years of experience. His advice and tips have helped many readers with their painting projects.

Can you paint directly over peeling paint

When it comes to painting over peeling paint, it’s important to properly prepare the surface before applying new paint. While it might be tempting to simply paint over the peeling areas, this can lead to future problems and a poor-quality paint job. Here are the reasons why you should not paint directly over peeling paint and the steps you should take instead:

  1. Identify the cause of peeling paint: Before you begin any repainting, it’s crucial to determine the root cause of peeling paint. This can include issues like moisture infiltration, inadequate surface preparation, or the use of low-quality paint. By addressing the underlying issue, you can prevent future paint failure.
  2. Remove the loose paint: The first step when dealing with peeling paint is to remove any loose or flaking paint from the surface. You can use a scraper to gently scrape away the peeling sections. Be sure to remove all the loose paint until you reach a smooth and stable surface.
  3. Prepare the surface: After removing the peeling paint, it’s essential to prepare the surface for repainting. This involves sanding down any rough areas and filling in any holes or cracks with a suitable filler. By creating a smooth and even surface, you can maximize paint adhesion and ensure a long-lasting finish.
  4. Apply a primer: Once the surface is properly prepared, it’s time to apply a primer. A high-quality primer will help seal the surface, promote better paint adhesion, and provide a uniform base for your new paint. Make sure to choose a primer that is compatible with the type of paint you’ll be using.

In summary, painting directly over peeling paint is not recommended. It’s important to address the underlying issues causing the peeling, remove the loose paint, prepare the surface, and apply a primer before repainting. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and long-lasting paint finish for your walls.

Will PVA stop paint peeling?

Will PVA stop paint peeling?

If you’re dealing with peeling paint on your walls, you may be wondering if using PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) as a primer will help stop the peeling. In this article, we’ll explore the role of PVA in preventing paint peeling and whether it’s an effective solution for your peeling paint problem.

Understanding the causes of paint peeling

Paint peeling occurs when the bond between the paint and the underlying surface is compromised. This can happen due to various reasons, such as moisture damage, poor surface preparation, or using low-quality paint. The peeling can start as small cracks or bubbles and eventually lead to larger sections of paint lifting off the wall.

The role of PVA in preventing paint peeling

PVA is a type of primer that acts as a bonding agent between the paint and the surface. It creates a smooth and sealed surface, allowing the paint to adhere better and reducing the chances of peeling. PVA primer is commonly used in construction and works well on new drywall or plaster surfaces.

Using PVA as a solution to paint peeling

While PVA can be helpful in certain situations, it may not always be the best solution for fixing peeling paint. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. The condition of the wall: If the wall has large sections of peeling paint or is in rough condition, simply applying PVA primer may not be enough. It’s important to remove any loose paint and smoothen the surface before applying any primer.
  2. Priming vs. repainting: Sometimes, simply repainting the wall with a high-quality paint may be enough to fix the peeling. If the peeling is minimal and the paint underneath is in good condition, you can try repainting the affected areas without using PVA primer.
  3. Maximizing paint adhesion: To ensure maximum paint adhesion, it’s crucial to follow proper surface preparation steps. This includes cleaning the wall, sanding rough areas, and applying a suitable primer before painting.

Expert advice

Matthew Chalmers, a professional painter and the founder of Lancaster Painters, suggests using PVA primer as a preventive measure when painting aged or weathered homes. According to Matthew, “Using PVA primer can help create a strong bond between the paint and the aged surface, reducing the chances of peeling in the future.”

Ashley Kazimierski, a home improvement expert and author of the book “Painting Like a Pro,” agrees that PVA primer can be beneficial in certain cases. However, she emphasizes the importance of proper surface preparation and using high-quality paint to ensure long-lasting results.


While PVA primer can help improve paint adhesion and reduce the chances of peeling, it may not always be the ultimate solution for fixing peeling paint. To ensure the best results, it’s important to assess the condition of the wall, consider alternative solutions like repainting, and follow proper surface preparation steps before applying any primer or paint.


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