strange paint bubbles/blisters?

mrs_whatsitDecember 2, 2007

Hi all,

We just moved into a stone colonial (house is 45 years old, previous owners were original owners) at the beginning of the summer, and I'm re-painting the DR in BM Nantucket Gray (latex ...the previous owners had painted with latex...the cans are still downstairs in the basement). Lightly sanded the walls with my favorite tool(Riobi cat sander) and wiped them down. No primer as the walls were in good condition.

Put one coat of the paint on, and in some areas there are little (1/4 inch?) blisters... in vertical lines (but not completely from floor to ceiling...scattered here and there) about wallpaper width apart. ?? Doesn't go all the way around the room, either.

There wasn't wallpaper on the the spot where the thermostat was I can see no evidence of peeled paint/wallpaper on the edges (same with the outlets).

Was there wallpaper a long time ago, and oil paint over that (or under that) that the previous owners then painted over with latex (but then why aren't the bubbles in more areas)? It seems strange that these little bubbles/ blisters would be vertically arranged, and spaced relatively evenly apart.

Recommendations? Husband thinks we should wait until the first coat dries (24 hours?) and scrape the bubbles, sand, then apply a primer. I am thinking Kilz? Then should we also prime over the Kilz?

And...I cringe to ask this, but can we scrape/sand in just the areas where the bubbles/blisters are? Would others Kilz over the whole room or just the scraped/sanded areas?

Finally, is there any way to test other walls in the house? I'd hate to Kilz everything in the house but if people think that's a good idea I'll just wrap my head around that. OH, and you really couldn't see any telltale "lines" before we painted the DR, in case anyone is wondering that.

Thanks in this forum!

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No you don't need to Kilz the whole room. In fact, I don't even know that you need to Kilz the areas you are repairing. If the weight of the paint is pulling off areas that are not adhered for whatever reason, you just need to scrape off the loose stuff or cut out bubbles with a razor knife, patch it and paint it. If you choose to spot prime the repaired areas, the primer doesn't really need to be oil based. You may even find out that some of the areas that are bubbling now may subside or go away after a 24 hour dry time.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 11:02PM
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Thanks, paintguy! I just checked the DR again and some bubbles did indeed go away. But I still have one more coat to go...will I see these areas appear again, do you think?

And...for the areas that I scrape off, I can just use spackle, yes? They're pretty small...

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 11:37PM
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Hmmmm, this is a little weird, especially since you lightly sanded & rinsed the walls...

You mention verical-orientation though. Are some of these "bubbled" walls exterior walls?? The spacing you mention corresponds to typical stud-spacing.

>>> My GUESS is that insulation in these walls has thinned/settled.
>>> Was the weather cool/cold when you painted?

* If some of this occured on the exterior walls, & you painted in cold weather....
* Older insulation could be settling, causing more cold-transmission in the center areas of your walls.
* This MAY lead to cold-spots over the studs. Paint sometimes doesn't hold as well to a cold surface.
* Studs will transmit/concentrate the colder air into the vertical stud.
* Your room heat is warming the whole wall obviously, but the studs aren't getting heated. They keep concentrating the cold along their surface, leading to a possible difference in how your paint dries to the wall.
* Primer MAY have helped here.

Speaking of primer...
If some of your walls haven't been painted in a decade, I'd AUTOMATICALLY be priming! THEN doing 2 FULL coats of paint.
>>> My fave saying..."Priming solves a lot of problems, but creates NONE".
>>> Also...Kilz is OK, but there are better primers out there!

Lemme know if my "hypothesis" is correct!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 12:10AM
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Hi Faron,

Interesting hypothesis (and I'm a scientist, so you are speaking my language! lol) but the wall that had the most bubbles was an interior wall (in contrast, the exterior walls only had two small spots on them). It's been cold here in the Philadelphia area, but our house stays between 65-68. Hadn't thought of studs (heehee) though...our first thought was wallpaper (guess we were influenced by our recent bathroom de-wallpapering experience).

All interior walls had been recently painted (within the past year) prior to selling (we just moved into the house June 07). The house is currently off-white...everywhere. While in some homes this can look very elegant, as in my last house, I am dying to put some color on the walls! So far I've done two bathrooms, and in both those rooms I did major prep (sanding, rinsing, priming...the works) because I was suspicious of the integrity of the walls. But the DR looked fab so I just did a shorthand version (i.e., no priming).

I just scraped the few areas that are still bubbled, sanded and rinsed with TSP/water and then a clean sponge and am waiting for it to dry. Will lightly spackle, wait til dry, then spot with the BM. Then later tonight I"ll do the second coat over everything and see how it goes.

These forums are addictive...I spent two hours last night looking through various threads and it!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 10:41AM
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