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What causes peeling?

Posted by debi_2006 (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 18, 08 at 12:46

My kitchen walls have been painted for a year and since we had to replace the floor and baseboards (floor installers screw up), we needed to repaint the baseboards and door trim. So, naturally, we blue taped around the doors, floor, and whatever else needed it.

I painted the woodwork white and when I peeled the tape off, some of the wall color came peeling off. The walls were preps properly with primer and 2 coats of eggshell paint. The tape was peeled off 2 hours or so after the painting took place.

Anyone know why the wall paint peeled in some places? Frankly, I prefer to paint the woodword before it's installed but since the floor guys installed it, I didn't have a chance.

The other question is this: When the paint peels, is it best to get off all the loose peelings with a scraper or something, then paint over it, or is there a rule of thumb for this to make it look smooth?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What causes peeling?

some things to consider are , 1. was the walls dusted and cleaned before the tape was applied 2, what type of blue tape did you use (the number of the blue tape). If you used the orange core # 2080- that is the best blue painter's tape to use. 3. How far back did the tape pull , all the way to the original color, down to the primer, etc.

4. It is best to sand those peeled areas smooth and transition them back to the original wall and then spot prime and repaint . Oh and dust really good.

RE: What causes peeling?

I painted the woodwork white and when I peeled the tape off, some of the wall color came peeling off.

If the tape pulled the paint off the walls, they were not properly prepped and painted.Something was not done properly or the tape would not have pulled the paint off the walls.

RE: What causes peeling?

Walls were patched, sanded where needed, washed, primed, and painted. What more is there to do? Please tell.

RE: What causes peeling?

Still didn't see this part answered?

2, what type of blue tape did you use (the number of the blue tape). If you used the orange core # 2080- that is the best blue painter's tape to use. 3. How far back did the tape pull , all the way to the original color,

RE: What causes peeling?

To me it sounds like maybe there wasn't a good primer behind the wall paint- OR, the following could have taken place a year ago when you painted:
1. Walls and trim were primed
2. trim was painted letting enamel overlap onto wall
3. trim was taped off for preparation to paint wall
4. walls were painted. (and there was enamel near the tape edge on top of your primer)
5.When you taped the wall a year later there was enamel under the latex verses primer so the paint peeled off.
I have had this happen to me, so I speak from experience!
So now I would sand the peeling edge to smooth it out with some medium sand paper. Try not to hit much of the wall so it won't show. (keeping a narrow band close to your trim) Clean it off real well. Tape off the trim. Prime a narrow strip next to the tape if your primer is the same color as your trim, (such as white trim) and if not put a little clear painter's caulk on your finger and run it along the tape edge to seal it so paint won't seep under and you'll get a very straight edge. (that's a painter's trick and works great) Keep a damp rag with you and use very little caulk. If you use caulk you must caulk first and prime over it. Or as I said if your primer matches your trim skip the caulk because the primer will seal your tape edge. Dry. Paint second or third coat as needed. On the final coat, let dry only until paint starts to set up, depending on the paint. Don't let it dry all the way or it will peel and crack when you pull it off. How you pull tape off is also very important. For me, keeping the tape at a 45 degree angle gives me a razor-sharp perfect edge.
Test it for "dryness" because if it isn't dry enough it will not work properly, as well as being allowed to dry too long.
I usually wait until it doesn't look shiny wet anymore.

RE: What causes peeling?

Here is a photo example result of taping method mentioned above.
I ceiled the tape with primer before applying paint.

RE: What causes peeling?


We used the Scotch blue tape. I didn't see a number on the roll. It only peeled back a little, close to the woodwork and door/window trim - say 1/2" or less outward.

monaw: Your walls looks gorgeous. Thanks for your input.

RE: What causes peeling?

There IS truth in all the above posts...BUT...

The REAL key here is that "the bond of paint to the wall/primer takes DAYS to form".

Bear with Me here!...

* EVEN IF perfect prep/priming is done, the paints "bridging bond" OF ITSELF ONTO THE TAPE is stronger
after a few hours...than its bond TO THE WALL/PRIMER.
* So, in essence, the brand/type of tape DOESN'T MATTER!
* This is the main reason a paint film will peel into itself near the tape-edge when tape is peeled off.
* Obviously, by the time a 2nd coat of paint is applied, the primer & 1st paintcoat have been "skinning-over" onto the tape for a few hours....BUT the bond of paint to the wall is still pretty weak.
* Soooo...guess where the paint will peel-into 1st typically!!
* Zinsser's own website info. on their 123 primer states that even the bond of this primer developes over a weeks' time.

This is why I wait as long as possible after both coats are dry. Often...the next day!
THEN I lightly score the paint film at the tape-edge with a sharp snap-blade knife.
Obviously...RAZOR-sharp edges with NO film-lifting!!!


RE: What causes peeling?

Score the line between the tape and the trim before pulling tape. Use a sharp razor knife and go slow or your blade may stray.

RE: What causes peeling?


if I am to understand the original first line of your post, (My kitchen walls have been painted for a year ) you didn't do anything other than tape out where it was needed; is this correct?

But then you mention this: ( Walls were patched, sanded where needed, washed, primed, and painted). So was this done recently or back a year ago when the wall was initially painted???

You also mention this: ( It only peeled back a little, close to the woodwork and door/window trim - say 1/2" or less outward). Debi, sometimes when one tapes out , they think it is really secure and when painting they don't pay close attentiion to intricate areas as the trim, etc. and there is a possibility the paint is shoved, pushed, rolled to much right in those particular areas (which may cause the paint to push under the "sealed" burnished tape edge). Not saying you did they, but this happens .

faron have to totally disagree with you on this one: (So, in essence, the brand/type of tape DOESN'T MATTER!)

I use the # tape I mentioned above on freshly painted walls, the same day to tape out for decorative finishes. That is the sole purpose of this particular tape. I have never had issues with this tape on freshly painted walls as long as I have been using it. If newly painted walls are dry (not cured) and if sanding was done, all dust removed, prep was done correctly, there will NOT be an issue with the orange core tape. If I waited around for days just for the paint to dry out , then tape to do a decorative finish which may take a few more days to complete, I would need to find an additional job; I have left this particular tape up for several weeks before taking off, due to different stages of a finish, so I know first hand this tape is a miracle tape.

I do agree if you are having issues at the "fist onset" of peeling your tape off, if it is beginning or starting to act like it is taking the undercoat off, stop right there and take a sharp edge knife and score lightly to break the paint bond.

Debi, the tape will have a # on the inner core and the tape I am talking about has an orange core center.

So, to say the tape could have been the root cause in cyber space is like me explaining to you how to do a surgery through cyberspace.

There are lots of particulars unknown for sure unless one is there to see first hand, examine or do the work involved.

The best information I can give is do as you said you did, all prep was done to the best of your knowledge, use the orange tape if you need to tape, burnish the tape edge really hard and secure, and "SCORE" the edge line if tape does not want to release easily.

RE: What causes peeling?


Yes, that is correct. I only taped where it was need (the wall around the window trim, wall around door trim, and wall above the baseboard trim). Walls were prepped, washed, etc. in the kitchen which is the room in question.

Disregard that statement about the room being patched, sanded, washed, etc. That was meant for our dining room which is another room that we're working on right now, and not related to my OP other than making sure we prep that room so the peeling won't happen in there when we paint tomorrow. I guess I was confusing myself too when I wrote that.

The core of the blue tape just says "medium adhesive, Multi area tape". No number at all.

RE: What causes peeling?


JMHO, I would try and get the delicate low adhesion tape , the one I mentioned . It will have a # on it that says 2080 and the center core will be orange. I will try and post a picture of it. You can different sizes at walmart, your home stores, individual paint stores(but the price will be more expensive at the individual stores-unless they will give you a discount). This tape makes all the difference.

Just follow the guidelines as mentioned above and make sure you burnish really really good. Some things to also consider is to use a low matte sealer, low matte varnish, acrylic glaze or if you paint - use your paint as a paint sealer on the tape edge. This will help prevent bleed under. If you notice the tape not going to release, stop and score. I have never had to do this with the tape I use. I have been using this tape for years now.

Medium adhesion tape will have to much tack for any walls. Using it on glass or outside projects are ok, but not on delicate wall surfaces. The tape you have probably has a white center. Since your cleaning of the kitchen walls have already been done and painted, don't know what you may have used to clean with, but if any kind of cleaning aids were used there is always a possibility there might have been some contaminants left behind in the cleaner. Just using clear damp cloth is usually enough , unless there is grease, etc. to deal with.

Here is a picture

Here is a link that might be useful: delicate blue painter's tape

RE: What causes peeling?

Thanks deco.....I'll get some of the orange since I have ALOT more taping to do in other rooms.

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